Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Williamsburg, a very hip borough in Brooklyn, NY with the longest bearded man I had ever met. Joe Loving (@beardspiration12), Managing Partner for Mean Beard (@mean_beard), and I had met on the phone a week previous and had agreed to meet up at Barbercon, one of the barbering industries premiere events. Joe has a great story behind his beard and brand. Several years back Joe’s son was diagnosed with hemophilia. He decided to raise awareness for the cause and grow out his beard. He called the charity fundraiser “Beards for Bleeders”. Three years later, Joe is still rocking the beard and is one year into his new start up beard care brand! His claim for success,“Don’t trim it!”
Lee Resnick started Barbercon in 2016 as the live networking event for @barbershopconnect, the first social site exclusively for Barbers worldwide. Barbershoppeconnect originally focused on the urban barber movement. Over the last couple of years Barbercon has morphed into one of the leading events for the men’s grooming industry worldwide. This years event attracted more mainstream vendors and cosmetologists then the previous two years combined. An education element was added which has taken it to another level, beyond a social networking event for barbers.
The evolution of urban barbering has come together with the lifestyle movement, high end mens fashion and old school traditional grooming, exploding onto the mainstream stage. There have been signs of this growth development over the last few decades, but the latest push is more then just a short term trend. Salons are feeling the need to up their game in the men’s grooming segment. We are only just beginning to see how the growth in men’s grooming has increased the need for gender specific brands on the professional product shelve space. Don’t be surprised to see traditional women focused beauty stores and online professional only e- commerce sites expand their offerings, and in some cases, change their names to attract the male shopper!
The mainstream acceptance of mens grooming has created a fundamental need for cosmologists to increase their skill set to offer expanded men’s services. Hot towel shaving, guard free clipper cutting and facial grooming are in high demand. While traditional barbering techniques has been somewhat of lost art throughout North America over the last few decades, there are regions on the globe where traditional mens grooming has stayed relevant, including the United Kingdom and the Middle East, where it never really went away.
Experts from industry leaders like the British Barbers’ Association (@BritshBarbers) have been very well received in North America over the last couple of years, as stylists and barbers alike, look to advance their men’s grooming skills. Traditional cosmetology providers including Pivot Point International (@pivotpointint) have recently launched a major foundation barbing program targeting cosmetology schools to start offering men’s grooming and barbering specific programs.
Guys are really into the latest grooming techniques and products. They are keeping their hair styles and beards well groomed and looking great. The average Joe is now more hip then ever!