Unanswered calls. Text and Whatsapp messages that go unread — and then the phone is switched off. Permanently. Not a bad break-up, but this is what happened to me when Asif walked out on me — Asif was my barber. I even offered to change the salon I visit, to follow him — but still no response. A man’s relationship with his barber is possibly among the most important relationships a heterosexual man can have with another man (or woman) that is purely platonic. This is the guy who holds a cutthroat razor to your neck, and you never think twice about the fact that even a little slip could mean a bloody mess — you trust him unhesitatingly. When Asif left, I was heartbroken, and so was my beard. He knew my hair, he knew how I liked it. He knew that I use a trimmer at number 2, he knew which cream suited my face.
Life carries on, they say, and the way I could deal with this was to switch to ‘Recently Broken-Up Guy’ mode. Maybe it was time to have a fling, and on a recent trip to France, I decided to give it a shot. An affair with a white person from Europe. Exotic. It felt exciting, like something new. What would he do to my hair? How would he treat my beard? After all, I have had a beard as long as I can remember. My whiskers are a part of my identity — I was the fat, bearded guy every group of friends needs. I’m not so fat any more, but I really like my beard.
Paul was gentle — he massaged peppermint oil onto my head, which was like having a nice Chablis to start the evening. A lovely shaving soap on my face followed, and then the razor, used calmly and coolly over my face. “Why not try a change for a difference?”, Paul asked. So I did – a thin, narrow beard highlighting my face. I did end up looking like either a dude from Dubai or a Latin American drug lord, but Paul was amazing. So now, it’s time for a new relationship. I have to find a new guy for my hair in Delhi. Not an expensive guy, but a good one who will enjoy my company. If you have any suggestions, do let the Editor know.
For members only
Truefitt and Hill, the royal grooming experience salon exclusively for men, has become quite the rage across cities. Not only are their services and products in great demand, their membership programmes have met with such success that they have had to stop taking in sign ups. T&H offers two annual membership programmes – The Royal Membership (Rs. 59,000) and The Classic Membership (Rs. 49,000) which allows you and your friends and family to avail of unlimited services and a discount on selected brands too. Now let’s do the math, if we had to avail of the services a la carte:
Royal total 11600
(plus royal taxes, of course)
If this is your monthly expenditure, the memberships are a fantastic deal, as they are priced at less than half of what you would be generally spending at the salon. And if we were studying trends, the fact that sign ups had to be closed tells you how conscious Indian men have become about good grooming experiences.