How Have Beards Gotten To Be So Popular?

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’re sure to have noticed one fashion trend for men that almost every man in the country has hopped on board with: beards!

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’re sure to have noticed one fashion trend for men that almost every man in the country has hopped on board with: beards!

Yes, from hipster beards to designer stubble, it seems that if you walk down a busy high street, you’ll probably see a lot more men with some form of facial hair than you will men who are completely clean shaven.

So, how did this all happen? Well, there of course always have been men who have worn their beard with pride whether it is viewed as trendy or not, but we’re talking about the cultural trend for facial hair.

It is also important to note that the current trend for beards and facial hair is really nothing new. All fashion trends are cyclical in nature, and as time goes by trends come and go time and again.

The last time beards saw a cultural boom in popularity was probably in the 1960s and early 1970s, thanks to the influence of the Beatles growing beards and later the rise of hippie counterculture.

Of course, if you go right back to the beginning of human civilization, beards were much more functional, if not crucial to our survival, as they helped us keep warm when the weather turned cold, in the dark days before central heating or scarves had been invented.

Like all great mysteries in life, nobody knows exactly why and when the current trend for facial hair began, but everyone has their own theories. Whilst most can agree that facial hair started becoming more and more common from about 2010 onwards, some attribute this to the influence of Hollywood celebrities who ditched the razor like George Clooney or Brad Pitt, others site “the rise of the hipsters” and their penchant for ironically oversized or over sculpted beards.

Whatever the root, beards soon became a trendy then, like most upward trends, it’s influence steadily grew as more and more men grew beards, until the facial hair boom was tipped to have reached “peak saturation” in 2013.

When most trends reach a level of peak saturation, it’s just a short time later that they take a steep dive back into obscurity, as beards did in the 1970s the last time they were so trendy.

However, the popularity of beards didn’t waver, and as 2018 continues forward there are no signs yet that anything has changed.

Does this mean beards will simply continue to maintain such a high level of popularity for the rest of time? Most definitely not. At some point in the future, being cleanly shaven will once again become “the done thing,” though there will still be those of us who choose to keep rocking our beard, no matter what.

So, whether you want to go for a completely clean shaven look, or are just after a trim and a neatening up, stop by Kensington Barbers and let one of our beard experts look after you.

Why You Should Let A Barber Trim Your Facial Hair

Here at Kensington Barbers, we are passionate about the artistry and the history of the barber shop.

Here at Kensington Barbers, we are passionate about the artistry and the history of the barber shop.

One thing we have noticed, however, is that while more and more men are happily spending extra time and money to make sure they get a high quality haircut, the number of men happy to let a barber look after their facial hair is considerably smaller.

This seems like a massive mistake to us. Most of you would never cut the hair on top of your head yourself, instead trusting in the skill of a professional – so why should you trwat your facial hair differently?

But before we tell you why you should be letting your barber trim your facial hair, let’s first take a quick look at the long history of barbershops.

At the height of the barbershop’s popularity from the late 19th to the early 20th century, they were more than just places to get your hair cut. Barbershops were places men would visit to socialise with one and other, rivalling the popularity of pubs and taverns.

Just think about how many times you’ve seen barbershops used in films and TV shows as a place for men to bond or repair damaged relationships.

Nowadays, we are also starting to see some of that same social aspect work its way back into barbers, as more and more shops are adding features like coffee makers, miniature sweet shops and even micro golf in some extreme cases.

So, here’s why you should definitely consider letting a barber trim your facial hair the next time you are getting a haircut:

Get a professional’s input

As we’ve already said, a professional is always going to do a better job than an untrained layman. So, having a barber trim your facial hair means you will get a professional, clean cut to a degree that you could never achieve by yourself at home.

Keep up to date with styles

If you always trim your facial hair yourself, it can be easy to fall into a pattern and always cut your hair the same way, time after time, for years on end. One benefit of the social nature of barbershops is that you are able to interact with others and see what different styles are popular at the moment. You’ll also be more open to trying new styles of facial hair you wouldn’t know how to style by yourself.

Avoid the mess

Anyone who has tried to shave or trim a decent sized beard in their own bathroom knows one thing for sure: it makes a giant mess. Hair clogs up your razor and your sink and no matter how tidy you try to be, stray hairs seem to make their way onto every surface in the room, and you’ll find yourself cleaning them away for days afterwards.

All of this hassle is avoided by visiting a professional to get your beard trimmed. Not only will your face look great, you’ll avoid having to perform any clean up.

Treat. Yo. Self.

At the end of the day, one of the best reasons to let a barber look after your facial hair is just to do it as a treat for yourself. You deserve a little pampering and luxury, after all.

So, if we’ve inspired you, why not come on down to Kensington Barbers for a haircut and a shave today!

Trimming And Styling For Christmas

As Christmas quickly approaches, many of you may be considering visiting the barbers for a quick trim and styling so that you are looking your best for all the festivities to come. If you are feeling this way, then you aren’t alone, as Christmas Eve is, in fact, one of the most popular days of the year for men to visit their barbers.

As Christmas quickly approaches, many of you may be considering visiting the barbers for a quick trim and styling so that you are looking your best for all the festivities to come. If you are feeling this way, then you aren’t alone, as Christmas Eve is, in fact, one of the most popular days of the year for men to visit their barbers.

So, if you are looking to switch up your style, have a look at our top tips for how to spruce up your look for the Christmas period:

For many of us, the Christmas period brings with it the need to spruce up for a classy Christmas event. Whether you have to go to a fancy office party or new year’s eve event, or you just want to look your best to impress visiting relatives and want a black tie hairstyle to match, then there are several little touches you can make to your hair that are as classic as they are stylish.

Firstly, consider getting a trim just to freshen up your look. Particularly if you haven’t been for a haircut in a while, then this is a great way to make yourself look smarter without having to make any drastic changes.

To give your hair a sharp and tidy look, ask your barber to give you a hard part. Hard parts can be great way to add definition to a short sides and long top cut, and can make almost any haircut look refreshingly modern.

Festive beards

If you are a guy with a pronounced beard looking to make a big splash at any parties you attend this season, then we have a few festive choices that might be right up your street.

The glitter beard: This one is fairly self-explanatory; simply coat your beard in beard oil, then glitter of any colour – though red and green seem particularly festive – and voila! You’ve got yourself a festive style that can be seen from miles away. Just be prepared to find glitter on all your belongings for a good long while afterwards.

The light up beard: Have you ever been told you light up any room you walk into? Try out this festive look and you soon will be!  Simply thread a set of Christmas lights through your beard to achieve this far out festive look. The most important thing to remember for this look is to find the kind of lights that don’t heat up – very important if you don’t want your beard to catch fire.

The Christmas tree beard: If attaching lights to your beard seems like a bit of a crazy thing to do, instead consider attaching decorations like small baubles and candy canes to your facial hair using bobby pins to create a miniature Christmas tree you can take anywhere you go. To go the extra mile, you can even tint your beard green to give it that extra realistic Christmas tree look.

You may have seen these types of festive beards now and again over the past couple of years, but they’ve been tipped to make a big impression this year.

Tips For Fighting Hat Hair

If you are the kind of person who frequently wears hats, you might be doing so even more now that the colder months are rolling in, so you need a little more protection from the elements when you brave going outdoors. Yes, hats can be great, but there is one unfortunate side effect of wearing hats that has been hurting people for far too long: hat hair!

If you are the kind of person who frequently wears hats, you might be doing so even more now that the colder months are rolling in, so you need a little more protection from the elements when you brave going outdoors. Yes, hats can be great, but there is one unfortunate side effect of wearing hats that has been hurting people for far too long: hat hair!

We’re exaggerating, of course. But at Kensington Barbers, we know how much time and effort you can put into your appearance. So the last thing you want to do is, say, go through the trouble of putting a hat on to protect your hair on a particularly windy day, only to find that it has completely messed up your look for the day anyway.

Here’s our top tips for avoiding hat hair:

Make sure your hair is dry

No matter how much of a rush you may be in to get out of the house in the morning, if you want to wear a hat but avoid hat hear later, then make sure your hair is dry before you put your hat on and leave the house.

If your hair is damp when you put your hat on, it then dries under the hat, going flat and taking on the shape of the hat.

Hat the right size?

One thing you might not have considered in the battle against hat hair is whether the size of the hat you want to wear is going to make your situation better or worse.

If your hat is too small or close to your head, it will be effectively suffocating your hair. If your hat is a little roomier, not only will it be more comfortable to wear but it will give your hair a bit of extra space, meaning your hat is less likely to interfere with your hairstyle.

Consider the materials

Whilst you are checking the size of your hat, why not take a look at the materials it’s made out of as well? Hats that are made with a lot of synthetic fibres tend to create a lot of static that can create an unsightly mess out of your hair.

Conversely, hats made out of more natural materials will create less static, and are often nicer and more comfortable as well.

The right style

Also, hat hair will be less noticeable on your head if you give your hair an intentionally slightly disheveled look. This can be achieved by brushing through your hair with your fingers.

Use the right products

If you can’t go without wearing hats and no matter what you do you can’t seem to prevent hat hair from taking over your head, all may not be lost just yet. Consider investing in some volumising products to use on your hair, as the added body will fight the flattening effect a hat has on your ‘do.

Alternatively, keep texturizing powders or pomades close by so you can inject some volume back into your hair once the hat has done its worst.

How Changing Your Part Can Be Great For Your Hair

It can be easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to your hairstyle. Look away for five minutes, and suddenly you’ve been rocking the same hairstyle since you were in high school.

It can be easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to your hairstyle. Look away for five minutes, and suddenly you’ve been rocking the same hairstyle since you were in high school. We at Kensington Barbers understand that, with how hectic life can be, it can be very easy to settle into a pattern and stick to what feels comfortable.

But change can be a great thing, and even if you don’t want to make too drastic a change or completely switch up your look, there are small tweaks you can make that can have a big impact on your look.

Changing your part can be one such way to make a small change that leaves a big impact, and you may be surprised how beneficial such a small change can be.

The cowlick

The most traditional, and often seen, way men part their hair is in a natural correlation with the direction of the spiral of hair on top of your head towards your back, known as your cowlick. Many people say you should only part your hair as dictated by the direction your hair circles in your cowlick. If the hair circles clockwise then the part should be to the left. If the hair circles anticlockwise then the part should be to the right.

See what feels comfortable

However, there is by no means a 100% applicable rule for how you should wear your part, and many people prefer to wear their part contrary to the direction of their cowlick. Some guys prefer to part their hair depending on which hand they comb their hair with. If you comb your hair with your left hand, then a part on the right will feel more comfortable, and vice versa.

Health benefits

Switching up your part is also a great way to maintain the health of your hair. Changing the part can reduce the damaged or flyaway hairs at the top of your head, not only by disguising but also repairing and resting them.

Add a hard part

One way you can make a simple change to your part that can potentially have a big impact on your hairstyle is to add a hard part. The hard part has stayed a very popular and trendy hairstyle throughout 2017 and it shows no signs of waning in popularity. Achieved by shaving a clearly defined line in the scalp along the part, a hard part can really turn a tired haircut into one that looks fresh and smart.

A hard part goes well with a wide variety of hairstyles and works really well adding emphasis to a short sides, long top hairstyle. In order to keep the part looking fresh and clean you will have to visit your barber quite frequently, but if the look suits you then it is well worth it.

If you’ve been inspired to switch up your look then visit Kensington Barbers to book a session with one of our talented stylists today.

Short Cuts for Summer Heat

One of the most difficult things about dealing with the heat during summer is finding effective ways to keep cool. You can try wearing fewer layers, or carrying a hand fan with you everywhere you go. But here at Kensington Barbers, we think the best way to cool off for summer is to get a shorter haircut for the season. So, lose those winter locks and get one of the short summer cuts we’ve suggested below.

Buzz cut

One of the most effective ways to ensure that your hair won’t be bringing you down or keeping you hot and bothered in the summer heat is to get rid of most of it! One of the best things about a buzz cut is its simplicity. It’s a clean, timeless haircut that is perfect if longer hairstyles have left you overheated in summer’s past. Consider asking your barber to add a high skin fade to give your buzz cut some added edge.

Short sides and long top

The short sides and long top is a great, versatile cut that’s ideal if you have quite a lot of length on top that you don’t want to get rid of just for summer. The sides can either be shaved or just trimmed down, and the length on top can be worn in a variety of different ways, from swept back to messy fringe to curtains. This cut can be tweaked to suit almost any face.

French crop

The French crop, also known as the Ivy League, is a smart low maintenance cut for the hotter months. It’s short and manageable, with short sides and top with slightly more length towards the front so you can style it a few different ways. You can even leave a bit more length on top if you like having more to play around with.

Pompadour

The pompadour remains a popular haircut for summer 2017, and it isn’t hard to see why. This cut can range from a full pompadour to more of a quiff depending on the length you want. The pomp will help keep you cool by keeping your hair out of your face, and is great if you have a long fringe you don’t want to cut off but do want out of the way.

Hard side part

A style choice that is proving to be very popular for summer 2017 is the hard side part. Achieved by shaving a clearly defined line in the scalp, a hard side can be used to enhance almost any hairstyle and help give it a modern look.

Grooming your beard for summer

If you are getting a fresh cut for summer, then you should consider getting your facial hair trimmed as well, if you have a beard. Avoid shaving altogether as some facial hair can help to keep your face cool when the sun is beating down on you. You should definitely be cleaning and hydrating your beard throughout summer, and if your beard does irritate you, then trimming it down to around an inch or so in length should be enough to see you through till winter.

Tips to Avoid Razor Bumps and How to Treat Them

As the best barbers in Kensington, we know that nothing can ruin the satisfyingly smooth feel of a fresh shave faster than razor bumps. These annoying little bumps can go from irritating and unsightly to downright painful. But, with proper care and preparation, razor bumps are easily avoided and treated.  Below are some of our top tips for avoiding the bumps:

Tips to Avoid Razor Bumps and How to Treat Them

As the best barbers in Kensington, we know that nothing can ruin the satisfyingly smooth feel of a fresh shave faster than razor bumps. These annoying little bumps can go from irritating and unsightly to downright painful. But, with proper care and preparation, razor bumps are easily avoided and treated.  Below are some of our top tips for avoiding the bumps:

 

Make sure your razor is sharp and clean

We’ll start with a simple one. You should always make sure make sure the blades on your razor are sharp, and make sure there isn’t any hair or dirt under them. A sharp blade will cut off your facial hair cleanly, whereas a dull blade will tug and tear at your hair when you use it. You should also clean any hair out of your blade after each stroke, as this will keep it working longer. Try using a blade antiseptic, or just plain rubbing alcohol, on your razor before you use it. This will remove unwanted bacteria that could otherwise irritate your skin.

 

Make sure you are treating your skin right

Here at Kensington Barbers, we know that preparation is key if you want to avoid razor bumps.  Before you shave, wash your face with hot water and soap, opening your pores and cleansing your skin. If you’re prone to suffering from razor bumps, then consider using a pre-shave oil to give your skin some extra protection.  After you’ve shaved, make sure you apply some moisturiser or shaving balm to your skin to soothe it. Many men use aftershave but this can further irritate the skin for some so find what works for you.

 

Shave less often, shave properly

Give your skin more time to recover from the last time you shaved by waiting a day or two before you next go at it with a razor. Why not make your shave less regular but more of a treat by coming down to Kensington Barbers and letting one of our experts look after you?

When you do shave, make sure you work up a thick lather of shaving cream over the hair. Always shave with the grain, even though this doesn’t shave as close in a single stroke, it helps further reduce the risk of razor bumps, as does using shorter lighter strokes.

 

Treating razor bumps

First things first, if you develop razor bumps or irritated skin after shaving, then don’t shave again for a few days. This should be obvious, but let your skin recover and a decent layer of stubble grow through before you shave again. To avoid further irritating your skin, don’t use products with alcohol but instead look for products that contain lidocaine or aloe vera. These ingredients work to prevent irritation and soothe the skin, and are found in many popular shaving balms. There are also many products available that specifically treat razor bumps and should be applied twice a day to be most effective.

Best Product For Razor Burn / Razor Bumps

Bump Patrol

Bump Patrol is one of the leading shaving brands in the drugstore market that is specifically geared toward men who struggle and are concerned with shaving irritation.

Regardless of your ethnicity if you struggle with razor burn, razor bumps, or ingrown hairs Bump Patrol will be you new best friend.

It does sting the first time you use it but you do get used to it after the 3rd or 4th use. Also, it does contain alcohol so you might want to stay on top of keeping your skin moisturized.

Why You Should Know The Shape Of Your Face

Why You Should Know The Shape Of Your Face

Are you an oval, or more of a square? Perhaps you’re a diamond, or even a heart. No, these aren’t the results of a personality quiz about which shape you’ll be reincarnated as, this is about the shape of your face.

Here at Kensington Barbers, we know that many of you won’t have given much—if any – thought to the shape of your face, but that really shouldn’t be the case. The shape of your face plays an often underappreciated role in how well your haircut or facial hair suits you.  If you’ve ever gotten your hair cut in a particular style, only to realise afterwards that it doesn’t suit you at all, the most likely reason is that you haven’t made sure the style you want compliments the shape of the face you already have.

It’s going to get a bit technical now, so hopefully you remember some of your high school maths lessons enough to keep up. To figure out your face shape you first need to take several measurements – from hairline down to chin, across your forehead from eyebrow to eyebrow, across the middle of your face from cheekbone to cheekbone, then measure from one ear down to your chin then up to your other ear. Got those four measurements? Good! Now compare these measurements to a checklist of the different face shapes until you find a match… or you could ask your barber to work it out for you, whichever’s easier for you.

As the leading barbers in Kensington, we understand how big a commitment a new haircut can be, like a new shirt except you can’t take it off if your mates say it looks rubbish.

If, for example, one of the many ways in which you are just like Brad Pitt is that you both have square shaped faces – where the various measurements of your face are more or less equal and you have a sharp jawline – then a neat and classic hairstyle will suit you best. Or maybe you have more of an oval face shape? Oval faces tend to suit shorter sides with more length on top and a light fringe. If your face is a diamond in the rough then you’ll want to keep the sides longer, with more layers in your hair.       

Every face shape has hairstyles that suit it more than others, and there are always exceptions to these rules to help keep things complicated. It’s strange to think that something you may never have considered has been affecting your appearance for your whole life.

This is why it is important that your barber is an artist at the top of their game, who knows which hairstyles will suit your face shape the best, so you’re happy to not only pay for their services but also to trust their judgment. This is exactly the kind of service you can expect from Kensington Barbers, so pay us a visit and let us take care of your hair for you.

Best Barber Hairstyles If You’re Losing Your Hair

Best Barber Hairstyles If You’re Losing Your Hair


We’re the leading barber in Kensington and, as such, we see hairstyles of pretty much every shape style, colour and type. We like to think that there’s no challenge we’re not up to meeting head on, as it were, but there’s one issue which virtually every man will have to face up to at some point in their life, and that’s the loss of hair.

We’re a hair salon for men, and so we see every single type of hair loss imaginable, and we’re also witness to the desperate steps which some men take to combat this loss. We’re not talking about plugs, toupees or weaves, by the way – these are high concept ‘solutions’ to hair loss which take their proponents way beyond the reach of even the best barbers (which is what we are, did we mention it?). What we’re referring to is the kind of desperate attempt to cover a loss of hair which probably reached its peak with the kind of comb over once sported so resplendently by Sir Bobby Charlton. Solutions such as this, and other rather extreme measures (we’re looking at you, President Trump), generally do little more than call hilarious attention to the loss which they were actually intended to disguise, and the sad part is that it doesn’t have to be this way. If your locks aren’t quite as luxurious as they once were, and you don’t yet feel ready plump for the nuclear option of the total shave, then there are various approaches which can be taken, depending upon the precise nature of the problem.

If you’re losing your hair on top, but not quite so much at the front, then ask your barber to cut it in layers which rest on top of each other, creating the illusion of their being more hair than there actually is. This, allied to the fact that your actual bald spot is only going to be visible from above and behind, should allow you to keep the worst effects in check for quite some time. Rest assured, however, that there will come a point at which the loss becomes so noticeable that a full shave is the only realistic option.

A far more common form of hair loss, and one which can sneak up on men, is the receding hairline and the appearance of the ‘widow’s peak’. This is what happens when the hair at the temples recedes gradually, leaving a point of hair in the centre of the forehead. Take a look in the mirror and, if you’re a man of a certain age, there’s every chance your forehead has slowly but surely become bigger as the years roll by. Rest assured, however, there are some cuts which deal with this problem.

‘Cuts’ is the operative word here, since the best piece of advice is to resist clinging on to your longer hair and, thus, looking somewhat desperate. For the starkest version of this phenomenon, picture the last time you saw a bloke with hardly any hair on his head and a pony tail cascading down his back……

Pay us a visit and we’ll be able to advise exactly which type of cut will best suit your individual receding hairline. For some, it will be a simple short back and sides, for others the more extreme ‘undercut’, whilst Jude Law, to choose a celebrity at random, is a good example of a man who embraces his widows peak by keeping his hair a little longer all round, but still short and neat.

Maintaining Your Awesome Beard

Maintaining Your Awesome Beard


As the best barbershop in Kensington (that’s not boasting, it’s just a fact), we know everything there is to know about the hair on your head. When you visit us, you won’t just be getting a simple men’s haircut in Kensington, you’ll be getting comprehensively restyled by someone who is an artist in their own right. The days when men’s barbers offered a short back and sides and not much else are long gone. A modern hair salon for men will offer all of the grooming and styling help, advice and treatment that the smart modern gentleman could possibly ask for.

That includes knowing how to look after not just the hair on top of your head, but also the hair on your face as well. It can’t have escaped your notice that we seem to be living through something of a golden age for beards. Everyone, from the hipster behind the counter at your local coffee shop to Premiership footballers and Hollywood A-listers, seems to be taking the plunge and sporting a full set of facial topiary. Since growing a beard in the first place is generally quite simple – you basically just stop shaving – many men assume that letting nature and their hair follicles let rip and do what they will is the way to go. The danger with this approach is that you run the risk of going full Roy Keane – which is to say sporting the kind of wildly extravagant beard which creates the impression that you’ve just emerged, blinking, from several years of solitary confinement.

The experts in the best barbershop in Kensington will be able to advise you as to what type and style of beard would suit your face and hairstyle, and they will also be able to offer expert after-care tips. Just like the hair on your head, the hair sprouting from your face needs grooming and looking after, and the following are just a few of the items which you’ll need to equip yourself with when deciding to join the ranks of the bearded.

Beard Trimmer

Although the full shave may become a thing of the past, you’ll still need a top quality electric trimmer in order to maintain the shape of your beard, tidy up details such as your sideburns and the hair growing down your neck and deal with any growth which appears beyond the designated beard zone.

Beard Shampoo

Ordinary shampoo will get your beard clean, soap will get the skin underneath clean. Beard shampoo will do both, at the same time as leaving your beard softer and richly moisturised.

Beard Control

Unless you go for the close cropped Noel Edmonds look (and we’ll give it a more positive spin by pointing out that Thierry Henry, amongst others, has gone for the same option), your beard, just like the hair on your head, is going to need product to keep it under control. The right beard control will act as a styling gel at the same time as keeping your beard in top condition.

Beard Brush

The hair of your beard could get tangled and unruly just like the rest of your hair. You must have noticed, however – unless you’re particularly unlucky – that your beard hair is of a different type and texture to your head hair. That’s why it needs a different brush, a dedicated beard brush, using something like boar bristles, to keep things tidy and knot-free.