To celebrate Movember, we've teamed up with Well Groomed to offer free facial hair grooming, trimming and styling at our Old Spitalfields Market store.
If you've been growing your moustache for Movemeber, we've got you covered. And if you haven't, you can still drop by for some pampering, a browse of our glasses and free cup of coffee by Caravan Coffee Roasters.
Well Groomed is a luxury barber service run by Benjamin Goakes, currently located at Mare Street Market and also offering mobile services for grooms. Ben offers an indulgent experience in a fun and relaxed atmosphere which he'll be bringing to our Spitalfields store.
Movember is the leading global organisation committed to changing the face of men's health and we’re proud to have supported the cause for a number of years now. We'll also be offering a promotion on the day to support the cause, any amount that you donate to the Movember charity to the price of £15, we'll take off a pair of glasses if you purchase on the day. Just show us your donation receipt.
The event will be hosted at Work Sight in our Old Spitalfields Market store on Sunday November 24 between 11am and 4pm. Register your interest via Eventbrite, but be sure to come down early as registration doesn't guarantee a spot!
We spoke to Ben ahead of our Movemeber event to get the long and short of the barber business.
Firstly, tell us how you got into barbering.
So I started off just cutting hair for friends, I think the first time I did a haircut it was actually after a night out, I’d had a few drinks and my mate just asked me to give him a haircut. The next day he was like, “Oh, this is actually quite a good haircut!”. I think we were still at uni at the time and we had another night out and somebody saw his haircut and asked who did his hair. My friend told him that I’d done it after a night out and it turned out that this guy was actually the Creative Director of Toni and Guy at the time, so from there I was like, “Oh wow, I could be good at this.”
After that I went to Australia, at the time it was a much needed job over there so I did all of my proper training in Australia. I did a three year training course and then after that I worked and did an apprenticeship in a barber shop.
What was the first ever haircut you did for your friend that night?
I think it was just a very basic back and sides kind of thing with no blend or anything.
It must have been pretty good!
Yeah I guess it was, he was happy with it!
What is your favourite style to cut?
I suppose more of the shorter styles, but I’ve been doing a lot of longer cuts recently, that’s definitely coming back now, those longer more casual styles.
I was going to ask whether you’d seen any major trends emerging recently?
Yeah, that’s a massive one. The longer hair is definitely back. There was a time when Peaky Blinders first started and everyone wanted the Peaky Blinders haircut, that very short fade. I think I saw that much more in Australia as well. But now it’s definitely longer, more textured choppy cuts. It’s nice for it to be more versatile, you don’t want to feel like you’re just bashing out the same cut every day so it’s nice to have a bit of a change.
And as well as haircuts you do grooming and personal care for facial hair. What’s your advice for taking care of a beard?
Definitely making sure you condition it well. A lot of guys don’t really put anything in their beard, but it’s quite important. We use a beard balm here which is basically a conditioning treatment and that gives your beard a bit of a hold as well. I’m also in the middle of creating a CBD beard balm which will be quite cool! CBD improves hair growth and it also has natural disinfectant properties so it’s especially great for those big beards. It smells great as well, we didn’t want to make the smell too overpowering though because it can go against the fragrance you’re wearing and you don’t want it to mess with that.
Is that something you can use when washing your hair as well as your beard?
Yeah, so you can use it as a hair balm as well. There are so many benefits to CBD, I mean it does seem like a bit of a fad at the moment but for hair it’s actually really good.
Do you have any other must-do grooming tips?
I think it’s good every now and then, maybe every three or four weeks, to get a very basic tidy up just on the cheeks and whatnot. So we do a hot towel and a facial before the beard trim as well which preps your skin. Then we’ll do a cleanser, an exfoliant scrub and a hot towel and we’ll apply the CBD, do the shave, then another towel. So it’s a really nice, relaxing experience. Most people actually fall asleep!
So, we can find you here at Mare St Market. What are some gems that you’d suggest for people who are going to come visit?
The bar is amazing, they do heaps of great cocktails. You also get a free drink with your haircut, so you can get a beer, whiskey, a coffee. One of the best hidden gems I would say is Stranger Than Paradise, the record store here, that’s run by Noreen who started out at Rough Trade Records. I’ve been spending all my haircut money on records, I just go straight over there. She’s got some weird and wonderful things.
Can you tell me what else you have going on at the moment on top of your work here at Mare St Market?
We also do events, it’s called Well Groomed because it was originally for grooms on their wedding day. So similar to how bridesmaids get their hair and makeup done, we do shaves and haircuts and prepping on the day of the wedding. When bridesmaids are getting their hair and makeup done in the morning it’s time for guys to have their own thing, traditionally guys have been kind left to their own devices so we do that as well.
Thanks Ben, we’re so excited to collaborate with you for Movemeber!