After years and years of brands, women, celebrities and fashion designers calling on men to take as much care of themselves as women do, finally the trend seems to be taking on; spreading from the catwalk streets of Cape Town to the central golden spot of South Africa – Sandton City. Yet, while it may still be acceptable for men to disregard certain rules when it comes to personal grooming for the sake of the male-macho psychological pillar, nobody can deny that a well-groomed man attracts a lot of attention, be it in the love-life or business arenas. Sorbet, the express beauty salon that has established itself very well the world over has taken a bold step, and introduces Sorbet Man to the hordes of wealthy, sudo-wealthy, and well-to-do men in Johannesburg.
Nestled in the corner of Sandton City that houses the majority of the beauty salons and parlours, Sorbet Man sticks out like a well-manicured thumb; it’s razor blade signage brazenly communicating that this space is for men – and men only. Not that this has caused any offence to women – quite the opposite actually, with women welcoming a salon of this nature, which they hope will finally tame the nose and ear hairs of their beloveds.
And with the same professional nature we have come to expect from the Sorbet staff, the Sorbet Men staff know exactly what their target audience is after – friendly, efficient and personalised service without the fuss and drama of salons catering to the previously-fairer sex. Yes, this is a place where a man can come in, kick off his shoes (yes, literally as there is a show sinner waiting to apply his trade), and discover a world of personal grooming unbeknownst to them previously, while sipping on a cappuccino or whisky.
Here a South African guy can finally experience the joy of a hot towel shave – a process that forces you to relax and hand your stubble over to those that simply know better.
It starts with the face and neck being wrapped in a moist, hot towel, and left to get to work for a few minutes. The hot towel prepares the areas that are to be shaved. Its not a standard shave, but an extremely close traditional blade shave, and for this to do what it needs to do, the skin and hair need to be prepared. The hot towel softens the skin, hair and hair follicles so that resistance to the blade is minimised. Be prepared for simply the closest shave you will ever have. Its like regressing to a prepubescent state – not a sign of stubble in sight.
Now, not every barber knows how to do this properly, and Sorbet Man certainly has made sure that the barbers they have working at Sorbet Man are deserving of that title. Between them, they have shaved and groomed some of the most powerful men in the world, having worked in various financial hubs around the world. These hands are hands that you can trust.
But its not just the barbers that are of exceptional quality; so too are the products both used and sold in Sorbet Man. Traditional methods and tools are coming back in a big way – thanks in part to the rise in the hipster movement, which ironically started as a trend that rejected anything manicured or styled, and ended up being a trend which symbolised a level of personal grooming and styling in men not seen since the Victorian era. Anyway, its great to rediscover the brush and bowl method of mixing your shaving cream to the right consistency, then applying the cream to the face in circular motions – preparing the hair and skin for a close shave.
And, when your treatment is over, take a stroll through the grooming products section, where the usual upper-end male grooming products are on offer, but also male grooming products that are a little less know.
One new favourite is the Bluebeards Revenge range of products – developed by an UK ex-royal marine David Hildrew. The Big Blue Bar of Soap for Blokes is more than a soap, its also a tool to check yourself for any lumps and bumps in the shower. Lather up, cover yourself in a film of soap, take some time to check that everything is okay downstairs, then since off. Also, it s a monster of a soap bar – for guys that are simply fed up with bars of soap that been to disappear too quickly.
So, if want a place to go to discover just how much fun getting a good clean-up can be, take a look at the Sorbet Man website, then pop through to Sandton City to introduce yourself – just a heads-up, if you are looking to get a pluck or shave, phone through and book first. Sorbet Man has been discovered, and men are streaming through to become regulars – including me.