So I’ve been out and about travelling now for a year and while I try to make this blog about my travels it is morphing into other areas. Food and recipes have slipped in and while I’ve written over 6000 words on singing I’ve yet to stage any pictures just yet so that will have to wait. Today I am celebrating beards and barbers. Being without hair since my 20s I chose to grow a beard – pre Game of Thrones I will add. As beards became hip I was always one step ahead on the length front. However now there are so many men and young guys out there who can grow far longer and thicker beards than me.
Like this gorgeous git in Rome. Beard envy is an ugly thing and I don’t like to admit I suffer with it but I do! Gone are the number of times I used to be stopped by folk to say how cool my beard is. My only crumb left now is the rarer colour of my beard and that is slowly growing whiter.
The Father Christmas jokes are more and more frequent. However I’d like to point out, very forcefully that “I am the God of Water”.
I like to think my beard is more classical Greek or Roman God but who am I kidding? I’d need to go to the gym to pull that one off.
Even Thor in the recent films now has a brown beard. What is happening!?! Recently I’ve been called Ragnar from the TV series the Vikings but that’s because he bald and bearded.
In Amsterdam last year I was stopped by the Dutch TV host Humberto Tan so that he could photograph me for his Instagram account. I wanted to take the elastic out of my beard to free it up but he said ;eave it as it is. So I did. Most likes I’ve ever had. It went to my head and then disappointed me as I’ve failed to ever get more than 60. But I don’t have the fan base for those figures. So thanks for the delusion Humberto haha.
Having a beard can involve a regime of care that I do stick to even though my original reason for growing a beard was because I was too lazy to shave. In my Hastings barber bolt hole Charisma they have a machine that provides steam to keep the pores open to create a closer shave.
It’s also very cosy in the winter months and reminds me of Fenella Fielding in Carry On Screaming. Here Omar is keeping my head oh so smooth.
Recently articles have begun to appear that detail that beards create a micro culture that protects the wearer from infections. Some articles have even suggested that advances in antibiotics might be found on a beard. This is an amazing idea. Personally I don’t ever wash my beard with soaps or shampoos. I only use water and I oil it everyday. The only problem with this is an oily beard will mark your clothes so I tie my beard up until it dries. I used to use a single tie but this caused my beard to develop a kink that looked rather daft so now I separate it into three sections to pin it up.
This was meant to be a private, at home thing but while out one day in France I noticed a few odd looks and suddenly realised I forgotten to let my beard out. But now I deliberately go out with my upside down Björk look. Always trying to be one step ahead of the masses of hipsters. Haha.
So beard oil is an essential travel item, along with moustache wax, dolly comb and elastic ties. I like to use Captain Fawcett’s moustache wax – Ricky Hall’s Booze and Baccy scent. I even took photos of my Wideye light coconut oil while in Machu Picchu.
I love Wideye in Rye and though they make a great range of beard oils I like to mix up my own scent so I smell unique haha. You can inhale now and tell me I smell gorgeous.
In Lima I purchased a skin and beard oil by a company Vikingo as it seemed like it was made especially for me.
It was while I had my head shaved in Carppone, the wonderful barbers in Peru’s capital. Diego was the dude with the razor here. The shop is funky and bursting with Lima’s coolest guys.
In Rome I went to a great men’s barbers and spa where I was groomed and massaged and sanded down to a level only Italian perfection allows. This was the superb Wonderfool.
In Sicily I went to visit Scicli where the famously bald Inspector Montalbano has his office. Here the fabulous Vincenzo wielded his razor blade to smooth my scalp.
The word barber comes from Italian and there is still a massive tradition of men going for a wet shave. I also went to see the wonderful Francesco in Santa Croce Camerina. He was a cool dude who was fun and kind even with my terrible Italian and his far better English.
As you will discover if you ever want to visit the world’s best scumbag barbers then you will have to go to Schorem in Rotterdam. The Temple of Groom.
Here they host a training school and offer the most wonderful experience ever. I keep trying to work out daft ways to travel via Rotterdam just to go back here for the glory that is the greatest ashtray cool hole cutters ever.
Follow them on Instagram and you will see the global leaders in barbering and trend setting cuts. My tragedy is that I have no hair for them to be artistic with. But they rule.
Beards are helpful for pretending to be artistic and also go great with wigs. As can be seen from this still from my video on YouTube ‘The Sound of Corbyn’.
To end this total beard vanity project I leave you with more photographs of me and my beard.
So stop shaving guys and grow whatever you can and be a bearded warrior. Any guys with beards who would like to be part of a big beard page just email me and attached your pictures. Long beards only mind. Stubble ain’t a beard it lacks dedication.