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Two of Hong Kong’s best barbers give us their insights on how to stay sharp

Barbering has been back for a while, and luckily for us we’re spoilt for choice in Hong Kong. Two barbershops of note are Saloon barber in Pacific Place and Hair House by Adam Chan  which is tucked away in a quiet corner of Sau Wa Fong in Wan Chai’s Star Street Precinct. The latter caters to a mix of gentlemen with its appealing vintage interiors and throwback vibes, while the former’s chic interior is dominated by dark wood finishes and offers all-round grooming services and – because why not? – the possibility of a fine malt whisky.


We asked Saloon’s Roar Guns and Hair House’s Adam Chan to share some of the wisdom they’ve gleaned over decades in the business of giving each man a stylish and timeless appearance.

Grooming is about following timeless principles and considering your whole look

On the art of grooming…

Adam Chan: ‘Barbering has never been about following modern-day trends. Real barbers focus on the principles of line, silhouette and style, all of which never go out of style. Just like the classic white tee and denim combo, the classic styles are almost always the best. And these classic styles are typically masculine. If you’re after, say, a cute Korean look with a natural perm finish, we recommend that you visit a hair salon instead.’


Roar Guns: ‘Barbering is critical to maintaining your look, so we recommend a trim every two to four weeks to clean up dead ends and grow and maintain healthy hair. It’s also important to make sure any facial hair is nicely shaped and trimmed at all times. But as important as barbering is, there’s more to grooming than that. That’s why we opened as not just a barber’s salon – we’re a whole-concept lifestyle salon for men and women. We offer services like eyebrow trimming, skincare for men and women and manicures and pedicures as well.’


The barbers share their product preferences with us

On hair products for men…

Adam Chan: ‘For Asian men who usually have hair that’s both straight and stiff, we recommend using a strong water-based pomade – it helps to flatten down any unwanted spikes and also creates a nice slicked-back look. When using it, never dry your hair completely before application. Doing so will dramatically alter the pomade’s effectiveness and durability, meaning your hairstyle won’t last as long.


In terms of products, we love using Uppercut Deluxe from Australia and Prospectors from the United States. Both have good pomade and aftershave products, with the latter’s products also containing the nourishment of natural hemp oil.’


Roar Guns: ‘For guys who want to look smart but have a more casual style, we recommend using evo Texture Paste, which gives a strong texture hold and an extremely matte finish. For guys who want a more formal, business-friendly look, we recommend using evo’s Construction Cream, which gives a shiny effect and a malleable hold for a perfect day-long style.’


A good cut is an investment that will pay off

On hairstyles for men and the importance of a good cut…

Adam Chan: ‘A good cut is a worthwhile purchase, and an investment that will pay back dividends. We encourage all men to take the time to visit a barber, who can help you to rock a hairstyle with sharp, clean lines and a smooth fade. We guarantee it’ll make any man look like a million dollars.’


Roar Guns: ‘A good haircut lasts long after you leave the barbershop. But how long exactly?

It all depends on the way it’s been cut, the length and your hair’s growth rate – it varies anywhere between two and six weeks.’

There are ways to shave and ways not to...

On shaving…

Adam Chan: ‘A good shave follows a few simple rules. Firstly, begin with good-quality shaving cream and a thorough face massage to prime the hair follicles and skin. Next, make sure to study the direction of your hair growth, and to shave with the grain and never against. This will help to avoid and minimise the inconveniences of razor burn.’


Roar Guns: ‘Shaving rash is a common problem for men. To avoid shaving rashes, prepare your skin before shaving. Soften your beard with pre-shave oil, use a badger brush, shave with the grain, use light short strokes. After you’ve finished, rinse your face with warm water. This pulls the excess lather from your face and cleans the pores. Then rinse your face with cold water to seal those freshly cleaned pores. Finally, use an aftershave containing aloe vera or tea tree oil, as they’re great for calming the skin.’

Daniel is a superbly put-together man about town. You can see his styling work in this issue’s Lavish Chinoiserie feature  and follow him @theblackren

Product availability was checked at the time of publishing
Uppercut Featherweight Pomade & Deluxe Pomade available from Hair House by Adam Chan
Uppercut Featherweight Pomade & Deluxe Pomade available from Hair House by Adam Chan
Harry’s Shaving Products available from Drivepro
Harry’s Shaving Products available from Drivepro
Bolin Webb R1 Chrome available from Joyce Beauty
Bolin Webb R1 Chrome available from Joyce Beauty
Refinery Shave Oil & Post Shave Balm available from Lane Crawford
Refinery Shave Oil & Post Shave Balm available from Lane Crawford
evo Shaving Cream available from Saloon
evo Shaving Cream available from Saloon