The beard’s back, and with it, the requirement that men take their investment in grooming up a few notches.
No longer just for bushrangers and those who don’t have easy access to a blade, ‘statement’ facial hair has recently been on the rise, especially among younger men.
“The art of barbering has been trending for about five years,” says Merimbula hair salon owner Claire Simonson, who owns Arcuthi.
After seeing how big men’s hair and beard design was at an Australian Hair Expo a few years ago, Claire created her own barbershop, upstairs from Arcuthi’s main salon.
Late last year, Claire and her crew welcomed barber Dan Douch, who grew up in Bombala and, at 23, already has an impressive resume.
“I was working as a labourer out of high school and cutting my friend’s hair as a favour and I just decided I wanted to do it for a living, so I started an apprenticeship at a Canberra salon,” Dan shares.
After Canberra, Dan moved to Albury to finish his study and made the switch from hairdressing to barbering.
“I was in Albury for about three years and I was starting to think about moving back home or to the coast but there wasn’t much demand for a barber in Bombala.”
Dan is pretty happy to have been offered four days work with Arcuthi in Merimbula and has found a place to rent in Tura Beach.
While Dan’s focus is on men’s cuts and shaves, he still has the skills to do longer styles and women’s cuts.
“There are differences in how men and women tend to approach a cut,” he says. “Women tend to be more particular and to know what they want more, while men are a bit more open to suggestions about what suits them.”
Dan thinks there’s pressure on his mates to be good-looking and present well on social media, but he says his clients are a mixture of everyone from “kids to old blokes”.
For adult clients, Arcuthi barber has a liquor licence after 5:00 pm, so you can enjoy an after-work beer and a cut or shave at the same time.
“I’m taking it all as it comes,” Dan says in between clients. “I want to stay here and build up the barber side of things. I’m thankful to Claire for giving me that chance.”