Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is coming up, and as all men know, we can’t forget mom.

So what can a man do for his mom to thank her for all she has done for us.

There are always the go to ideas like flowers and chocolates, but what about ideas that are a little more different. Here is a list of unique mother’s day ideas:

1. Zip-lining. If you have an adventurous mom, nothing says I love like throwing her down a zip-line. There are several zip-line companies in town. It is a great way to bond with mom, and get the whole family involved.

2. Renting scooters are a real hoot! There are a few scooter rental companies in Victoria. You never know, mom may love to zoom around town. Just make sure you take her a to nice restaurant afterward.

3. Vineyard tours are another great gift idea for mom. Try a great local site such as Averill Creek. They have great views and a nice wine selection.

4. Feeding the seals at Oak Bay Marina is a neat few hours. My sources tell me that you can head on down to Oak Bay Marina, and get up and close to these cute little creatures.

5. Of course, there is nothing like letting mom relax with a good old pedicure.  Check out OM nailspa for one of the best pedicures in Victoria.

Finally, remember to say: “I love you mom!”

Another successful shaving course at Uomo

Another day has come and gone. But it was like no other day for those who attended Uomo’s Professional Shaving Workshop.

We had another sold-out class, with eager professionals wanting to learn the craft of straight razor shaving. It is always so rewarding to me to be able to share what I have learned over twenty years in the beauty and barbering industry. This is what professionals need to do. Pass on their knowledge to enhance our industry standards. I encourage all professionals who have something to share to get out there and give back to the industry that has given us all so much.  It is our duty and responsibility to be ambassadors of our trade!

Today, we had people from Nanaimo and the Sunshine Coast as well as Victoria come and join us in a six hour intensive workshop. They all walked away with the understanding of the very foundation of an ancient craft. They learned the 14 shaving areas of the face, the four main strokes in shaving as well as OM proprietary terminology such as the 4 T’s. They are a mental checklist that every barber needs to do before they start shaving. It ensures accuracy and comfort for the client.

Everyone had a chance to work with live models (gulp!) and they are performed admirably.  I think the next generation of shavers walked out of my store today, and I am very proud of them.

Thank you everyone who attended, and I wish you all the best of luck in your shaving endeavors!

If you want to learn more about our workshops, just email us.

Safety razor or straight razor?

I am often asked:  “Steve, what do you recommend: a straight razor or a safety razor”

The first thing I will ask is how much time they want to spend shaving in the morning.  For men that are always rushed and do not have allot of time, then the safety razor would be ideal.  This is because it handles very much like a cartridge razor.  There are a few subtle differences that you should be aware of.

A Safety Razor available in store.

First of all, a safety razor is a long term investment.  Over time, you will save A LOT of money.  Nowadays, the average cartridge pack can run upwards of 20-25$.  As you may know, one cartridge lasts a few shaves, and then you need to replace it.  After a while, this can really add up.

The replacement blades for a safety razor can cost as little as $3.99 per pack.  If you invest in a platinum tipped blades, then they can last a little longer, which makes the savings even more profound.

Another similarity of the safety razor to the modern day cartridge razor is the ease of use.  Once you have prepared your face with a good shaving soap, then shaving is almost the same.  The biggest difference is that with a safety razor, it is important to apply LESS pressure.  The blades are usually sharper, and pushing the razor into your skin will cause irritation and nicking.

Of course, if you are gentleman of greater leisure, you could forgo the safety razor for a straight razor.  This is another animal entirely.  The learning curve with the straight razor is much steeper.  It normally takes a new shaver 6 months to feel comfortable shaving.  Just make sure that you are well awake and have and at least one espresso before you get going. It would also be advisable to talk to us about training. We often train new shavers how to use a straight razor, which would be a wise investment.

Either way, the safety or the straight razor is a great option for men who want a more nostalgic (and less expensive) way to shave.  Just make sure that you pick a razor that is best for your lifestyle.  If you ever have any doubt about which one to pick, come on down to the store, and we can help you choose from our in store selection,

British Barber’s Association

Before 2000, there was a British Columbia Barber Association that ensured the quality standards of the barbering trade.  All barbers had to have appropriate credentials displaying that they were trained in the craft.

After 2000, things changed, for better or for worse.  The BC government absorbed the BC Barbering Act eliminating the need for barbers to have credentials.  This had a  two pronged effect:

  1. The BC Barber Association was extinguished
  2. The newly deregulated world of barbering was left open for new entries without qualification

How has this affected the barbering world in BC?

To answer this question, all you have to do is look around.  Barbershops are popping up everywhere.  Having been in the industry for most of my life, and having owned my own business for over ten years, I have seen a huge growth in interest in the barbering industry.  Before the changes, most people interested in the beauty/grooming industry were more drawn to hairdressing.  I assume this is because hairdressing may have a more glamorous appeal.  Maybe the lure of money is the culprit.  Or maybe industry professionals prefer to deal with woman than men.

Well, things have certainly changed.  Now it seems ‘men’ are all the rage. With slick shows like ‘Mad Men’, and movies like ‘Mansome’ it seems men, and the professionals that service men, are coming back in the spotlight.  Suddenly, there is a insatiable need for all things men.  There are colognes for men, hair products, shaving products, clothes, cars etc., etc. Men are the new ‘it’ thing, and the barbering world in BC is left without a strong barbering association to support this demand.

So where do barbering professionals turn to.  Where is the ‘rock’ for barbers?  Where do they go to find support and exchange? Where can they go to talk men’s grooming with like-minded industry leaders?

In BC, there is the Beauty Council which advocates the rights and standards of all beauty professionals.  In fact, this is where I teach a number of barbering courses designed to give would-be barbers the education they need to further their skills.  It is a great place to start.

But as a hungry and passionate barber, I am always looking for different perspectives on my craft.  This is why I chose to become accredited with the British Barber Association.

What does this mean for Uomo Modern Barber and its customers?

As the first and only barbershop in Canada to attain this accreditation, it means that Uomo and its staff has first hand access to the latest barbering trends and education coming out of Europe.  Normally, what hits Europe first, arrives to Canada a few months later.

Secondly, accreditation means that we are a business that has fully qualified and licensed barbering professionals.  We take our craft seriously and our service to our customers seriously.  It means that we have a high standard of cleanliness (yes…we clean our combs after every haircut and use disinfected equipment including disposable straight razors that are never used twice).  It means that when you walk into Uomo, you can rest assured that we are passionate and creative professionals that care about our clients, their safety and their style.

Finally, we did it because we love all things barbering, and to be associated with the BBA is a strong gesture of our commitment to the industry.