#CREATOR: Julien Blanchard of GROOM

1. First off, can you tell us a bit about GROOM?
Groom began in the humblest and simplest of ways. We were three friends who found the need to groom our newly grown beards and moustaches, and the market at the time offered virtually no options. I remember a whole day spent going from barber shop to specialized hair care shops in search of some moustache wax. Not only was there none to be found but no one knew where I could find some. My increasingly drooping moustache however could not wait forever before getting some stiffener!

For some time we found products online, from micro producers (Etsy was the best source at the time), but every product we’d buy seemed not quite right for our needs.After reading all the labels and looking at all of the ingredients we began trying out some formulas. With a Moustache Wax, a Beard Oil and a Shaving Oil, we started with a small line and the name Groom was founded.

2. What inspired you to launch GROOM?

Inspiration came from the classic ways of grooming. Shaving brushes, straight-blade razors, safety razors and such. It was a time where suspenders and bow ties were making their comeback, and some new classic barber shops were opening. The turn of the century « Belle époque » was a clear inspiration for us. It seemed like a return to a more sustainable and genuine approach to men’s grooming, compared to the desperately empty and homogenized vision of men’s care we see in the media.

3. What are some of the current facial hair trends?
The full beard will continue to gain ground on faces for some time, and probably going fuller and longer. We also see a lot of guys wearing a moustache in different ways: not too long ago we were seeing some acrobatic handlebar moustaches, but now you find more short-trimmed, fine moustache (Clark Gable-style), as well as more full-on Tom Selleck moustaches on either a clean-shaven or scruffy face).
4. What are your favourite products from GROOM? 
My 3 favourite products of our line would be the following: 1- the beard oil, since it really is that simple to use, universal treatment for beards of all types; 2- the shaving cream, which produces a hugely generous lather for a fantastic shave; 3- the aftershave splash, it’s a very classic aftershave with a bit of alcohol, and with its invigorating and cooling effect it’s my go-to summer aftershave.
5.  Any advice for those looking to achieve the perfect summer beard?
Summer is the best time to grow a beard. Warm weather is softer on your skin versus that freezing winter air, so you’re less likely to get extra itching from the first stages of growth. Once fall arrives you’ll be in full-gear to understand how your skin and hair work and your face will appreciate the extra protection from the harsher winter weather. The first step is to commit to the beard, starting with getting a beard oil straight away; you’ll be grateful to have it on the day your face starts feeling itchy. The beard oil will soften the bristles, relieving from the itchiness; that way you’ll be able to go through that crucial stage. The rest is smooth sailing, just don’t forget to visit a qualified barber once it seems your beard is taking control of your face; he will help give it shape and structure. Enjoy your new beard!

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