HOW THE UK'S FIRST BLACK-OWNED MEN'S GROOMING BRAND MAKES WAVES IN U.S.
There is nothing sexier than a man who goes the extra mile when it comes to grooming. A lifestyle once deemed as “metrosexual” is now more dominant than ever, specifically for black men in the United Kingdom. Aaron Wallace, founder of Britain’s first black-owned grooming brand, Shear & Shine, knows a thing or two about this booming business – and has zero plans to slow down anytime soon. I caught up with Wallace via Skype to get the scoop on what’s hot and on-trend in men’s grooming, his business venture, and what’s next for the Shear & Shine brand.
Aaron’s philosophy on men’s grooming is quite simple: education. Working on the front lines as a barber back in the day gave him a bird’s eye view of the voids that were prevalent for black men in this business. “When I was cutting hair, men would ask me all the time about different remedies for their specific hair concerns, and even their skin, he said. Dry scalp is one of the major concerns for black men, and there were no products on the market specifically for black men, so I made the move myself.”
With a background in business and many years of hard work under his belt, Wallace moved full-steam ahead with the product launch of Shear & Shine. Consumers can purchase a bevy of men’s grooming products including: shampoos, conditioners, shower gel, fragrances and plenty of oils online, or if you live in the NYC area, check them out at Untamed Beauty & Manes in Brooklyn. And of course since shaving is a huge part of the men’s grooming game, the Regal Beard Oil is a top seller that serves to nourish, hydrate and promote healthy hair growth. Y’all already know I can’t shout out a product without mentioning the ingredients! Powerhouse components such as peppermint and cinnamon oils promote healthy cell turnover - (another way to say “exfoliate” for those of y’all who are new to this) and are great for oily, resilient skin types. And there’s a body oil on the menu that apparently smells like heaven in a bottle , or so I’ve heard.
Entrepreneurship isn’t exempt from its own set of unique challenges. There’s always a long laundry list of pitfalls that could get in the way, including folks who are insusceptible to your new ideas. “Getting some of the elders in the barber community to embrace what we are trying to do now has been a challenge, he said. I want them to see both the potential to increase their business, but more importantly, the value that stocking our products brings to their customers.” Regardless of these challenges, the dapper businessman prides himself on being persistent in this ever-changing industry. “Success doesn’t happen overnight in this business. There’s a lot of responsibility when you’re the first one to do something, but when you reach your goals, it’s all worth it", he said.
We can expect to see major growth from the brand for many years to come, including an advancement in their product portfolio and retail expansions both globally and here in the states. An industry once seen as “taboo” is now a multibillion-dollar business thanks to trailblazers like Aaron Wallace. Who knows, maybe he’ll even open a store here in Chicago!