“Looking Like A Natural Man Is Attractive”
Mr Ruben Aronov of Freemans Sporting Club Barber shares some grooming (and life) advice
Anyone who gets his hair cut at a proper barbershop knows that the man with the scissors in his hand is there to dispense more than Barbasol and Bay Rum. How to pick winners at the racetrack, conspiracy theories about the misfortunes of the local sports team and the secrets to getting someone you like to like you back are just some of the extracurricular activities these practitioners of the tonsorial arts excel at. It also seems that whenever one asks a specific question about grooming – “Hey, not for nothing, but should I shave up or down?” – you end up receiving a hot towel with a splash of life advice.
The American sociologist Mr Ray Oldenburg famously mentioned the barbershop as an illustration of what he called a “third place”, a social environment that isn’t your home or your office yet plays an important role in the life of your community. And like their counterparts in bars and houses of worship, barbers often play the role of confessor and shaman. Since we here at MR PORTER believe that grooming is about more than just lotions and potions, we are launching a series in which we ask some of our favourite barbers to share a few tips on looking good and living well. Grooming as a lens on life. In this episode we check in with Mr Ruben Aronov, who started cutting hair at his father’s shop in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn more than 16 years ago and now practises his craft as co-owner at Freemans Sporting Club Barber on New York’s Lower East Side.