Craig Hits the Road to mark the end of an Era in Derby

So it’s the end of an era for The Dandy Gent, as one half of the founding team, Craig Evans, has decided to cut free from the bounds of his barber chair and enter a new phase of his career – on the road.

After much soul-searching, Craig has decided to enjoy a more relaxed family-orientated pace of life, still serving many of his regular clients, but in their own homes!

Armed with a City and Guilds in hairdressing, nails, postiche and massage, Craig started barbering in 1985 at a barber shop in Alvaston, Derby as part of the Government’s Youth Training Scheme (YTS) earning just £18.73 a week – £5 of which went to his mum for ‘board’.

The YTS (originally Youth Opportunity Programme) was one of those schemes known for employer abuse – and sure enough after 2 years of (according to Craig) hard graft – he was duly shipped out leaving space for the next enthusiastic – and cheap – youngster to fill.

Somewhat scarred, but unshaken from his barbering quest, Craig moved onto McFlys in Ashbourne where he spent 13 years in relative barber bliss. In 2000 he moved to London, spent 18 months hob-nobbing with the Chelsea elite, then 2 years trend-setting in the ‘posh-end’ of Manchester where he eventually met and fell for his lovely wife, Helen.

Around 2004/5, Craig and Helen moved back to Derby, where Craig re-acquainted himself with another ‘special’ person in his life, Mr Shane O’Shaughnessy – a drinking buddy and friend of some 36 years.

The Man Barber era
Shane had a computer shop at the time, on Surrey Street in Derby, with a room in the back – the new home of Craig’s latest barbershop adventure.

Having re-kindled Shane’s boyhood passion for haircutting, a skill imparted to him by his grandad, Craig taught Shane for a couple of months to see how he got on with barbering as a career option – and the rest, as they say, is history. Shane took up formal training, the computer shop was closed and the premises was turned into Man Barber run by Craig and Shane together.

The duo became something of a double-act and, for those of you who have ever seen them work together, the entertainment value was quickly recognised. Man Barber grew and flourished with much frivolity – and some pretty near the knuckle banter. The guys moved to the current shop at Nuns Street and the client list and barber team kept on growing.

“We’ve always had a great working rapport.” Said Craig. “The banter was not always politically correct, but armed with a ‘safety-word’ ARMAGEDDON we would let each other know if we were getting too carried away – we hopefully never truly offended!”

In 2009 Helen and Craig had their first child, Jack, which prompted Craig to take a step back to enjoy more family time.  Shane was now at the helm and rebranded the shop The Dandy Gent to coincide with the launch of his new range of shave and beard products.

The Dandy Duo Splits
As most of you reading this will know, The Dandy Gent has gone from strength to strength over the last 10 years with eventually a second shop opening in Derby in the Cathedral Quarter.  Sadly, this did lead to the splitting of the popular duo as Shane went to Irongate and Craig stayed at Nuns Street, but they were both still doing their thing; growing their respective shops with their skills, easy manner and ever-ready humour.

Says Craig “I’ve had a fantastic time working at The Dandy Gent and throughout my whole barbering career I’ve made many, many friends. One of my clients I have been cutting since he was 18 months old – he’s 31 now and followed me from shop to shop! Several clients have followed me from Manchester – and even from my London salons!”

A time to move on
Craig, now with Jack aged 12 and his second child, Grace, aged 9, has enjoyed his family time over this year’s enforced pandemic lockdown and sees this as the perfect time to step away from his Nuns Street chair.

“Many people are working from home now, so this is the perfect time for me to continue a more relaxed working life, spend time with the family and start cutting hair in clients’ homes.” Smiles Craig.

Both Craig and Shane agree that the other has been brilliant to work with and both said they are the best they’ve ever worked with too!

“We’ve always had a lot of laughs, but aside from that Craig has always been really supportive – my right-hand man you could say.  I really don’t think I would be where I am now without his encouragement and support over the years.”  Said Shane.

Never say never
“I was sad when we had to split between the two shops, breaking the double-act was a hard decision for us to make. But as Craig said recently ‘never say never’ – there may be the chance for the ‘Dandy-Duo’ to get together again in the future. Watch this space!”

Craig with Pete Koukoularidis – one of the first customers at Man Barbers

“Barbers like Craig are more than just hair cutters they are therapists that you have a long-term relationship with. We’ve been friends for years now and my only regret is that my hair has diminished and meant that my appointments don’t last as long these days.”

“It’s the banter I’ve always loved – I’ve spent hours here alternating between Shane and Craig for my haircut and sometimes spending well over an hour enjoying the chats.”

Pete will be one of many of Craig’s clients who will continue to enjoy his company and skills making the most of his new mobile service.  If anyone is interested in contacting Craig to discuss his mobile service you can do so via our Facebook page.

Welcome Back! House Rules: IMPORTANT UPDATE

The Dandy Gent team is delighted to welcome you and all of our patrons back through our doors from Saturday.

We have previously sent out details of some new ‘House Rules’, which still apply:

Since issuing this notice, we have had more clarification from Government, so can now share with you all of the more pertinent points together below.

Please…

  • Only enter the shop at the time of your appointment – not early.
  • Wait outside until that time, observing social distancing.
  • Sanitise on entry and before exit – everything is provided for you.
  • Observe 2M social distancing at all times in the shop – with the exception of your barber, naturally!
  • Wear a mask at all times – following instructions from your barber during your service. For optimum effect – masks should be removed for a beard trim!*
  • Please touch nothing – but your own possessions! Keep your possessions about your person, or at your feet on the floor.
  • Ask a member of staff if you would like to test or look at products closely.
  • Pay by contactless card where possible.
  • Toilets will only be available where we have capacity to clean to the required standard – so please do not rely on these being open at all times. If you require urgent access, we will make a toilet available to you.
  • Apologies – facial shaving is not permitted at the moment.

We thank you for taking the time to read this AND for doing your bit for us and the nation!

See you soon,

The Dandy Gent team!

*PPE – Government states that all barbers must wear a visor only. The wearing of masks and face coverings is our own policy, designed to give added protection and peace of mind to all clients, staff and ensure the shop stays open. This decision will be reviewed regularly and you will be updated when this changes.

Read our Risk Assessment FULL RISK ASSESSMENT in re-opening COVID-19 secure.

Surviving a Crisis II – The Wet Shave

Enjoy The Dandy Gent traditional shaving experience in your own home!

We cannot promise you the charming and witty banter usually on tap as you indulge yourself with us, however, we can assure you of a welcome and unrivalled interlude of self-indulgence and self-satisfying sophistication.

Step 1 – Setting the Scene
First, Claim a sizeable section of your time & residence as temporarily ’out of bounds’ to your female companions. carefully set out the required utensils & products* in an orderly manner, turn on your most rousing music & prepare yourself for time spent entirely on yourself.
*You will need: a quality razor, shaving cream (& a mug) or shaving soap (in its own tin), a shaving brush, hot & cold towels, aftershave – & optional; exfoliant, shave oil, & rehydration gel.

Step 2 – Deep Cleanse
i) Soak a small towel or flannel in hand-hot water, wring out & place on your face for around ONE minute. This will open your pores ahead of deep cleansing. ii) Massage The Dandy Gent Exfoliant into your wet skin in a circular motion throroughly. iii) Wash the natural peach kernels from your face – do not overly trouble yourself with removing the excess soap. iv) Rub a small amount of The Dandy Gent Shave Oil (around the size of a five pence piece) in your hands, then rub into your neck & face. v) Repeat stage 2.i) with the hot towel or flannel, this will help the oil soak into your skin and soften it ahead of the shave.

Step 3 – The Shave
i) Soak your shaving brush in warm water. This will absorb the water into the brush, make the lathering process easier & more successful. a Badger hair brush provides optimum absorption & is by far the best choice of shaving brush! ii) Put a dollop of The Dandy Gent Lime Shaving Cream into a mug & lather it up. if you are using our Lime Shaving Soap, put your soaked brush directly into the tin to lather. iii) Work the lather until the volume swells and the cream stiffens to form peaks when you lift the brush in the lather iv) ‘load the brush’ & spread the creamy Lather onto your face & neck, working the lather as you apply. if you are dehydrated through lack of water intake the cream will soak into the skin more quickly. v) Use a quality razor – one of sturdy construction, with a fresh, reputable brand of blade. carry out a first pass over your face, chin & neck – drawing in the direction of the hair‘s growth. then a second pass, this time against the hair’s growth. vi) when the shave is completed to your satisfaction, rinse off any excess shaving cream or soap thoroughly with tepid water. vii) Apply a hot towel or flannel to the face for 30 seconds to open the pores.

Step 4 – Post-Shave
i) Massage a small amount of The Dandy Gent Post-Shave Hydration Gel into the face until fully absorbed. ii) Apply a cold towel or flannel (soak in cold water with ice cubes for optimum effect) or splash cold water on the face. The cold temperature will close your pores and stop any spot bleeding that may have occurred. iii) Pour or spray The Dandy Gent Splash/aftershave into your hands, rub together & smooth over the face & neck for both its antibacterial qualities & its exquisite fragrance. optional: try one of our most alluring colognes to pep up your allure a few hours past your shave.

Step 5 – The Emergence
Once your shave is complete, enjoy a long lingering gaze into your gaper. feel your smoothness & take pleasure in your more youthful appearance before emerging with pride & self-assurance.

You sir, are now a credit to all men!

All of our products can be purchased online during the current lockdown and beyond!