Groomed like a sir

Gentlemen's Tonic managing director Fiqri Hylmanshah. – Sunpix by Amirul Syafiq Mohd Din
A wet shave experience. – Sunpix by Amirul Syafiq Mohd Din
The writer getting a haircut. – Sunpix by Amirul Syafiq Mohd Din

YOU'LL never get a second chance to make a good first impression, as the saying goes.

And most of the time, how one looks plays a crucial role in making that impression, which includes grooming. How one's hair is styled and facial hair is trimmed can make a difference between looking like a professional executive or a hobo on the street.

And this is where Gentlemen's Tonic comes into play, a stylish barbershop and urban male spa catered for men.

"Self-presentation is very important nowadays – if you meet someone whom you do not know, people would judge you based on your appearance," said Gentlemen's Tonic managing director Fiqri Hylmanshah.

Noting that the image represents one's self, he said that the image is important in telling others what you represent, be it a corporate employee or a model.

The male grooming establishment is designed with a mixture of wood, leather and marble fixtures like those of the older Western days that brings about a sense of luxury and class.

Located in Publika, Solaris Dutamas, Gentlemen's Tonic offers not just barbershop treatment of cutting and trimming hair, but other services including wet shaves, beard trims, head neck and shoulder massages, as well as facial, toning treatments, manicures, and pedicures.

When asked why the establishment caters to men only, Fiqri replied, "when men want to get their haircut, they get it at a unisex salon ... it is not personalised and does not make them feel exclusive.

"No doubt, the groomers there use a wide range of high-quality products, but most of the time, you see a lot of products that are advertised for women, as well as posters of female models... it is not very welcoming for a man."

With a wide range of its own brand of male grooming products, Babassu and Bergamot, a range of Eau de Toilettes and Advanced Dermacare cosmeceutical range, Gentlemen's Tonic also provides quality service to every single customer that walks in. The outlet also has a dedicated room for those who want some privacy during their treatment.

FIRST EXPERIENCE (of the writer)

I had an opportunity to experience some of the services at Gentlemen's Tonic. I opted for The Shackleton, a basic package which includes a haircut and traditional wet shave.

I had my hair trimmed as well as “moustache and beard” (or what little of it) shaved by Oscar, a hairstylist who hails from Jordan. He has 10 years of experience in the grooming industry.

Sitting on the chair while being serenaded by soft jazz music in the background, Oscar carefully trimmed my hair as I was lulled into calmness as time passed by.

The grooming area was spacious, and I did not have to move around to get my hair wash, as the basin can be adjusted to move towards me.

Later, I had facial and manicure – something that I have not experienced before. The facialist, Lucy first cleansed my face then used steam to open my pores. Later, she removed blackheads from my nose, gave me a facial massage, applied a mask before ending the treatment with a moisturiser.

My skin certainly looked fresh and radiant. And I felt rejuvenated and brand new, and was brimming with new-found confidence