The Secret to Good Male Grooming: An Interview with Christina Timlin from IHF Gents STAR Team

When it comes to your big day, it can be hard to decide how to style your hair and beard as a groom. There are so many options to choose, from tailored hairstyles that suit your face shape and making sure your facial hair is also sharp for the big day. To help you grooms out, we sat down with Christina Timlin from the previous gents STAR team with the Irish Hairdressers Federation. As an industry expert, she shared with us the inside scoop into the perfect grooming routine. Ready to find out more? Let’s go!

So what’s on trend?

I think that men are moving away from the fade and going for more natural looks. Going backwards to the 60s/70/80s, for example mullets took a big turn, and they’re back in now but softer versions are what people tend to go for. I think for a wedding, tailored hair is better rather than a skin fade.”

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What is your best advice for a groom in terms of their hair?

“When it comes to choosing a style for your wedding, my advice would be to start six months in advance. Find a barber that you like to go to all the time, and like I said, don’t go too harsh. Skin fades were very much in style, but I would say to go for a tailored look instead. Nice and neat or on the longer side can look great. It might not suit everyone, so go for what suits you, that’s the most important.”

What about facial hair?

“If you’re thinking about going clean cut in terms of shaving, make sure to find a barber that can do a cut-throat shave. If you’re getting a cut-throat shave, you should be getting them six months beforehand because if you get it just before your wedding, there’s a chance that it may irritate your skin, causing it to raise and swell. My advice would be to use beard oil around the area and use moisturiser for a smoother looking skin. As well as that, start getting them to soften the surrounding hair which will give the appearance of softer skin for your wedding, without bleeding or ingrown hairs.”

What would you say to a groom who has hair loss?

“Regarding hair loss, if the groom is comfortable with his hair loss, then that’s okay. Keep that in mind and don’t rectify something that isn’t bothering you. If it is bothering you, there are things you can do. There are pieces you can get to stick around the affected area, and you can get them from the Pelo scalp clinic. This lasts for around six weeks, so you can get the honeymoon period taken care of as well!”

When to get the cut?

“A week beforehand, but work with your barber on this. If you want a tight skin fade, and you want that clean cut look, then maybe closer to the day is best but if you want the tailored look, then maybe a week beforehand. Also, it means that the skin won’t be irritated.”

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What does a good-quality grooming routine look like?

“Buy good quality shampoo and conditioner. Get the hair nice and shiny and use your beard oil and moisturiser on the back of your neck so that the skin doesn’t get irritated. The last thing you want on your wedding day is skin irritation because of blades or a tight cut.”

What about beards and skincare?

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“When it comes to beard hair, skin and the hair itself goes hand in hand, so taking up cleansing and using beard oils and moisturisers will soften the skin ahead of the big day. This will help you groom and even if you don’t have a beard it will help you not to get cut while shaving.”

What are your ultimate favourite products for a groom's hair?

When it comes to achieving the salon look at home, Christina recommends ‘Style Stories‘ Texturising Gel from Alfaparf Milano. This is super useful for anyone with a bit of length in their hair. When blow-drying, add a little bit of the gel while it’s wet. This will give it a bit of hold without being hard or sticky like other products.

Another product that works wonders is the Funk Clay from Alfaparf Milano. This works really well, and adds definition while holding the hair in place. For guys who like the messy high-volume look, Vintage Powder by Alfaparf Milano is wonderful for adding texture and volume without looking like the hair has any product in it at all.

Some grooms will want a quiff or upstyle at the front that might take some extra hold and effort. For a little bit of extra hold, Christina recommends the Original Hairspray from Alparf Milano which will keep the style in place all day long.

Top tip?

“My advice would be to go with what suits you. Start early, know what you want and know what will suit you. That’s how you’ll create your perfect wedding day look.”

For more info check out Christina’s amazing work on IG @chrissytimlin or @allurehairdressing_.