Short nails, long beards. Grooming tools for real guys.

At Munich’s famous Viktualienmarkt food market a nail studio with the name ‘Hammer und Nagel’ (‘Hammer and Nails’) is breaking revolutionary new ground. In the super-cool workshop atmosphere there’s a whole lot of filing, peeling and scraping going on. The ‘men only’ rule is strictly enforced here. The grooming products are black, as is the coffee. And according to founder Philipp Pechstein, demand has been overwhelming. Further branches in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne are already planned.  

At Munich’s famous Viktualienmarkt food market a nail studio with the name ‘Hammer und Nagel’ (‘Hammer and Nails’) is breaking revolutionary new ground. In the super-cool workshop atmosphere there’s a whole lot of filing, peeling and scraping going on. The ‘men only’ rule is strictly enforced here. The grooming products are black, as is the coffee. And according to founder Philipp Pechstein, demand has been overwhelming. Further branches in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne are already planned.

Which treatments are most in demand?
Philipp Pechstein: “Without doubt, the ‘Classic’ hand treatment. Here the nails are shortened and filed, cuticles are removed and the customer also gets a hand massage. When it comes to the feet, most men want the one-hour ‘Hammer Thing’, which is what we call our complete package.”

Men, nailbrushes and knuckledusters
“Our team uses nailbrushes, which have been specially designed for us in a ‘knuckleduster look’, and our own ‘shake-me soap’. Next year, we hope to bring out a product line with hand and foot creams and a nail oil. The nailbrush has proved to be a huge success as a fun present. And lots of women present their men with a gift of treatments at our studio. The men are happy to try out new things and often end up coming regularly. As Western star John Wayne said: A man without vanity is not a man.”

Tools for guys
The trendy refined gentleman look is certainly doing the success of men’s grooming studios no harm at all. Perfectly groomed fingernails and toenails round out a snazzy outfit perfectly. There’s also a lot that men can do for themselves. The range of DIY tools for nails, skin and hair has been expanded and enormously refined over the past years. Among the new tools, which with their excellent quality and original designs ought to win over even the most grooming-averse males, are some that we have given an immediate thumbs-up to. They’re perfect either for giving or keeping for yourself – you decide!

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Vanity is fair enough
Whether he’s a hipster, a man about town or a lumberjack, the stylish modern gent can be seen sporting a fine beard these days. In fact, what’s really trendy is the long ‘beard of all beards’. But it has to be meticulously styled – who after all wants a load of ungroomed undergrowth? A must-have item here is a special beard brush – possibly with wild boar bristles that glide particularly easily and effectively through thick beard hair. A handmade steel beard buddy from Chicago Comb is just the thing to take when travelling. The US manufacturers promise their combs will last a lifetime. As with head hair, facial hair should also be washed regularly with a special shampoo or a mild beard soap. Stubborn, hard-to-control beard hair is best tamed with a little beard oil. Men’s Society sells subtly fragranced oil in a small glass bottle that makes any beard almost irresistible to fondle. And the ‘Damn Handsome Beard Kit’ is perfect for today’s cool dude. The metal box contains a comb, wax and oil – for quick restyling after a relaxing spell in the sauna or hamam.

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Smooth as a baby’s bottom
Is the man in your life beard-free? If so, we’re sure he’d be delighted with a handmade shaving brush and a set of wet shave tools. The high-quality products from famous shaving brush manufacturer Hans Baier ensure precision thanks to the use of highly elastic badger hair. Real authentic badger hair is the quality benchmark for shaving brushes as they whip up the foam extremely finely. A brush is always a welcome element in a shaving gift set along with a stand, soap dish and revitalising shaving soap. Our overall favourites though were definitely the cutting-edge razor designs from Bolin Webb.

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Snip, snip …
Whatever’s good for beards can’t be bad for the hair that sprouts up on other parts of the head. The short, sharp blades from scissors manufacturer Paul are just the thing for the essential task of curbing the growth of nose and ear hair. They trim the hairs expertly and the rounded ends prevent nasty little cuts. Real guys would love a matching leather case that is reminiscent of a master craftsman’s toolkit. We made a great find at leather manufacturer F. Hammann who have been crafting the very finest leather goods since 1864. These leather sets are bound to become essential travelling companions.

Being well groomed is masculine. This newly acquired aesthetic sensibility and interest in bodycare among men is clearly reflected in the trends of the beauty and cosmetics industry. What’s more, German males are now setting the pace when it comes to bodycare. According to statistics, they are now official European champions. On average they spend 47 weeks of their life on grooming. It would be a shame if they didn’t have a set of carefully selected designer tools and bodycare products to use during all this valuable time.

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