MIEN Magazine loves Movember - a month-long moustache-budding campaign to raise money and increase awareness for cancers affecting men. Now in its 8th year, Movember has inspired gents to sprout taches across the world and even has its own iPhone application called Movember MoPhone to keep track of daily growth - how glorious!
In support of this valiant and genteel cause, the esteemed brush-maker Kent Brushes has developed a limited edition moustache comb with £1 of each brush sold donated to Movember.
Katie Antoniou spoke with Ben Cosby - Creative Director of Kent Brushes - about the brand and learned a few special grooming tips to make sure a gentleman’s moustache is neat and fetching.
Katie Antoniou (KA): Could you tell us a bit about the history of Kent brushes?
Ben Crosby (BC): G B Kent & Sons Ltd, manufacturers of brushes since the eighteenth century is one of the oldest established companies in Great Britain.
Kent Brushes (as they are now more commonly known) was founded in 1777 by William Kent in the reign of George III. Kent holds a pre-eminent place in the history of brush making with an unbroken record of excellence in the quality of its production, which has been recognised by the granting of Royal Warrants for nine reigns.
The Kent family continued to run the company for six generations until 1932 when the last of the three Kent brothers passed away. This is when Mr Eric L.H Cosby, owner of Cosby Brushes Ltd, entered into an association with G.B Kent & Sons. A new chapter was then opened in Kent’s long history.
KA: How are Kent brushes made?
BC: This really depends upon which brush we are talking about. Our plastic styling brushes are made from 6 different molds, they are then hand assembled and then filled with bristle or nylon quills depending on the model.
Our finest brushes start life as a tree trunk. This is then cut and shaped in our factory, hand sanded, stamped, sprayed and then machine filled. The brush goes through a system of quality control checks at every stage of its creation. Finally just before being packed the bristle is trimmed by hand and racked through with a fine tooth comb to remove any loose or stray bristles.
Our 100% handmade brushes are built in a similar way to the finest brushes but instead of machine filling the bristle tufts we sow them into the brush back by hand. This is known as hand drawing and it is a very skilled craft. It’s the original way of making a hair brush and something that was around a long time before proper mechanisation and I guess the industrial revolution.
KA: You’ve teamed up with Movember to create a special moustache comb- will you be sprouting a tache yourself?
BC: Yes of course. We are on day 4 from a cleanly shaven face and I’m feeling rather ridiculous. My wife thinks it looks awful and my children are now scared of me! I have to repeat the “I’m growing this for charity….” speech about 10 times a day and I have been avoiding all eye contact when dropping my eldest off at school. At the moment I’m going for the biker/horse shoe style mo with the thinking that if it still looks ridiculous in a week or so I can trim it down to something a little less ‘Village People’.
KA: What are your top three grooming tips for a gentleman trying to grow a handsome moustache?
BC: 1. See how well and whereabouts you can grow facial hair. Some men find hair will grow well on their jaw line but not so well above their top lip. If you can get away without shaving for a couple of weeks observe how your beard grows and perhaps base your moustache design around that.
2. There are two basic parts to trimming a moustache. One is to define and adjust the overall length of your moustache hair. The other one is the shape of your moustache. Personally I like to use some sharp moustache scissors and a Kent Movember moustache comb - you can also use any of the electric trimmers that are widely available but tread carefully, one slip of the trimmer can mean weeks of re-growth to hide your mistake - since when has half a moustache looked cool? For true precision, stick to the old-school method.
3. If trimming with a comb and scissors, comb your moustache hair against the grain to get the hair to stand up properly. Then use the scissors and cut against the base of the comb to achieve a uniform length. TAKE YOUR TIME - you can’t undo a mistimed snip!