For Guys Living In Hong Kong

Men’s grooming: sometimes your wife does know best

Ditching the clippers for a professional set of scissors, Dave Farrer’s visit to a Central men’s grooming salon for a hair cut put a spring back in his step. He shares his experience at Gentlemen’s Tonic, which combines a traditional barbershop with a variety of lifestyle and grooming services.

Gentlemen's Tonic specialises in men's grooming
Gentlemen’s Tonic combines the feel of a traditional barbershop with a modern approach

“I have to admit, I had pretty much given up on grooming my diminishing head of hair. I figured I might as well accept the inevitable and go with nature’s cruel irony of removing hair from my head and depositing it elsewhere. I bought a set of clippers and proceeded to “cut” my own hair at home – saving money on haircuts and embracing my balding future.

This has been the extent of my personal grooming over the past few years until one fateful day when my wife gently coaxed me into Gentlemen’s Tonic as a birthday treat. I’ve been married long enough not to argue, so I accepted the “gift” graciously, although I remained skeptical of what could possibly be done to improve on my own hair “styling”.

Stepping out of the searing heat of Wellington Street mid-summer and into the cool, calming salon was an instant relief. Straight away I was offered a cold drink. It was in complete contrast to the usual barbershop grunt of acknowledgement, followed by finding your place in the queue of chairs crammed up against the window.

Gentlemens Tonic mens grooming
The Hong Kong branch is in Central

Gordon Lee was to be my barber that day. What can I say? Gordon’s sculpting was indeed a masterpiece. I have never seen someone so attentive to each and every hair – making sure each was in its correct position. He managed to actually achieve something I thought was relegated to my younger years – a hairstyle. I walked out of there not just with a haircut, but with a little bit of the swagger I used to have in my teen years.

I’m a frequent visitor now, and my clippers are gathering dust somewhere in the bathroom cupboard. Gentlemen’s Tonic also stocks its own range of man-friendly grooming products, from shampoos and styling stuff to shaving kits (the old-fashioned razors, brushes and oils are top-notch), if you’re inclined to take the salon experience home with you. I’ve yet to try the other services offered (men’s grooming massages and facials geared towards the man who wants to look and feel good without much fuss), but I never say never!

G/F, 45 Wellington Street, Central 2525 2455 |

This article first appeared in the Oct/Nov edition of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue!

Check out our Living in Hong Kong section for more advice and tips