Manscaping 101: Here, there and everywhere

Posted: January 10th, 2014 | Community Voices, Cover stories, Features, Top Story | No Comments

Ben Cartwright | GSD Reporter

Cartwright awaits his turn in the barber chair at Mister Brown's in North Park. (Courtesy Be Social PR)

Cartwright awaits his turn in the barber’s chair at Mister Brown’s in North Park. (Courtesy Be Social PR)

I love my hair.

While I’ve always put a great amount of effort into the hair on my head, it was only recently that I started letting my facial hair grow out. Beyond that, I’ve also had the opportunity now and then to try out a “manscaping” session with a Brazilian wax.

It’s a new year, and since men certainly should keep themselves freshly groomed — from head to toe — every day, here are some reviews of three people who have taken care of every inch of my hair over the last month.

Cartwright gets a straight-razor shave at Mister Brown's in North Park (Courtesy Be Social PR)

Cartwright gets a straight-razor shave at Mister Brown’s (Courtesy Be Social PR)

Face – Mister Brown’s: The hair on my face takes time to grow into anything significant. Otherwise, it grows in pretty light-colored, so unless it’s been growing for a while, it’s hard to notice anything. In honor of Movember, I pretty much let it grow out through the month of November and into December, with only minor home clean-ups and developed a pretty full face of hair.

On Dec. 19, I had the opportunity to attend the grand opening celebration for the new Mister Brown’s, a sophisticated men’s barber, shop, and social.

This hip new spot provides cuts, shaves and space for private events, and provides a modern twist on the barbershops of yesteryear.

More straight edges at Mister Browns (Courtesy Be Social PR)

More straight edges at Mister Browns (Courtesy Be Social PR)

When it was my turn, I was put into a reclining chair and a very handsome man came to provide my service. He was incredibly sweet and I enjoyed him putting his soft hands all over my face and neck … and then he started talking about his wife … and kids …

I had never had a straight razor put to my face, but he gave me an incredibly clean, precision shave without any cuts, nicks, or pain. I came out of it with a very nice shave and felt very fresh and clean.

The shop was bright, clean, and very hip, and I certainly will return again!

Freshly shaved (Courtesy Be Social PR)

Freshly shaved (Courtesy Be Social PR)

Mister Brown’s is located at 3064 University Ave. in North Park.

Hair – Patrick Gibson at Autumn Houston, The Salon: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the person who has kept the hair on my head looking fantastic for the last year and a half. I’ve followed Patrick to his most recent salon, Autumn Houston, The Salon, and it has only elevated the experience.

Walking into an appointment with Patrick, my day is brightened as I’m typically greeted with a “hello, handsome,” a hug, and an offer of a beverage of my choice.

Patrick makes me feel comfortable throughout the entire appointment and is always responsive to my needs. In fact, he helped me transition from my 7-year long affair with my “faux hawk” style that needed to go.

Patrick is adorable, fabulous, and extra talented. He specializes in both men’s and women’s cuts and is ready to make you beautiful!

Autumn Houston, The Salon is located at 1760 Kettner Blvd. in Little Italy.

Cartwright shows off his  post-Patrick well-coiffed hair.

Cartwright shows off his post-Patrick well-coiffed hair.

Down there – Beauty By Dolly: While I prefer to keep my area “down there” trimmed and clean, I usually do it myself and the last couple of grooming services I had there were performed by men, never before has a woman handled my private parts.

And by that, I mean I am what they call a “Gold Star Gay” — no woman has ever ventured into that region of my body in any way.

Naturally, I was quite frightened about my visit to Beauty By Dolly.

The representative who set up the appointment for me didn’t mention whether or not I would be serviced by a man or woman — and I was afraid to ask.

When I arrived for my appointment, a very friendly woman, Sarah, came out to greet me and took me into the waxing room. I immediately texted a friend to say that I was petrified.

A Brazilian wax, especially for someone who hasn’t had one done in a while, is already a painful experience. My initial reaction to having to lay on a table buck-naked while a woman examined every inch of my lower region seemed even more painful!

Luckily, Sarah was incredibly professional and kind, and within minutes had me feeling comfortable. After all, she was only interested in making my genital area look as fabulous as possible, and she tried to minimize the physical pain as much as possible, too.

She used all organic products and always warned me before pulling the wax strip. When we were done, Sarah gave me instructions on how to take care of my skin in the days following to avoid infection or break out and I walked out happy and fresh (albiet slightly red).

Sarah said that she really enjoys what she does and likes making people feel better about themselves. She particularly enjoys waxing men and said that all men, even those who are really hairy, are welcome in her salon.

She said she really likes to clean guys up and when she waxes extra hairy chests and backs, she feels like a “waxing ninja.”

So if you’re looking to clean up those hairy areas this year, I highly recommend the team at Beauty By Dolly!

Beauty By Dolly is located at 3650 Fifth Ave., Ste. 101, in Hillcrest.

—Ben Cartwright is a freelance writer and community activist. He can be reached at

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