Aaron Wallace is a barber through and through, an aspect that makes his male grooming brand so authentic. Featuring products that cater to black men’s grooming needs, noted by Aaron during his barbering career, the brand is synonymous with high quality, natural, inclusive at-home care.
Here, Aaron talks about launching his brand, extols the virtues of mango butter, and spills the secret to achieving a beard worthy of Drake himself.
What made you start a male grooming brand?
It was largely through my experience as a barber, I’d have conversations with Black men daily and realised that there was a huge need for products that had been formulated for curly and afro hair. I felt as their barber I was in the perfect position to fulfil that need and had the in-depth knowledge to formulate products that would solve these problems. Our hair type requires specific ingredients that are high in key nutrients and help to prevent dryness, which is often the leading cause of breakages.
Mango butter is one of the key ingredients in all your products. Why is this beneficial for textured hair?
One of the key things that you need for healthy textured hair is lots of moisture. Butters such as Shea butter and Mango butter are highly lipid, meaning they keep moisture in the hair and skin for longer, which is exactly what you want. Mango butter is lighter and less greasy than shea butter and so it absorbs easier without clogging pores making it better for oily or acne prone skin.
What are your tips for men attempting to grow a full, healthy ‘Drake’ beard?
For men trying to grow a beard my best tips would be patience and adopting the right routine, and doing this consistently. Many men tend to slip up or fall out of their routine when they don’t see results immediately and this is a mistake. Just like it takes time to see results in the gym it will take time to really see results in beard growth.
Cleanse and condition your beard twice a week, moisture and oil your beard daily or every few days. and if you have a derma roller, use this once a week on a clean beard to stimulate follicles that are not producing hair to grow.
What does your morning grooming routine consist of?
My morning routine is pretty simple, I follow the steps above but also, once out of the shower I use our Exfoliating and Detoxifying Cleanser to cleanse my face, pat dry and then apply some of the Aaron Wallace Facial Moisturiser. If I’m going out I’ll leave it there, if I’m indoors and don’t mind looking greasy I’ll occasionally apply some coconut oil on top. For my body I use the same principles as for the hair, cleanse, moisturise and then seal in moisture with body oil.
Since launching, how has the male grooming space evolved?
I think men’s attitude towards grooming has changed drastically. Men are really starting to see the value and importance of self care and take pride in looking and feeling good. Whereas before it was shrugged off or even sometimes laughed at, now it’s like “No, but why are your nails filthy for real!”. This has also spilled out in retail, you can see the men’s aisle expanding with new brands and new categories being introduced. What once used to be a place to get razors and shaving cream has now evolved into a full service self-care destination with products to elevate our grooming in all aspects. This is very exciting and offers a great opportunity for brands like ours to grow and establish ourselves as key players in this space.
As an entrepreneur, what’s been your most valuable lesson to date?
There’s been so many lessons, I’d say one that stands out to me is understanding that growing a business is a marathon and not a sprint, delayed gratification, as frustrating as it can be, is a necessary evil for any type of success. The other would be understanding that most goals and objectives will always take longer than planned. There are always so many unknown unknowns that it’s common to be ambitious on your goals but conservative on how you achieve them.
What can we expect to see from Aaron Wallace in the next 12 months?
Over the next 12 months our goal is to really focus on NPD and begin to expand our product offerings. When it comes to grooming I think there is still so much that we have to offer especially in other areas such as styling and body care. Next to this we are keen to expand internationally, starting with the US, where we have experienced a growing demand for our products. There is huge potential for growth out there and we want to take advantage of that.
Shop Aaron Wallace at byaaronwallace.com