What does it take to get the right moustache shape? And what do you have to watch out for with a full beard? Evelyn Gutweniger from Nomad Barber on trends and tricks and the women's quota in the barber business.

“A beard alone does not qualify you for beard trimming”

Between a Späti on one side and a contemporary art gallery on the other is the Nomad Barber Shop on Schönleinstraße in Berlin-Kreuzberg. 32-year-old Evelyn Gutweniger is the head barber there. We talked to her about barbering, working in a male-dominated industry and the most popular beard styles of the moment.

How did you come to your profession?

The enthusiasm for this craft has been with me since childhood. I grew up next to a hair salon and spent a lot of time watching the staff at work back then. As soon as I was 16 years old, I started my apprenticeship as a hairdresser in my home country of South Tyrol.

Why did you later specialise as a barber?

From the beginning, I was mainly interested in short haircuts. Here you can see directly if they are well done. After my training, I first worked as a barber in Australia and London before I started at Nomad Barber Shop in Kreuzberg in April 2017. I already knew the shop from London – so I was able to keep a piece of the great barber culture from England in Berlin.

What makes the Nomad concept different from other barbershops?

Definitely that we take a lot of time for our customers. For a hair and beard appointment, it’s more than an hour. The service also includes a facial massage and a neck shave with a knife. This turns the shave into a relaxation programme.

What about women in the barber business: Is it rather a rarity?

Especially in Germany, female barbers are rather the exception. It has happened to me that people have come into the shop and asked me how I can cut a beard as a woman. But a beard alone does not qualify you to cut a beard. In other countries, especially in English-speaking countries, I have the impression that there are significantly more women working as barbers.

Which beard trends are currently particularly popular with your customers?

The moustache is coming back strongly and is in great demand in our shop. The full beard and the wet shave are two classics that are always very popular.

What should you keep in mind when trimming your own moustache?

With a moustache, the most important thing is the right shape. I would advise cutting the whiskers slightly diagonally, starting from the middle and following the line of the lips. You can then use wax and a hairdryer to shape it even better or even twirl it to the side.

What tips do you have for men who are growing a full beard for the first time?

You should first get an idea of how dense your own beard growth is. However, I wouldn’t let a few small holes in the beard stop me. On the contrary, I think it gives the whole thing more character. Then I would go to the barber relatively early to get the beard hair into a basic shape with clean contours that you can keep at home. Especially at the neck, the beard has to end at the right height so that it doesn’t visually create a double chin where there is no double chin at all.