Health & Beauty

The Guys of Groom (Win! A $91 Groom Father’s Day Discovery Set!)

June 3, 2019

Just in time for Father’s Day, we chatted with Julien Blanchard, one of the founders of Groom—a Montreal-based men’s grooming company—about all things facial hair (read on to find out how you could win a $91 prize pack!). —Noa Nichol


Hi Julien! Tell us a bit about Groom to start.

Hello, nice to meet you! Groom is a lively bunch of 10 employees from different backgrounds, some in line with our industry (chemistry, sales, marketing), others from a more surprising background (sound engineering, literature, wood working). As we do everything in-house—from formulation to distribution—our workshop is a fun and diverse place where an "Instagrammable" meeting room is within 10 metres of a high-tech lab-grade mixing machine. Our operations are located in a matching fun and diverse neighbourhood of Montreal—the Mile End—which has become a hub for artists and start-ups, while the old guard mid-20th century European immigration is still very active.

How did Groom begin, and what does the brand currently offer?

The co-founders, Maxime and myself, have known each other for about seven years now. We met as roommates at a moment where our professional lives were getting into place, but more importantly when we each decided to revisit our facial hair situation: Max was getting into a serious beard, and I was dreaming of a handlebar moustache and wet-shaving. We had no experience in business management whatsoever but quickly found the available grooming products we needed were of appalling quality. We began testing some formulas and a few months later came up with a brand name, a logo and a few products. Groom was born! Today, we put a strong focus on clean ingredients that have a powerful impact. The world of cosmetics and body care is such a jungle where prices can be ridiculously low, with little concern of the environmental or health impact that can have. Currently we have a full line for beard care in three scents, a full line for shaving, as well as a hair pomade. June will see our first steps into body care as we launch our brand new shower gel. And we have big plans for the near future! New additions will come at a steady pace for hair care and body care. I like to think the best has yet to come!

Facial hair: in terms of trends, what’s in and what’s out?

Trends move fast for facial hair! Since Groom started we saw beards appearing, growing huge, receding, and moustaches going from rare but spectacular handlebars, ironic but stylish ’80s-inspired to confidently worn short-trimmed moustaches. Overall we’re seeing more beards than four or five years ago, but they are worn at a more moderate length than the hipster beards you might have in mind. Moustaches are making a big comeback, but worn rather short, casually and in a stylish way. Facial hair is less the bold statement it was some years ago and more a playground to experience different styles depending on seasons and inspirations.

And what does taking care of one’s facial hair look like today (as opposed to in the past)?

We say men are taking a lot more care of themselves than before and it’s true, but it doesn’t mean the same thing as what women do. For many it’s about caring for something that is representative of their masculinity, or again evolving into a ritual and tools that have some history. Beard care means conditioning your hair with a light oil to ensure smooth hair and moisturized skin underneath, as well as using a tailored wash that will benefit the hair and be gentle on the skin. As for shaving, the 20 to 40 age group is hugely receptive to traditional wet-shaving—those toy-like cartridge razors have lost their appeal next to the wood and brass of shaving brushes and safety razors. As for the rest of the face, it’s increasingly common to apply some moisturizer.

What does your daily grooming routine look like?

I am currently sporting a moustache, kept very short and tidy over a clean-shaven face. I shave every weekday using brush and safety razor. It’s a steep learning curve into wet-shaving; once you get the twist it is speedy, precise and gentle. Once you see all the benefits you simply cannot go back to the drugstore stuff. I apply an aftershave or face cream for extra comfort and I’m good to go!

Win! A $91 Groom Prize Pack!


We have a winner! Congratulations Chantel L. of Toronto, who won a Groom Father’s Day Discovery Set valued at $91!


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