Stanislav Avezov and his partner run the barbershop Deine Baderknechte in Aachen, Germany. Here he tells us the story of the salon, the ritual involved in a shave and how to keep your beard looking tidy while working from home.
This is a very special kind of hairdressing salon; one that offers an unrivalled experience. The sounds of the scissors and razor blades are accompanied by jazz, blues, soul and swing as the Baderknechte team takes you back in time to days gone by. Revel in a haircut or a shave that uses pomade, hair tonic or aftershave – here they use tried-and-tested products, as new does not always equal better. This is a place where you can relax after a hard day’s work; it’s an oasis of indulgence for the modern, self-respecting man.
What gave you the idea of opening a barbershop?
Me and my business partner go back a long way. We used to work together in the same salon. At some point down the line, my friend Pino had the idea of running a salon together. We had to overcome a lot of obstacles and not everything immediately worked out the way we envisaged. But those were just teething problems. We wanted to invest our strength and energy into our own project and that is what we did.
How did you come up with the name Deine Baderknechte?
We thought about it for a long time. We definitely didn’t want to use our own names for the salon and we felt it was important that the name reflected the origin of our craft. In the end, we were inspired by Baderknecht, an old word for barber, and hit upon Deine Baderknechte.
What is most special about your salon?
We always say that it’s difficult to put into words. It’s different and that’s what makes it special. Our team is different, our philosophy is different. We believe in an overall concept that makes us and our salon different. Being different is a challenge and it’s one that we’ve faced head on.
Are your clients local or do people come from further away?
We are very lucky that our salon is located in the beautiful city of Aachen and that we’re close to the borders of both Belgium and Holland. We estimate that our clients travel 30 km on average to come to us. But there are a few clients that come from even further away.
When do you see most clients? Are there classic peak times or a kind of seasonal trade?
We are open six days a week and work mainly on an appointment-only basis from Monday to Friday. Saturday is the only non-appointment day when we say “first come, first served”. Before the shop opens on a Saturday, we have a long queue of clients waiting. With that in mind, we don’t really have any peak times.
Do men come to you mainly for haircuts or for beard grooming?
As we are all qualified hairdressers, our main service is haircutting. However, we want to reflect the origin of the typical men’s salon, which is why we also offer beard trims and shaves. We have a very simple price list with a combo-price for a haircut and a shave, which is very popular with our clients. Although, when you look at the figures, we do get more bookings for haircuts.
What does beard grooming involve at Deine Baderknechte?
Our concept is all about offering the modern man something special, which is why we make a ritual out of our shaving services. We start with a consultation and, in the second step, get the beard into shape while it’s dry. Then we use a special lotion to soften the skin and open the pores and follow up with warm compresses while we mix the beard soap. We then remove the compresses and spread the soap onto the skin. Then we start shaving. After the shave comes the second round of warm compresses to remove any excess soap from the skin. Then we treat the face – either with an aftershave or a lotion depending on how sensitive the skin is. Next, we treat the beard with oil or a balsam and bring it into shape. Finally, the client gets to see the results in the mirror.
Are there any products to help beards grow quicker or even fill in gaps?
You can find many products online that promise better beard growth. Do you think we wouldn’t use them, if they worked? We’d certainly see an increase in clients! However, there’s no scientific evidence to say that these products actually do work.
Do you have a special pair of beard scissors?
No, we use normal scissors; the same ones for beards as we use for cutting hair.
What is your best-selling service and product?
Our best-selling service is the haircut and shave combo. Regarding products, it’s more difficult to say. We have lots of products and every member of staff has their favourite for both hair and beards. Consequently, every stylist offers their clients their favourite product, but of course it has to also suit the client, which is why consultation is our top priority.
How are you coping with the current situation?
We are concentrating on the imminent re-opening; we’re meeting to prepare for client appointments and clarifying hygiene regulations, which need to be in place for the re-opening.
Do you have a plan in place for the time after re-opening?
We have completely removed our waiting area and have set up the mobile barber station – which we normally use for the CG – CLUB of GENTS Tour – as the fifth chair in the salon. We are making appointments as before and have also decided to make Saturdays an appointment-only day too. There are challenging times ahead, but we’ll manage.
What are the current beard trends and how are beards being worn in summer 2020?
Men have always enjoyed sporting beards, but we are seeing more and more that they are getting distinctly shorter. The trend of the above-average bearded man is declining and the spotlight is turning to shorter beards. However, that doesn’t mean that longer beards aren’t fashionable any more – they’ll become something special and be particularly eye-catching.
What is your top tip for a brilliant beard during the corona crisis?
We have all trimmed our beards shorter so as to make working in masks more bearable. Regular washing is also very important, but that applies with or without the corona situation.
What does a good day look like for you?
When we’ve laughed and not seen work as being work, then the day has been perfect. Ending the day on a high as if you hadn’t been working at all.
DEINE BADERKNECHTE ON TOUR IN AUTUMN 2020
Together with the Baderknechte, CG – CLUB of GENTS is once again going on tour. Although we had to cancel our spring 2020 events, you can look forward to our autumn programme. We will transform your shopping trip into a feel-good paradise. Treat yourself to a shave or a spot of beard grooming and receive professional beard care advice. You can find out all the details of the tour on our websites and on Social Media.