Updated: Friday, 22nd May 2020 @ 2:15pm

Manchester: 'The only place' to grow a beard (grooming company)

Manchester: 'The only place' to grow a beard (grooming company)

| By Rosaleen Fenton

An adopted Mancunian claims that his booming beard grooming project, which has raised more than £2,500 in donations already, couldn't have thrived anywhere other than Manchester – the 'face hair friendly city'.

Norman Cassidy, has produced a range of beard oils, balms, and moustache waxes called Bearback Grooming to help hairy males keep their facial hair in top-tip condition.

The entrepreneur and all-round beard enthusiast launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the funds to nuture the growth of his business, from stubble to a fully formed company.

Bearback Grooming, which has already smashed its £900 Kickstarter target with less than two days to go, has attracted donations from all over the world but Norman cites Manchester as the reason for his success.

“I can only guess at how the campaign would have gone if it had been based in another city," he said.

"Although I’ve had backers from the USA, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Denmark, the support from Manchester has been phenomenal. 

“Anyone who has stepped foot in the Northern Quarter and possesses the gift of sight knows that as a city, Manchester embraces the beard and as an exiled Scouser, I think my beard has helped me be accepted by the people of Manchester.”


OIL ME UP! Bearback's beard oil is just one of the products

The hipster trend for beards has exploded in recent years and Norman says he thinks that it is probably here to stay.

“When Tom Ford is bringing out beard oil you have to accept that it is now definitely fashionable to look after your beard," he said.

“I think over the last two decades male grooming has taken off and whereas before we were spending all our money on keeping our faces as smooth as possible there’s been a bit of pushback.

"The beards are fighting back, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to look after ourselves and that’s where beard oils come in.”


UN-BEAR-LIEVABLE: Norman has come up with a whole range of products to help maintain the perfect beard

Beard oil isn’t a new idea - in fact, the Ancient Greeks were obsessed with it, but male grooming has hit a new peak as sales of men’s shaving products have dropped by £72m in the last year.

Norman first grew a beard when he was fourteen and is now passionate about facial hair maintenance.

“I’d been making beard oil for myself and a few friends for a while and I had the idea for a name and other products in the back of my mind but knew I wouldn’t be able to magic up the money for myself so a bit of gentle encouragement and I was all over Kickstarter.”

Norman recommends that a good ‘beard maintenance’ routine should include oils and balms, with a full beard taking ‘upwards of half an hour cleaning, oiling, styling and waxing’.

The oils and balms moisturise the skin under the beard and prevent ‘beardruff’ - the dreaded dry beard that can ruin any man’s facial triumph.

He admits that the chances of this becoming a full-time job are like finding a ‘bearded unicorn’ but the self-proclaimed ‘lad with a beard’ is optimistic about plans for the immediate future – a website for online orders and persuading local barbers to stock his goods.

There are also later plans for a ‘bearded lifestyle blog’ and online beard community where men will be able to swap tips to achieve their full hairy potential.

Visit the Kickstarter campaign here

Images courtesy of Kickstarter, with thanks.