GENTLEMEN’S CLUB: Anton Roux – Financial Planner and Adviser at Fisher Dugmore Financial

Weighing in at 87kg with a tall 1.96m frame, Anton Roux is a financial planner and family man who was always hard to miss in a crowd. But several years ago, when a serendipitous summer ‘miscalculation’ led him to sport a salt and pepper beard, he took the universe’s cue and simply transformed into an impossible-to-ignore ‘hipster’ gentleman whose strategic mind goes beyond figures and statistics, allowing him to seamlessly transition between meetings with clients and his other priorities; health, wellness and self-presentation. We chatted to Anton about how he keeps in shape, his views on embracing the ageing process, and why he believes South African men tend to lag behind their European counterparts when it comes to style and grooming.

 

How would you describe your personal style?

Shew! It’s not easy to define but I’d say my style is smart-casual. I don’t feel comfortable being too casual and dressed down, but I don’t overdress either unless the occasion calls for it. Generally, day to day, I prefer a more relaxed style rather than stiff and formal. So basically, good-quality jeans paired with a bespoke form-fitting collared shirt and no tie.

Anton Roux

What does your dressing and personal grooming style say about you?

I definitely take care of myself and I care about my appearance. When I meet clients, I aim to look professional and convey that I take pride in how I present myself. I do have a tailor who I use to create – and alter – my shirts and trousers because it’s difficult for me to wear clothes straight off the shelf, partly due to my height.

 

That’s a great suit you’re wearing. Where do you shop for clothes?

I like Zara’s men’s clothes but I shop mostly in sports shops like Puma and Nike. They have a very good selection of casual clothes – not just for fitness training and outdoor – but for a more relaxed feel.

 

You were clean-shaven for years. What made you decide to grow a beard?

I started growing my beard in December 2015. We went on a family holiday and I totally forgot to pack my shaver so my wife suggested that I just leave it to grow and see how it turns out. I said it’s not ideal for corporate but she told me to just give it a go. My wife guides me and helps me make decisions on clothing and grooming. She helps me to see things from a woman’s perspective.

The kids also love my beard. My daughter thinks it’s pretty unique and my 8-year-old son, Luke, says he can’t wait to grow one. I think he’s intrigued by how it will look on him someday.

 

How do people react to your beard and how has it changed their perception of you?

For starters, I receive a lot more compliments! But it’s two-fold; when I just started growing my beard, people warned that it would make me look older and they tried to put me off the whole idea, but now, those same people are dishing out compliments! They say that I look professional and they like that I don’t even try to cover up the grey. Just the other night, I got complimented by musician, Rowan Ash. We took a photo with him and afterwards he looked at me and said: “I like your look.” So overall, people do react positively to it.

Anton Roux

Tell us more about your grooming routine.

Since I’m a man, I maintain masculinity but I’m also astute about grooming. I feel good when I look good. I try to keep it simple. Simplicity is what I’m all about so my routine is minimalist and I just stick to the basics. I use a good-quality natural face cream. I also use a normal shampoo and conditioner, beard oil to keep the hair soft, as well as a wax product for styling.

When it comes to beard maintenance, I just do it myself using a scissor and clipper to snip anything that’s out of line. Then I give it a comb through and use a hairdryer – especially during winter. It’s a quick 2-3 min exercise of daily, quick touch-ups.

That said, I spend a lot on fragrances and I love it when I meet people and I get a faint sense of the perfume they’re wearing. I love that, so I spend a lot on top-quality oil-based fragrances. If someone looks good and smells good, they engage more of your senses and that creates a better impression.

 

What challenges have you experienced with your beard?

No challenges, really. But once or twice, while hugging a lady friend, my beard did get entangled with her necklace, and I just found myself attached and stuck there. Very awkward but we laugh about it.

 

How do you choose hair and skincare products?

I’m very health conscious so I steer towards more natural oils and ingredients rather than just being easily swayed by brand promises. I think it’s important to be wary of using too many chemical-based products, so nothing artificial. I particularly enjoy using products which contain coconut and peppermint because they both smell delicious.

 

Are you keen to try our imported range of London Grooming products?

Yes, definitely. I’d love to try The London Grooming Company pomade because it’s paraben-free, as well as The London Grooming Company beard oil which is fragranced with Oud wood. I’m also quite drawn to the old-school tin packaging 🙂

 

In your opinion, what’s your best facial feature and why?

(Chuckles) My nose. It sounds funny but I’ll tell you why; I used to box when I was younger and I broke my nose twice. It’s a bit skew and I was quite self-conscious, but I realised that it’s part of my story, so why should I hide it or be embarrassed about it?

Anton Roux

What are your thoughts on anti-ageing and how do you maintain such a youthful appearance?

Anti-ageing is a process that you drive from within. Feed your body with proper nutrients and water, manage stress and sleep well, all of which will benefit you more than anything topical. It shouldn’t be superficial. If you take care of yourself, a youthful appearance will be a by-product.

 

How do you keep physically fit?

I exercise six days a week; gym twice weekly and high-intensity garage-style workouts (weights, pull-up bars, punching bags, push-ups) four times. A person can stay in great shape by managing their diet and staying consistent with exercise at home. You don’t need to pay an expensive gym membership fee. Did I mention that I run sprints? Jogging places too much strain on the joints.

 

What’s your opinion on South African men’s style and grooming?

Grooming is an extension of being a man. There are really tough men out there who take care of themselves, so challenge your beliefs. It’s not an exclusively feminine thing to do. While travelling in Europe, it was pretty obvious to me that men there do take more pride in their appearance. It’s not an image thing, but about taking pride in your presentation.

Unfortunately, I do notice men in malls here who I think can take better care of themselves. They just dress too casual for any environment! They don’t put much thought into their appearance, yet they can do it if they just take the time. Grooming won’t take anything away from being a ‘man’. Maybe our amazing weather also plays a part in South African men thinking that “it’s too hot to dress up”, so they just wear any crappy T-shirt and flip-flops. It’s a culture thing but we need to break the mould. Where are the women behind these men?? A woman needs to go shopping with her man and advise him. Her input is valuable.

 

What do you do for fun?

Training sessions clear my mind. My family also loves experiences; live music shows, sporting events and spending time with friends around a boma with a solid bourbon in-hand.

 

Anton is intelligent, likeable and well put-together. Despite being a financial wizard who knows that one really does have to dress to impress, he has also figured out that even with all the best investments and life assurance policies, health is the ultimate wealth. Here’s hoping that he continues to defy the nonchalant perception of South African ‘okes’, and that he puts effort and care into his overall appearance for many years to come so as to prove that a man can indeed get better with age.

GENTLEMEN’S CLUB: MINNESH RAMDHANY – corporate climber, model and dare-devil

With a zest for life and an insatiable quest for hair-raising experiences, 44-year-old Minnesh Ramdhany, a Senior Account Executive at Vodafone Global Enterprise, lets us in on his style secrets and tells us how his beard – dubbed a ‘spiritual experience’ – has helped him command respect and attract a different set of dating prospects.

 

How would you describe your personal style?

Retro-metro sexual. Growing up, I was heavily influenced by both my grandads. My mum’s dad always wore a suit with a handkerchief peeking out from his breast pocket and no tie. He also always had a comb on hand. My paternal grandfather was very retro. He loved his suede shoes and cardigans.

I dress to suit my mood and the occasion, and play with colour and textures. I think of clothing as a sort of ‘protective cloak’ so they must be comfortable to wear. I prefer to set the trend rather than follow all trends especially those that don’t suit my body shape.

Minnesh Ramdhany

What does your dressing and personal grooming style say about you?

The way I dress certainly makes me come across as more confident and self-assured. Some say I’m a ‘classic’ kind of guy, but I would like to believe that my dressing style communicates that I’m agile, flexible and a ‘go-with-the-flow’ sort of person.

 

How do people react to your beard and how has it changed their perception of you?

Mmm… My beard has been the biggest ‘spiritual experience’ of my life. I started growing it about 2-3 years ago, and people hated it at first. After the first six months, when I had figured out how to care for it, they started reacting differently – positively! Different people started taking a liking to me and I began attracting completely different types of women. White foreign women love it, while South African Indian women seem to disapprove. A lot of people mistake me for being Muslim, and I noticed that many religious people treat me with a lot more respect. They offer compliments and ask lots of questions.

Minnesh Ramdhany

Tell us more about your grooming routine.

Well, every second week I have my hair kept in tip-top shape by one of the various celebrity hairstylists in Joburg. They experiment with trends and recommend specific treatments based on what my hair needs at the time, and give advice and product suggestions. My beard is more time-consuming. For beard trimming, I’m a regular at IsJon in Sandton, and for a bit of extra care I go to a Turkish-Egyptian guy who uses different oils – including Moroccan oils – and wax as part of his treatments. Then, I go to a lady named Aadila, owner of Body Sphere, who threads my eyebrows. Yes, I do threading and I’m proud of it!

Day to day, my grooming regime is as follows:

  1. Wash

Shampoo and conditioner – for softness – are both part of my ritual.

Try our London Grooming haircare products>>

  1. Dry

I use a hairdryer to quickly dry my head of hair and beard, and use a wooden comb to combat static.

  1. Style

To keep every strand in place, I use gels and hairspray, but I use a moustache wax on my beard to care for the skin underneath.

 

In your opinion, what’s your best facial feature and why?

Definitely my eyes – when I’m not wearing my glasses. They earn me a good few compliments especially after I’ve just had my eyebrows threaded. Oh, and friends have mentioned my “infectious smile”. Apparently, I need to “smile more”.

 Minnesh Ramdhany

How do you choose hair and skincare products?

Organic and natural stuff is my first choice. I have sensitive skin so to avoid bad reactions I’m always cautious about what I apply, and this is where my therapists’ suggestions are valued most. Fragrance is also important and I prefer it being complementary to my perfume.

 

Are you keen to try our imported range of London Grooming products?

I’d love to try London Grooming haircare products with tea tree oil and even the London Grooming beard oil

These seem very ‘new-age’ and tick all the right boxes. Even better if they cater to my specific needs.

 

How do you keep physically fit?

Let’s see… I do yoga and meditate to maintain a calm demeanour and remain centred. I take long walks and hikes for fresh air, I’ve joined Zumba dance classes, and I gym once or twice per week. I’m also a true dare-devil. Would you believe that I’ve gone swimming with piranhas in Brazil?

Minnesh Ramdhany

What are your thoughts on anti-ageing and how do you maintain such a youthful appearance?

So I’ve always had a pact with myself that I would look ten years younger than my actual age at any given time. Sure, I don’t want to be an old man trying to act young but I’d like to dress age-appropriately and age gently. I use anti-ageing products around my eyes, and on my hands and neck because these areas show the first signs of ageing.

Most guys my age look like they’re much older. Maybe it’s just the effect of stress due to life, career, marriage and kids, but they really need to take better care of themselves.

 

That’s a great suit you’re wearing. Where do you shop for clothes?

I don’t! Seriously, all my suits are tailored for me. About 15 years ago, I started commissioning bespoke suits from tailors abroad; Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong and India. I watch Fashion TV, scout for trends and then email pics to the designers, or they email me with ideas based on the latest international menswear trends. They have my measurements on file so they make up suits according to my preferences and ship them to South Africa. One of my favourites is Henry’s Collection in Vietnam, while locally, I follow Frank Bespoke just to keep an eye on trends here.

Henry's Collection

What’s your opinion on South African men’s style and grooming?

I have a major problem with the fact that most South African men don’t take care of themselves – especially the older generation just before the millennials. My mum used to tell my dad to change his shirt or trim his stubble, but nowadays, women don’t seem to put their men in line. I’ve even heard some women say that they want to look better than their man, which just doesn’t make sense.

I’d like to see South African men keep up with other men globally. Men here think that dressing well will put them in a negatively stereotyped box, but it doesn’t! Take some pride in how you look and spray a bit of expensive perfume. Small things can make a big difference to how you’re perceived.

 

What do you do for fun?

Travel motivates everything in my life. I also love good food so I’m always visiting new restaurants and I treat myself to a theatre production twice monthly. My Sunday routine starts with breakfast in Melville followed by a trip to an art gallery, flea market or art nouveau movie.

I think that I love animals more than humans so you’ll often find me at the SPCA or helping out at other safe-houses for abused animals. Did I mention that I love wolves?? They’re such mystical, misunderstood creatures. The leader – the alpha – leads the pack from the rear. It’s so interesting, so clever… From this position, he can see everything, control everything and decide the direction.

I’m a wolf.

 

How lucky can one bloke be? Forget sheepskin! Minnesh Ramdhany is a wolf dressed in fine fabrics and blessed with a strategic mind which he applies outside the boardroom to carefully calculate his approach to personal grooming. Over the years, he’s relied on his innate instincts to seamlessly transition between many faces; bravely bearded, clean shaven, and everything in between but it’s his equally admirable ever-evolving sense of self which puts him ahead of the alpha man pack.

Minnesh Ramdhany

VIKINGS – THE ORIGINAL BEARDED HIPSTERS

Beards have come a long way since historical times, where they were imperiously worn as a piece of armour to intimidate enemies. They were also, most conveniently, used for warmth and protection against harsh weather conditions. Those lengthy facial fleeces adorned by 8th-11th-century Vikings were much more than the fashion statement they are today. Hipsters may currently hold the style rights to suave and manly beards, however, we can thank the Vikings for originating this wildly popular trend more than a thousand years ago.

viking beard

Contrary to what you may have heard about these swashbuckling Scandinavian warriors, Vikings were known to be very well kept with a penchant for good hygiene. Grooming was an essential part of their routines, and archaeologists have even discovered combs made from bone and tweezers among their ancient remains. These tools were used to neaten, clean and untangle their hair and beards.

While our Viking ancestors preferred to wear their bristles in a more dishevelled, dragged-through-the-war kind of way, the millennial gentlemen prefers his look far more ‘tailored’. The original hipsters were also fascinated by blonde hair and it became a common practice for them to bleach their tresses and beards using soap with a high potash (potassium-enriched) concentrate. These days, beards are primped and trimmed, braided, dyed or ironed, and on rare occasions, are (regrettably) covered in glitter.

viking beard

Well, with great beards, comes great responsibility. Once you’ve accepted the significant role of ornamenting your appearance with the beguilement of a beard, it will require some care and upkeep. Your beard is an extension of who you are and one of the first things people see when they come into contact with you. It’s safe to say that a well-groomed man-mane is appealing to look at, whether you’re trying to impress the fairer sex or charm your way to the front of the coffee queue. Beards definitely have their perks.

When it comes to beard care, we’re fortunate enough not to be limited to old Norse soap made from sheep’s milk or ash and animal fat. Modern men are spoilt for choice with an array of beard-grooming products made from natural, vegan-friendly ingredients. Our best recommendation are beard oils, made with 100% essential natural oils. They’ve been trending for a while now and once you try it, it’s easy to understand why. This golden elixir deeply moisturises and hydrates your skin and softens beard hair. Adding a clear, grease-free sheen to your designer stubble, beard oil is instrumental in combatting dry flaky skin and facial dandruff. Yes, it’s a thing.

viking beard

The texture of your facial hair vastly differs from the hair on your head, and it should be treated that way. Using conventional conditioners or hair products could cause irritation and greasiness, whereas beard oil soothes sensitive skin and penetrates the surface of your epidermis to unclog acne-causing pores.

The London Grooming Company’s beard oil goes one step further by adding the intoxicating, musky scent of Oud Wood which subtly fragrances your mane and lasts throughout the day. Harnessing the gentle and soothing power of pure hemp oil, London Grooming Company’s beard oil moisturises skin cells and softens those stubborn quills your girlfriend complains about. The best part? It’s easy to use and will only take up a minute of your day.

To use: 

  1. Start by placing two drops of beard oil into the palms of your hands.

  2. Rub your hands together and then massage oil into the skin.

  3. Use gentle circular motions to ensure the hair is adequately coated.

 

tor

Great, right? Just a few simple steps to a dapper beard that will have you looking like a Norse God! We highly doubt that Chris Hemsworth would’ve made a convincing Thor with a clean-shaven face…

Keep bad beard days at bay. Purchase our London Grooming Company’s beard oil now

 

HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR BEARD, THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE.

After first deciding to grow a beard, it can be an exciting time. During the ‘itchy’ phase, it is very easy to start regretting the decision but then it forms into a perfect shape that any man would be proud of. Although all beards are different in shape, size, and colour, they all have one thing in common – they need to be looked after in order to remain healthy and good-looking.

Ultimately, looking after your beard is vital because otherwise it will soon lose its health and you just may have to shave it back and start again. Over the years, many men have failed to look after their beards correctly and it leads to a shaggy and unkempt look. Despite popular belief, this doesn’t have to be a chore. When people talk about looking after a beard, many make the mistake of thinking that it has to be a tough process but this simply isn’t true.

Overall, one of the best products you can buy for your beard is oil. Not only does beard oil moisturise and leave your beard feeling healthy, it goes straight to the follicle to keep your beard looking thick and healthy too. Over time, your beard will succumb to the wind and the elements which causes facial hair to become dry and flaky. However, beard oil helps to keep the area moisturised to ensure that this doesn’t happen regardless of where you are in the world and what season you’re in.

Best Product? – All in all, we believe that we have the best beard oil at the London Grooming Company. Not only are our products affordable, they provide the perfect product for anyone looking to add the natural shine you see with celebrities and movie stars. By including all the essential oils and minerals you need to encourage a healthy beard and even growth, you will never need to look for another product ever again.

Among other important ingredients, we ensure that our beard oil uses hydration treatment which means that your beard will stay in good shape not just for the first couple of hours of the day but for prolonged periods of time. As an added bonus, the oil is also fragranced with our signature Oud Wood and will last just as long as any regular aftershave. When first developing this product, we realised that regular aftershave was damaging beard hair so we strived to achieve an oil that would help every beard to look, feel, and smell good.

So there we have it, London Grooming Company’s beard oil really is the best way to put your beard in the best possible position for long term growth and health!

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