Just like Tom Cruise, I have trouble keeping a beard. I don’t mind growing one, I like the part about not shaving every day, but once it comes in, it’s itchy and scratchy and soon the new look gets old real quick for me. But the only thing worse than a scratchy beard in the middle of summer (think Katie Holmes with poison ivy on the 4th of July...okay, I’ll quit picking on TomKat!) is shaving the thing off. I have sensitive skin and shaving off a beard usually is an all day project involving scissors, packs of razors, lots of shaving cream and it always ends with my face all cut up and blotchy and looking even worse than the itchy, sweaty fur face I started out with!
Well, to get rid of this year's beard, I was inspired by PJ Star reporter, Chris Kaergard, who recently had his 13-month-old “Budget Beard” shaved off at Menzoil Men's Grooming Station & Barbershop. I’ve had a pedicure there in the past and I’ve also had a straight razor shave a while back and I think it’s time to venture to East Peoria for yet another close shave at Menzoil Men's Grooming Station & Barbershop!
Menzoil is easy to spot here on Meadow Avenue in East Peoria, just look for the giganzo barber pole or the signature Menzoil black and white van parked out in front. Okay, let’s go in and take a look around in here, it’s been a while since weve had a visit here!
The front room has been rearranged a little bit since our last visit here. Check out the vintage chess board table over by the front window. Opposite that is the shoe shine area with photos on the wall. But we didn’t come here to get a shoe shine, so let’s head into the inner sanctum of Menzoil!
There’s the front chair and standing behind the chair is the pretty and friendly owner of Menzoil, LIsa Glass, always great to see Lisa! Lisa’s a third generation barber and you can read her story right here. Before we take a seat in that classic barber chair, let’s take a look around in here. As you can see, there’s a pool table in the center of the room to enjoy while you're waiting for an appointment or if you're just hanging out afterwards.
Menzoil has a nice nostalgic feel to it, with Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots on a desk in the corner and an impressive vintage gold cash register on the other side of the room. There’s other barber stations lining the mirrored wall and impressive wooden cabinets and display cases filled with razors and artifacts from the past.
In addition to the products from days gone by, Lisa also stocks a large assortment of present day grooming products including the entire line of Alluvian products. Alluvian is a local grooming company and you can read more about that business here, Lisa is going to be using several of their products while shaving off my beard today.
Okay, time to take my seat in Lisa’s barber chair and get ready to de-bearded! There’s MBIP Pal, Contributing Writer, Wheel Man, Scott Turley and today we’re adding Contributing Photographer to his list of ongoing credits. I’m going to surrender the MBIP Camera to him and he’ll be taking the photos while Lisa is trimming an shaving my beard off. I’m never comfortable handing off the MBIP Camera because I hate to lose control of this blog, but what are you going to do? Okay I took one last selfie of myself and this beard which will soon be history and Scott takes the camera, Lisa takes her place behind the chair and away we go!
Lisa starts off by trimming it with an electric razor and she shaved a fu-manchu mustache and sideburns for me. I have to say, this is already a thousand times more enjoyable than doing it yourself! And Scott's doing a great job with the photos, especially with that obligatory mirror shot! Nice work, Scott!
One of the best things about having your beard shaved at Menzoil is the hot towel treatment on your face! This is so relaxing and it really brings a feeling of calm. I usually only feel this relaxed after a sea of vodka and pain pills! Next comes the straight razor and Lisa is a master with the blade!
We’re almost done, it took six weeks to grow the beard and in just under 45 minutes it’s gone! Lisa gave my eyebrows a little trim, and there’s a final soak with a cold wet towel and...
Presto, the beard is gone and we’ll end this episode with a couple of clean shaven obligatory mirror shots (that’s Jim, one of Lisa’s regular customers in the background!) Thanks to Scott for taking great photos (although it was a relief to get the MBIP Camera back in my hands!) and big thanks to Lisa for doing a great job! This was so relaxing and fun, I suggest anyone with a beard to stop by and give it a try, you can always grow it back! And speaking of that, one thing I didn’t like about my beard was that it was all white in it that made me look about ten years older. Well Lisa said she can can dye beards, so I think I’ll grow another one in the fall and have her dye it and we’ll see what that looks like! Stay tuned for that and we’ll see you all tomorrow!
Menzoil Men's Grooming Station & Barbershop
300 Meadow Avenue