Man with a beard looks over his left shoulder

4 Tips for Better Beard Care

At least half of the Earth’s population has the potential to grow a beard or moustache. You’d think with 50% of people capable of it, proper facial hair care would be common knowledge. Yet we often see folks come in with all manner of beard care practices — good, bad, and ugly. Whether you’ve got a lot or a little (and whether that’s by nature or by choice), here are Ross’s ultimate tips for keeping your facial hair healthy and happy.

  1. Invest in the tools

    Whether you’re trimming it or shaving it off, investing in the right tools will make a world of difference for your face fuzz. Cheap trimmers can pull or damage the hairs and skin, while dull or cheap razors can cause ingrown hairs or infections. Using poor quality shaving soap or foam will also give shoddy results. Get the best tools and products you can afford, and be sure to keep them in good repair. Clean them after every use, and don’t be afraid to replace them as soon as you notice them start to fail.

  2. Don’t fear the comb

    Never underestimate the benefit of daily grooming. Not only will a decent sort out make whatever you’re working with appear fuller and more orderly, you will also be helping to ‘train’ your hairs to grow in the direction you want them to. This means less styling time, a tash that stays out of your mouth, and eventually less ingrown hairs! Daily combing will also help distribute moisture and oils more evenly throughout your beard, which means a healthier, better conditioned beard.

  3. Good beard care is good skin care, too

    Speaking of oils, investing in a good quality beard oil will ensure that you have the most glorious beard around. Not only will it condition your beard hair, making it soft and pliable (but still manly), it will also keep the sensitive skin under your beard in good condition, while also acting as a styling product. And while we’re on the topic, you can’t expect to have a beautiful, healthy beard if your skin is spotty and scaly underneath. Avoid ingrown hairs and beard dandruff by exfoliating and moisturizing the skin around your beard (including your neck).

  4. Lather, rinse, repeat

    There is a bit of a debate about how and how often, you should be washing your beard. Some suggest daily (or every time you shower), while others say never use shampoo. Using a good shampoo and conditioner can improve a dry, hard-to-manage beard if that’s what you’re facing. If you’re wanting to try it, a good rule of thumb is to shampoo it 1-2 times per week, and condition it daily (or whenever you shower). It’s important to clear out all of the food, sweat, and products, but it’s just as vital to ensure it’s hydrated, so you will want to avoid over-cleansing.

Over a few weeks or months, you will notice your beard becoming more soft, pliable, and overall easier to manage. Don’t take your foot off the pedal! Keep going with the daily grooming and you will have great facial hair for life.

So there you have it — 4 tips for better beard care. Will you be trying some of these tips? What’s your top beard care tip? Be sure to let us know! xx


Jennifer Lawrence smiling with ice blonde hair

Hair Trend: Ice Blonde

The past few years have seen exciting and bold trends when it comes to hair colour. Now it’s more common than ever to see smoky grey, metallic pastels, emerald green, vivid rainbows, or even rock-inspired colours on all sorts of cuts and styles. And of course our favourite Hollywood stars are leading the charge, debuting their new looks left, right, and centre.

A great new trend we’re noticing is ice-blonde on shorter, edgier cuts. Pioneered by the likes of Miley Cyrus, Gwen Stefani, Pink, and Jennifer Lawrence, this cool trend is heating up for spring.

Recently, Cara Delevingne arrived at Paris Fashion Week with a new bold look to add to her history of bold looks — a bright, icy blonde bob. The actress, top model, activist, spokeswoman, and new novelist (!!) has become known as a trailblazer of ‘quirky beauty’. Many attribute the re-birth of the strong brow to Cara’s naturally striking brows. And she’s kept a naturally dark brow while rocking bright-to-the-point-of-white locks.

Cara Delevingne with ice blonde hair.

Cara Delevingne at Paris Fashion Week 2017 with a platinum bob. (Getty Images)


Actress Kristen Stewart has also embraced the short, bleach-blonde look. Her platinum buzz cut is reportedly part of her portrayal for a new role, and she has dubbed the new ‘do as ‘practical’ (fair enough). The buzz cut is just the latest in the star’s ever evolving beauty; from girl-next-door fresh, to glam-Goth, and now to platinum bad ass, no one can say that she sticks to a signature look.

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart at the premier of her new film Personal Shopper with a blonde buzz cut. (Getty Images)


Whichever works best for you — long and flowing or short and cropped — achieving an ice blonde look can take quite a bit of time and prep work, especially if you want to preserve the quality and health of your hair. Be sure to book in for a free consultation with one of our colourists before you make your appointment for your next big change.

Woman sitting beside the pool

How to Improve Your Hair Condition This Summer

As an industry, we understand that most people abuse their hair. That’s why it’s so important for us to give you the correct advice to fix or prevent the most common problems. Today we will be discussing a few points about your hair condition, specifically when it comes to the warmer weather, and the steps you can take to improve your hair this spring/summer and beyond!

If you missed Ross’s Spring/Summer 2017 Trend Report, take a read through that to get some tips about what you might see in magazines and social media in the next few months.

Hair Condition Vs. Your Holiday

In some cases the sun’s damage is irreversible. We all know the effects of the sun on our skin and how damaging it can be, but don’t neglect your hair on that fantastic holiday in the Med.

Colour will begin to fade in the bright sun, so be aware that if you don’t cover your head when it’s bright out, your amazing highlights may need redoing on your return. The sun will break down the colour molecules and make your hair appear faded and dull. The heat can also damage your scalp, drying it out or even burning it! So as much as you can, keep your head covered up with a hat or parasol, or stay in the shade when the sun is at its hottest and brightest.

Chlorine in the pool and salt in the ocean can also wreak havoc on your hair quality and colour, so be sure to saturate your hair in clean water before jumping in. If you will be spending a lot of time in the pool, dousing your hair in treatment before donning a waterproof cap is your best option for limiting the effects of the harsh chemicals in pools.

The must-have products to keep in your beach bag this summer are the Merlin Pistachio & Almond, Multiplex, or Pineapple & Lime treatment sprays. All three are leave-in hair treatments that help to maintain moisture, add support, and replenish vitamins and proteins — perfect for an easy beach holiday by the pool. Stop by the salon before your holiday so we can choose the best product for you.

If you’re looking for even more warm weather hair tips, be sure to watch our video here:

Hair Condition Analysis Service

If you would like a full, in-depth Hair Condition Analysis, this can be booked in with Ross himself, and he can put you on the right track towards healthy hair. He will perform all sorts of test like the strength check, silicone check, moisture check, and porosity check; he can get even more technical and organise a full microscopic analysis for the most serious of cases.

Ross has a real passion for helping people improve their hair. He uses a combination of family trade secrets and the latest in hair science, along with insights from over twenty year’s experience helping customers achieve great hair. Don’t hesitate to book for a consultation with him if you feel that you need extra help.

Just standing in the shampoo section of the super market and buying the nicest smelling product or the one with the most attractive bottle will not do! And please, certainly don’t buy from the bargain bin — they are there for a reason!

Intro to Washing Your Hair graphic

Merlin Guide: Intro to Hair Washing

Welcome to Part 2 in our Merlin Guide. This time we will be teaching you how to use your Merlin products to achieve the best possible results. Stay tuned for the next post, where we will be teaching you how the shampoos actually work. If you missed Part 1, where we gave an introduction to the Merlin brand, be sure to catch it here.

You may be looking at the length of this article and wondering who in the world has time for ALL THESE STEPS. But don’t worry, a lot of this stuff is stuff you are probably already doing, and have been doing since you were five years old. As you read, think about the small adjustments you can make to your hair washing routine so that you are maximizing your great hair, and minimizing damage and stress that can lead to ‘bad’ hair.

STEP 1: The First Cleanse

  • Pour your first shampoo into your hand — no larger than a 10p coin — and lather between your palms.
  • Apply to your scalp, paying attention to every part of your head. If you have long hair you may need to lift your hair to get the product onto your scalp.
  • Using your fingertips, gently but firmly rub the product around your whole scalp. Any lather that runs down your hair can be used to cleanse the lengths and ends. Keep your movements gentle but firm, as scratching or pulling may damage your scalp or hair. It is normal that you don’t see many (or any) bubbles as this first cleanse starts to lift the oils on your scalp (think of what an oily pot does to the bubbles in your kitchen sink).
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean, warm water.

STEP 2: The Second Cleanse

  • Repeat Step 1. You may notice more lather this time, since you have hopefully rinsed away a lot of the oils and dirt during the first cleanse.

STEP 4: The (Optional) Treatment

  • Use your towel or hands to squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Be careful not to wring or rub the hair too much.
  • Apply your treatment to your hair. Again, be sure to get the product through as much of your hair as you can.
    • Treatment sprays can be applied directly to the hair; make sure to use as many pumps as you need to saturate the hair.
    • Treatment in a tube or tub can be rubbed between the palms before applying; again be sure to use only a small 20-p coin-sized amount.
  • Leave for up to 15 minutes, or as long as prescribed; any longer will not necessarily give better results.
  • Rinse thoroughly.

STEP 5: The Sealing

  • Use your towel or hands to squeeze out the moisture.
  • Apply a 20-p coin-sized amount of conditioner to the lengths and ends of your hair, avoiding the root area.
  • Leave for 2-5 minutes.
  • Comb the conditioner through, starting at the roots and going down to the ends of the hair. This will help to deposit conditioner to the roots without over-conditioning your scalp and adding unnecessary weight.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
Some Other Things to Note
  • Historically, people were warned against washing their hair daily; they feared they were stripping away natural oils, drying out their hair. While using the wrong products in excess can certainly lead to damage, new research has revealed that daily washing or cleansing away a build-up of oil doesn’t necessarily lead to an unbalanced scalp. When in doubt, go with your what your hair says and clean it when it needs it.
  • It is important to shampoo your scalp more than once every time you wash your hair. The first cleanse lifts all of the oil, pollution, sweat, styling products, etc. that have built up over the day(s) since your last cleanse. Think of it like cleaning a floor covered with lots of mud, grease, and crumbs — you wouldn’t go right in with a mop and consider it clean, you would take the time to sweep up the debris before mopping, maybe even doing a second mop if needed.
  • If you don’t wash your hair daily, or your hair is exceptionally grimy that day, you may need a third (or fourth) additional cleanse in order to get your hair to its cleanest. You will know if your second cleanse has littler lather and you can still feel residue on your scalp.

Welcome to Matt: Our New Style Director

If you managed to catch our recruitment video last month, you will have seen we’ve been on the lookout for some incredible people to join our team. We have had dozens of fantastic applicants, and we will continue to search for the next apprentices, barbers, and stylists to work alongside us at 82 Gillygate. (Side note: if you would still like to apply for a position, you can still do so on our We’re Hiring page.)

In the meantime, we’d like to welcome Matt to the Ross Charles family as our new Style Director. Matt is a former Art Director with twenty years experience in hairdressing. We expect he will fit right into the salon and continue our dedication to great quality, service, and style. Please check our updated price list for his rates. Matt will work full-time hours and his first day with us was on Tuesday, 14 February – the day of LOVE, so make sure you come show Matt some love and say ‘hi’ when you visit.

As a Style Director, Matt will help Ross and the other stylists to take the salon to the next level, offering ladies and men’s cuts and styling. He is also very experienced with the creation of collections, styling photo-shoots, designing looks for the catwalk, and training other young stylists. We are looking forward to the added knowledge, range, and depth of skill he will add to our already talented team. He is sure to be a fierce addition to our squad come competition time!

Until further notice, Matt will not be offering colour services; we are pleased to have our Colour Specialist Director, Alessandra, if you require technical colour services, or Senior Stylist, Ruben, for other colour services.

If you would like to book in with Matt, be sure to give us a ring at 01904 621122, or stop by to make an appointment and meet Matt in person.

Until then, happy hair days to all! xx

4 Top Hairstyle Apps Just For You

4 Top Hairstyle Apps Just For You

If you want to have the best hair in York, then as well as coming to Ross Charles for your next cut and blow dry you should also make good use of your smartphone. As they say, there’s an app for that! Here are four hairstyle apps to help you look your best.

InStyle Hairstyle Try-On

Looking to celebrities for inspiration is always a good idea if you want a fresh new look. This app comes with more than 500 styles to pick from and will match your face shape to a celebrity’s to help you find the right look for you.

Hair Colour Booth

Want a new colour for your hair but aren’t sure if it’ll look good? This app can solve all your hair dilemmas, with realist colouring, a sliding tab selector and the option to share on social media so you can gauge public opinion without having to dye your hair first.

Schwarzkopf Hair App

This app will give you expert advice on colouring, care and styling so you can work out how best to manage your particular hair type. It’s been created by the Schwarzkopf hair experts so you know you’re in safe hands.

HairStyle Mirror

Use the front camera on your phone to see what you look like with different styles. You can also find out what hair styles are most popular in your particular country and try out different styles for special occasions like your prom or that upcoming wedding that you’re not sure how to wear your hair for. Perfect!