The Air and Water Show is on in full F-1 force, and the lakefront is packed with tourists and spectators who are swimming, eating and…getting their facial hair trimmed?
While the Blue Angels rip through the sky men nestle themselves in black barber chairs, propped between a merch tent and line of port-o-potties, to have their goatees sculpted by one of two “Master Barbers” who are in Chicago as part of the Wahl Let it Grow Tour.
“Over fifty-five million American men sport some sort of facial hair throughout the year,” Justin says, the tour’s manager and spokesman, “it’s important that guys remember how to groom themselves.” It’s Justin’s job to “get on the mic and tell people if their ear hair is too long, or their goatee is too big.” “Guys sometimes are scared to trim their own facial hair because they’re afraid they’re going to mess it up. So that’s why we have the Master Barbers out here giving them tips and showing them how they can do it themselves.”
So far, more than 250 men have received trims, and thousands have come through just to hang out and compete for prizes (like free Wahl hats and Ear, Nose and Brow Trimmers), playing games and answering trivia. Men are also competing in a competition for the best beard, goatee and mustache. Like some weird hair carnival, the tour is roving to fourteen cities nationwide, bringing metrosexuality to men across the nation. “We’re spreading the word about how to maintain facial hair!” (Reilly Nelson)