Arctic Exploration and Extreme Grooming Regimes
In a new series where we consider who is the quintessential Truefitt & Hill man in today's world, we first have British intrepid adventurer and Polar explorer Alex Hibbert who will be stress-testing our skincare products in some of the harshest environments on the planet.
The first in a number of guest blog posts, we have invited Alex to share his thoughts on what it takes to travel to the top of the Earth and back...
"There’s a very special feeling when you return to civilisation after weeks in the wilderness.
The first moment that warmth meets your face when you have all but forgotten what it’s like to not have to wear a facemask to protect from raging wind and the deep cold. Sitting down on a padded seat. Using a knife and fork. It’s a surreal transition, and most likely the foundation of what a few people refer to as the ‘polar bug’ – the need to travel to the Arctic again and again, only to savour each return to home.
I have carved out a career as a polar expedition leader – what in the past might be lauded a polar explorer. Over the past decade I have now gone through this homecoming experience dozens of times. I begin to readjust to the city landscape, to urban living and to millions of people. Having discovered one particular haven of comfort and relaxation, home to a team of consummate professionals, the whole process has been made a great easier. Truefitt and Hill is the place I call on to unwind, shed the weathered legacy of my time on the ice, and relaunch back into my ‘other’ world of cosmopolitan London.
The life of a twenty-first century polar traveller is one juxtaposition after another. One moment it is negotiating insurance contracts and working through a dozen spreadsheets; a mind full of numbers and jargon. The next, it’s tackling a faulty stove, crouched inside a cramped tent and rubbing hands together in minus forty degrees to encourage blood to my fingertips. You cannot afford to become inflexible or too comfortable in one environment. You can be a specialist, but not narrow-minded. Ultimately, you need to be able to cope with it all, and with anything. It’s this life, one that many might call a mountain of stress, but I’d term a life well lived, that demands the luxury and unwinding that can only be found in traditional grooming.
Truefitt and Hill are as relevant today as they were at their formation over two centuries ago. The men who frequent their barbershops in London and now worldwide still seek the very best in service, in technical skill and in product quality, so they can step back out into their worlds ready to meet any challenge."