Daniel Rouah Biography
Daniel is usually up and out of bed by 6:30am. After a cappuccino he showers and shaves - in that order. Putting moisturising cream on before shaving, and after. He doesn't use aftershave as it burns the skin. Shave twice in the direction of the stubble growth is what Daniel preaches, never against the grain.
While the media is focused on women problems, men's interest in themselves is largely overlooked. There is no one to tell them what products are available, how to get rid of acne or dandruff, what is the correct way to shave, what hair cut or what shirt goes with what tie, suit or shoes. The list is almost endless but he'll answer your questions - just fill in the form.
Daniel - originally from Paris, has spent many years in barbering, opening the UK's first skincare salon in 1980 aimed primarily at men when everybody said he would fail.
Daniel was the first barber on the internet and knows that through this medium he can reach more men who have a problem with making themselves "beautiful" as Daniel puts it.
Daniel introduced skin care to men in the 1970s - including electrolysis and waxing - believing men could, should and would, look good. Time has proved his belief to be true with mens grooming products booming, as more and more men opt to take home their own products.
Daniel is well known for his ITV cult late night show 'The Big E' where he interviewed celebrities on screen while cutting their hair. The show went out to around 150 million viewers around the world. Some of the celebrities were wary of being interviewed by a barber but I did my best to put them at ease. Vinny Jones was one of my favourites, a real lad, but he wouldn't hurt anyone.
He did have a little trouble with the late, great, hellraising actor Oliver Reed, however, while filming The Big E. He had a thing about Frenchmen because he had been told that the French are the greatest lovers and he thought he was the best. Daniel told him he'd seen him wrestling with Alan Bates in Women in Love and that he appeared to have a small penis. He went into a frenzy, chasing Daniel round the room and punching him.
Daniel's appeared on over 850 TV and radio shows advising on various aspects of male grooming. He has contributed his knowledge to advisory columns in magazines such as FHM.
Many say the British male is too macho for grooming and facials but, as history tells it, the British are historically the bigger dandies, and the most beautifully dressed men were always British. What's more, Daniel says, British men are flexible and game for a laugh. They'll get piercings and wear make-up. You wouldn't see that happening so much in France, he adds.
After running away from his family home, Daniel arrived in London in the 60s. He couldn't speak English and had no money. He slept on the Circle Line for the first ten days and then got a job with a Greek barber in Vauxhall paying £6 a week.
He soon moved on and his next job was in Carnaby Street. Being French was tre´s chic and he was good at his job. After a few years he opened a salon in Wardour Street - with Andrew Lloyd Webber working upstairs. Not certain whether he ever cut his hair, but thinks it would be something he'd remember.
When he first went to the Baker Street salon it was owned by an old man. Daniel's marriage was over and his confidence gone. He missed his children and life was a mess. He arrived for an interview and a few days passed before he was called in and told "Here's the keys, the shops yours. Get on with it." The old man even gave him his sandwiches. Daniel didn't hear anything from him for a week, then he came in and said that the week before, he had found his wife dead on their bed. "Now we can talk business," he said. Daniel worked for him for a couple of years, then bought the place from him and spruced it up.
Daniel held regular shaving lessons at his Baker Street Barber Shop. Daniel ended up with eight female staff and launched his own range of barber shop grooming products with Boots. He sold the salon to concentrate on his eponymous grooming range Urban Rites. "Hair and skin care are now accepted as part of a man's daily preparation," says Daniel, "it is not just women who spend time in front of the bathroom mirror."
He speaks to his daughters Deborah and Abigail on the phone everyday and they treat him more like a friend, discussing boyfriends and suchlike. They try to have a meal together at least once a week. Janice, his girlfriend, is half-Scottish and half-Italian and cooks fantastic pasta. Daniel himself loves to cook and watch people's faces light up as they eat.
On Sunday nights he likes to try to relax. Not by watching television I hasten to add, he considers that medium a waste of time. He prefers to read a book or listen to music, classical, opera or singers such as Piaf or Jacques Crel. Nobody else shares his enthusiasm for this, however, so he has to lock himself in the bathroom to listen.
Last thing at night Daniel makes a herbal tea which is very good for relaxing and gets into bed by midnight.
Modern Gent, 145 Snargate Street, Dover, Kent CT17 9BZ, UK – Telephone +44 (0)1304 208358