Man of pure adventure, army grit and bearded excellence, Rannvijay Singha takes us through his daily grooming regime and his new label Whiskers, a new-age grooming label dedicated to being a holistic solution for Indian men.
The process of growing a beard as per the codes of a celebrity can be quite tedious. With consistent trimming and meticulous care, it all makes for a fairly complex grooming regime. We spoke with MTV icon and travel junkie Rannvijay Singha about how his early personal life has influenced the vision behind Whiskers and how it distinguishes itself in men’s grooming today.
What was the inspiration behind Whiskers, and how does the brand stand out?
Rannvijay Singha: Last year, while connecting the early dots for what Whiskers is today, my partners, Hardik Varia, Aakash Goswami and I had an epiphany about India’s men’s grooming and the personal care market as a whole. It was that grooming for men goes beyond beards and shaving, and there needs to be awareness about skincare and styling too. Moreover, there needs to be one holistic solution for all of this. That’s where the inspiration for Whiskers came in. We also wanted to tap into a domain that most grooming chains take for granted – Tattoo care. As a watermark of the brave and the brawn, tattoos require as much attention as one’s beard. And finally, we have a bold ‘Made In India’ badge as well, striving to be a homegrown grooming solution for Indian men.
Was there any inspiration from your personal grooming habits while founding the brand?
Rannvijay Singha: Since childhood, I have admired my dad and my uncles, who are army officers. Apart from being men of sheer grit, the kind of discipline they maintained in their lives and the importance they paid to personal grooming was extremely prominent. I perceived it as a code of life that this is how men need to be. Right from making sure my hair and nails were done right in boarding school, to maintaining a thick and well-defined beard in my early 20s, all these habits have helped me develop a perfect brand, catering to every metrosexual man’s needs.
What’s your take on the entire ‘men’s grooming’ scene today? How have you seen it evolve?
Rannvijay Singha: Grooming today is an intimate part of a man’s life and is as important as basic hygiene. I’ve noticed that ethos has found steady prominence in India due to the growth and influence of social media over the years in our lives. I think the grooming industry in India is still very nascent compared to the West, and Indian men still have a major learning curve when it comes to grooming and having the right approach towards it. Social media has always glorified the aesthetic of man with a well-groomed beard, perfectly styled hair, and clear skin, which has been a source of inspiration. It has allowed the industry to expand on every front, and even global names want to be a part of this industry today.
What, in your opinion, makes a celebrity’s grooming regime different from an average Joe’s?
Rannvijay Singha: The fashion and entertainment industry need you to be at your best and ready for the camera at all times. When it comes to a celebrity’s regime, it’s much more rigorous and cannot be skipped. Getting a trim, oiling and massaging is much more consistent and frequent. On the flip-side, one also needs to be particular about the damage caused by this level of consistency and the harm of overusing heat products. With the lifestyle that we currently lead, we have to maintain our grooming regime that includes organic and natural sciences to retain the shine and health of beard, hair, and tattoos.
When did you start taking grooming seriously?
RS: The life in boarding school forced me to be responsible for self-care, my habits and routines. The discipline there had a great impact on my life, especially understanding the importance of being presentable and well-groomed around people. I also distinctly remember, taking care of my beard during its stubble days, applying good cream, and beard oils.
What do you think goes in growing a healthy beard today, especially in India?
RS: Three regular habits: Consistent trimming, washing and moisturising. This is the foundation for achieving your beard goal today. Be sure to keep it flexible and understand what your beard needs. Also, maintaining a healthy diet and sufficient water intake will also enhance the quality and growth of your beard.
When travelling, what does your grooming pouch comprise of?
RS: The must-haves for every man: Trimmer, moisturisers, nail cutter, perfume/deodorant, hair care products, and Whiskers, of course.
How has your grooming regime changed during the lockdown?
RS: Well, the lockdown has only enhanced the routine. It allowed me to spend time on learning more about grooming regimes and implement those at home. Additionally, I had a lot of ‘me time’ at home which I could dedicate to self-care with masks and other innovative Whiskers products.
If you could point out one grooming mistake men make today, what would it be?
RS: I think men often forget that beard growth and beard care are separate affairs. Not oiling their beard is a major grooming mishap. It’s understandable that men avoid using beard oils simply because of the greasy look and feel that comes with it. However, understanding not only the need but also the concern, Whiskers use much lighter oils backed with fresh scents. I believe this should be a part of one’s daily grooming regime if one wants to see results.
A grooming tip you swear by.
RS: Whether I’m travelling, on the go, or at home, grooming will never be a negotiation for me. Regular cutting and cleaning nails are something I do, along with a beard trim and shape once a week. This routine is followed irrespective of me being on a trek or on-set.
What do you think goes into making a good impression today with grooming?
RS: If there’s one thing I’ve learnt staying groomed all these years, is that there’s particular confidence that comes with keeping clean. It is rightly said that ”Your first impression is your last”, and your grooming certainly plays a role there. It not only boosts your confidence but helps you stand out with great style and comfort, encouraging people around to notice you. It is this exact idea that leads us to come up with a dedicated grooming brand. With Whiskers, we hope grooming will never seem like a chore but a necessity you cannot do without.
All images: Courtesy brand & RannvijaySingha/Instagram