Monday, April 1, 2013

Support Your Local Barber: Long Beach Trip

    So this past weekend  I closed up the barbershop early, scooped up the wife and kids and headed down to Long Beach for the Easter weekend.

   So I got up Saturday morning and left the wife and girls in the hotel to do there homework since they all had school on Monday morning. I knew what I wanted to do first thing in the morning and that was pay visits to 3 shops in Long Beach that I have a lot of respect for.

    Stop number one is up on East 4th street in Long Beach to Razorbacks barbershop (3044 East 4th
Razorbacks Barbershop
Street, Long Beach,Ca.). I walked in just to check it and Pedro Zermeno was kind enough to allow me to bend his ear for a bit. He also allowed me to crowd his space a bit and watch him work.

    Pedro is a man who knows what he is doing not just business and as a barber. The shop has 4 chairs out front and two chairs in the back of the shop. They have 9 barbers total that work two shifts.
    If you do not know this already but Razorbacks is home to IMPERIAL BARBER PRODUCTS.

    Thank you Pedro for letting me invade your space and bend your ear. I appreciate it.

    My second stop of the morning was Hawleywood's Barbershop in Long Beach. It was a quite shop since everyone was out in Las Vegas for Viva Las Vegas

    Don Hawley and Hawleywood's really had a lot to do with changing the face of modern barbering and I had been wanting to visit one of the shop and so I finally go in to pay a visit to the Long Beach shop.

Hawleywood's Barbershop

    The neighbothood is cool a bunch of cool little shops which makes for a perfect location for this Hawleywoods shop. It is a narrow shop but deep with what looked like maybe 6 chairs (I could be wrong). Above the waiting bench is a shelf that hold a ton of beer glasses. Clippings hang on the wall that features the history of Don Hawley and the growth of the Hawleywoods brand.

   While checking out the shop I was totally excited to find a plaque that featured "The Underground Magazine" that featured the bands Hit The Deck, xLooking Forwardx, Until The End and Don Hawley.. It was a three page spread and it was so dope to so it hanging on the wall of Hawleywood's Barbershop (thanks Donnie).
The Undergournd Magazine

    Last stop of the morning was Syndicate Barbershop down on Broadway. There is a reason for making this my final stop of the morning and that was to see and chat with Dylan Johnson.

   The Syndicate  has a little more room and host 6 chairs (I think). It was a comfortable and they work for the most part by appointment only, which they started doing near the end of last year.

   Dylan has been cutting since 2001 and has called the Syndicate his home for almost three years. Like Hawleywoods neighborhood there are some cool joints on the block and these are all things that make for a good barbershop.

     One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to visit\
shops. I like to see what other shops are doing and if I get the
chance to I love watching other barbers work.

    I want to thank everyone who put up with me invading there space, bending their and letting me watch them work. I had a great weekend!!

    I have always beleived one of the biggest part of growning as a barber/stylist is to pay attention to what is going on around you and in other cities. So next time you are on the road take some time to poke your head in another shop and introduce yourself. You may learn something!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Clean Shop Is A Happy Shop

   This morning I got up and got ready for work as I always do. Made the 30 minute drive to the shop, counted my cash drawer and started cleaning before opening the shop.

   Several times I sweep and mop the shop, dust the whole shop and clean the windows. Right now while it is just me at the barbershop sometimes it takes me a little longer to make sure everything gets done but it gets done.

   The first thing a customer sees when they walk in the door or more importantly sit at your station is how clean it is. For myself I work my butt off to keep a clean almost spotless workspace and I keep the shop as clean as I can. I want people to know they are coming into a shop where people take pride in what they do.

   When I first started cutting hair in California the first shop I worked at had 8 chairs and was charging $4.50 for a haircut. Piles of hair on the floor and no care in people's work area. One day with a few minutes of down time I pulled the cushion out of my chair and there was almost a 1/2 of hair clippings wedged between the chair and the cushion (so gross). When you are doing 15-29 haircuts a day you need to change the jar of herbicide a little more often then normal and so I stated changing it daily. The owner did not appreciate this because she did not want to pay for more herbicide so I stated to bring my own barbicide so i could change it daily. The crazy old lady even had the nerve to say "I pay you to cut, not to clean".

    If you are in a low volume shop it is easy to keep a clean shop and there is not excuse to have a dirty shop. If you work in a high volume shop at times it is a little more difficult but it is just as important to keep a clean shop/work space.
    Clean tools, clean shop and a clean work space makes for a good work environment and happy customers (at least I hope).

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

ANDIS Fade Clipper

   Disclaimer: Just because a clipper says "fade clipper" does not mean it is going to make you better at doing faded (or tapered) haircuts. There is no magic power to the clipper. Doing a  tapered (faded) haircut takes alot of practice to get it down.

    So I picked up the newest release from ANDIS. There new FADE Clipper and it caught my eye becuase of the shape of the clipper. It reminded me of the WAHL Senior that my buddy Victor swears by.

   So I am not sure if this is replacing the ANDIS Fade Master that we have come to use, but it will do the job if this is the case.

   These clippers are comfortable in the hands because of the ergonomic design. The blade is a #0000-#000 and gets pretty darn close and if you do a lot of bald fading the blade can be zero gapped. Heavy duty motor that will allow you to cut through wet and dry hair..

    My complaints are small and one is they are a lot louder then ANDIS lets on. You need to adjust them to find that sweet spot but I still found them to be louder then the my Fade Masters (youngsters do not like loud clippers). Second problem that I had is that they are heavier then I was hoping they would be.

    If you do a lot of fading the the important points out way what I consider negative points. Also do not forget ANDIS clippers are still made in the U.S. (big deal to me). The retail for the FADE Professional Clipper is less then $60 bucks. If you already own the Fade Masters do not worry about spending your money on these but if you do not own the Fade Masters and money is a little tight then these will do just fine.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Definition of Handcrafted: LUSH Shaving Products

Sometimes ya just gotta split
    So this last weekend I locked up the shop, grab the family and split town. we headed to one of my favorite place....the City Of Angels! We got checked into our hotel and headed down to Santa Monica to wander the promenade, had dinner and the wife and girls went shopping.

    So I follow the wife and girls into a store called LUSH. It was an interesting experience because when you walk into the shop it had a very strong scent that just wafted through the store. I will be honest I probably would not of gone in if it were not for the fact that i was the girls.

    LUSH is a compnay that started in England with one mission and that is creating all natural, no chemicals and more importantly no animal testing. Everything is handcrafted. If you are a vegan or just concerned about where your products come from LUSH is the compnay for you to look into.

   So as I am walking around the store I find a couple of shaving products so I grabbed considering I have posted more then once about handcrafted products. The DIRTY shaving cream came in a small container and the other called AMBROSIA came in a bottle. When I got back to the hotel I had to shave anyways so I used the AMBROSIA. The AMBROSIA is a light weight shaving cream perfect for people with sensitive skin with a scent of chamomile (do not worry it is not over powering). It has cocoa butter and linseed oil. It may not lather up super well but you will still get a very clean shave.

    I grabbed the DIRTY Shaving cream because of the packaging hoping that it was going to be easily used with a shaving brush. The scent of this shaving cream is sandalwood and lavender (my wife loves sandalwood). I was hoping that with the product being in a "pot" kind of packaging working with a shave brush would be great but unfortunately you will not get a great lather. the good thing is that it does not take a ton to shave and with my experience the razor just glides over the skin.

   After doing some reading about not only the products but the brand the reason you will not get a very good lather is because of the lack of ingredients that are in most normal shave products. I think this is what makes these such good products.

    This is a brand I will encourage people who have sensitive skin, irritation issues, who really care about what they use or care how things effect the planet. LUSH is very active in charity and giving back.

   If you can not find a LUSH store you can order online.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Man That's Alot Off Pomade!!

   So I follow a facebook group called "Addicted To Pomade" and it is kind of cool because it lets you see how many pomade brands are out there and man there are a lot! As I worked on the last post which was a review of Ivan Zoot's pomade and the Bona Fide pomade I got to thinking about being a kid.

   I was using pomade back in junior high a pomade by DAX. I remember it being this green color and made with vegetable oil. It came in a plastic can with a metal lid. It was not the best smelling product in the world but it did the job

   Then came the painful task of using Murray's (yeah you heard me...painful). I have used this off and on for many years now and my wife still hates it becuase it will be in my hair for days. That bright oragne can with the pomade you have to melt down to make usable. I learned quickly you better have a good brush and a blow dryer handy. You can not get more old school then this, but I was happy the day i found the Murray's light!

   Then came Royal Crown Hairdressing. I am not even sure when I found this but it was awesome because all I had to do was put it and come it through. That is what I used in my hair on my wedding day and I still like using....high shine. I will be honest pomade back then never smelled the best, it was grease, oil and wax.

Layrite Pinup by id Stankovit
    I had just started barber school when I got my first can of Layrite (courtesy of Don Hawley himself) and man was I grateful. held well and washed right out. I now had something that smelled good and worked well (I also got my pillowcases back).

    I did not have Layrite, Suavecito or Hold Fast. I was so happy the day I got my first can of Laytite (and so was my wife). I am happy that companies have started putting out really good water based products but I am also happy to see people making there own pomades as well. It is cool to see so many different kinds, weights and scents becuase I did not have the options that people have now!

Stay Greasey and Support Your Local Barber!!
Frankie The Barber

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Pomades Taking Up Space In My Drawer

    Things have been a bit on the crazy side between working 6 days a week at the shop and family stuff so I have been kind of putting off a few things, including updates here.

    First of the year I received two packages one from "Clipper Guy" Ivan Zoot which had a sample of ZOOT! Hair pomade. I also received a couple of cans of pomade from the guys at Bona Fide.

    Bona Fide hails from Orange County California which has become a hotbed for cool product (Layrite, Imperial and a few others). Water based pomade gets a lot of grief from fans of pomade becuase people do not call it pomade but a glorified gel. This is a statement that I do not agree with and personally I like water based pomades.

Used Bona Fide
    The scent of Bona Fide is a fresh clean scent that is not over powering. Sometimes it is better then an overpowering sweet scent. The texture Bona Fide is smooth and easily malleable unlike some products that have the tendency to be stiff. It is easy to come through and restyle. In my experience it is not a super strong hold, more of a medium hold with a decent shine. the price point is about 12 bucks which is a good price. If you are a barber or a shop owner I think it is worth keeping around if you are looking for an inexpensive water based pomade.

Short cut used ZOOT! Hair pomade
    Ok so I do not have packaging for the ZOOT! Hair pomade (like I said it was a sample), but it was enough of a sample to get a few cuts and styles out of it. This is not a water based pomade but it is not a super heavy pomade that is a pain in the butt to wash out at the end of the week. It has a minty scent but not that tea tree scent that most guys are used to getting in some other products. It has a smooth texture that is easy to use and easy to comb through. It has a lite to medium hold. If you are looking for a pomade to pile high that pomp this is not the best product. I found it works good for slick backs, side parts and just all around clean styling. It seems to have more of a matte finish so it is not s super high shine.

   I have used both of these products on more textures hair and found that Ivan Zoots ZOOT! Hair pomade worked better on textured hair then the Bona Fide did. But in the end you will have to try them out for yourself and see what works the best.

   On a completely seperate not the new "Support Your Local Barber" stickers are available and the shirts will be done soon!! If you are interested in either of these things hit me up!

Frankie The Barber

Thursday, January 24, 2013

So whats been going lately

   Well it is January that time of year where no matter what shop or salon you are working in it is slow. That is life everyone is broke, paying off Christmas and waiting for tax season to get here.That is just the nature of the beast this time of year. So now it is all about trying to offer your customers to come in and spend that extra couple of bucks in your shops.

   Pomades are on the rise but recently I was contacted by Ivan Zoot (Clipperguy) and asked if I would review it here. If you are unfamiliar with ZOOT! Products check it out and more inportantly make sure you get to know Ivan Zoot. So look for the review of ZOOT! pomade next week.

   Everyone who knows me locally knows I support local business whether it is a local print shop, bar...etc. Last night a video short popped up on YouTube featuring Evan Boling owner of Boling's Barbershop in Downtown Visailia.

    So if you are like me you are a fan of social media and I am not just talking about Facebook, Twitter...etc. One of my favorite sites is Bangstyle. This is a cool site because it is a
 fashion culture site. It allows stylist to post there work, follow stylist and read some articles connected to fashion, music and more. If you have never seen it before check it out!

   This weekend is the ISSE show in Long Beach and unfortunately I am not going to make it out this year. IF you read my blog I would love to get any reports from the show (products, educations and more).

   I will leave it at that for now. Product reviews are coming this next week and if there is anything you would like to see covered this year please let me know.