So if you are a product company and your tag line is "MADE TO WORK: Made By Barber.Made To Work.Made In The U.S.A" you better have a good product!!
I have been one who believes that some of the best products come from the people who use them and I am not talking about the consumer but the barber. A perfect example is the barber who makes his own pomade is not just about haveing something to sell and make money on but they have found it important because there is something in there pomade that they have not found in other products. This really how IMPERIAL came into being.
When my package of IMPERIAL samples showed up I was really excited to see what all they were kind enough to send me. I cracked open the envelope and there was a pre-shave oil and aftershave.There was also in little what seemed like 1/2 ounce conatiners of there pomades styles including there original "Classic Pomade", "Fiber Grease", "Gel Pomade" and their "Matter Pomade Paste". They also sent me a sample of there "Pre-Shave Oil" and the "Bergamot After-Shave"
So I think I am going to start with the shave products. I use a pre-shave oil not only on myself but on all my customers who come into the shop for a shave. This lavender scented oil is not overly greasy and is great before the straight razor shave and a hot towel or you can use it when you are shaving at home with (or without) shave cream. I am kind of torn on the aftershave for one reason only...I am a sucker for bay-rum aftershave!!! The great thing about this aftershave is that it has a soothing element that a lot of aftershave do not have.
Not to tackle the hair products. We have 4 solid products a couple od them I like and a couple I will not use a lot. I have never been a fan of pomade creams or paste and it is mainly because of the lack of hold. Today I did use the Cream pomade on a kid at the shop and it is alright for that messy short look. I did not think I was going to like the Fiber Grease especially since it is not a super stong hold but it seems to be pretty pliable. Gel Pomade is a medium hold but I was not a fan of the texture. The Classic Pomade is where it all started is water based with a strong hold. The texture is a little different then that of other water based pomades and is a little stiffer as well, but still a solid pomade.
The only thing some people may have issue with is the price point. The pomades are all around $20, the aftershave is $10 and the shave oil is $12. Do not let this turn you away from at least trying out some of there products. For more information hit up the IMPERIAL site or there home shop RAZORBACKS BARBERSHOP.
Ok so one of the regular tools we are needing as barbers these days is the electric shaver especially for those who who like that bald fade.
When trying to decide exact what shaver I wanted to get my hands on I started by using my buddy Victors "Norelco" style shaver. It gets a nice clean shave on the head but I always felt I was having to not only put a lot of pressure on the head but kept going over and over the shaved area.
Before purchasing the Andis shaver I Ivan Zoot (former educator for Andis) how it sells and he told me that at Bonner Brother they pretty much sold out of the shaver.
When MD Barber came by the shop I asked what he had and he told me he had the Andis ProFoil Shaver so I went a head and grabbed it (avg. $48.00). This is a cordless shaver that holds a good long charge. It cuts using two titanium foils and it also has a slide up trimmer for side burns.
This is a cordless, lite weight shaver that holds it's charge for a several hours. One of the things I like about the shaver is its shape. The "t-shape" makes it comfortable to use and not bulky. It allows you to work up and down or side to side when doing bald fades or full head shaves.
I used it the other day when cutting my dads hair and normally I use a straight edge but since I did not have my razor I pulled this shaver out. After mowing it down with #5 blade on my Osters the Andis ProFoil shaver got a super close and clean shave which is what we are always looking for.
I have one thing that the jury is out on and that is doing full face shaves with it. I have used it on myself and for my personal use it does irritate my skin (that is why I have never owned an electric razor).