Thursday, September 27, 2012

Speed v. Efficiancy: It All Come In Time

Filling a chair at Covenant Barbershop
    So today I want to talk about an issue that affects everyone in the hair industry (barbers and cosmos) and that is finding the fine line between speed and efficiency. 

    When I got out of barber school I knew one thing and that was to become the barber I wanted to become was going to take time and experience. Unfortunately right out of school it seemed like everywhere I was working was expecting me to be 100% on point but I was either to slow or just not very good yet.

    When I moved back to California the first shop I worked at (I have only worked in a couple of shops since coming back to CA) was a chop shop. The shop only charged $4.50 so to make any money you had to work your ass off!! The guy who was cutting hair next to me would crank out 30+ haircuts in a day. Just because this guy was fast did not mean he was very good.

    I have now been at my current shop almost a year and in the time I have found my speed get better in my haircuts but more importantly the quality of my haircuts have gotten better. Am I as good I would like to be...No. Will the time come where I want to be....Yes.

    When you get out of school and get behind the chair realize that in time the speed will come but it is more important to work on efficiency because being able to do good haircuts or color is what is going to keep customers in your chair. The speed will come in time and you will begin to notice it.

    On a final note....To the bosses, owners, master barbers, be patient with the  new guy behind the chair because you used to be that kid. You never know you may have the next Ivan Zoot behind that chair!!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

5 Days of Pomade-Day 5: Jan Hella-The Rebel Rouser

 (So when deciding who I wanted to give us there top 5 list I knew that Jan Hella (barber student extraordinaire and in charge of I knew asking him I was not going to get a list but a full blog post, since that is how we roll! I really want to thank everyone who was involved in this, it has been a blast!)

    Since the start of, people from all over the world have asked me "what's your favorite pomade?" Unfortunately, I don't have one! With the wide variety we currently have on the market, as well as up and coming brands, it's hard to pick a favorite. Throughout the duration of blogging, I've learned to make certain pomades work best for me, more-so than the others. So, here's my Top 5 Go-To Pomades:
(In no particular order.)

1) Dax High & Tight Awesome Hold: A lot of people have somewhat turned away from the heavier pomades; me included. So when I tried Dax High & Tight Awesome Hold for the first time, I knew I found my preferred alternative to their strongest pomade- Dax Wave & Groom- which used to be my definite go-to, when I as looking for hold. Being just a kick lighter, a lot more malleable, with a killer Sandalwood scent to boot, Dax High & Tight Awesome Hold is a great addition to anyone's arsenal, and can be found at

2) Mr. Ducktail: If the name doesn't sound familiar, you probably haven't been doing this for too long. But, no worries, that's what we're here for! Long story short, Mr. Ducktail is an amazing barber from France, that has moved shop to England, and still has cult following, for his barbering & styling skills, as well as his pomade! His grease is a medium weight pomade, that is seemingly lighter than most, but still manages to style amazing pompadours, as seen on his Facebook page. Plus, it smells like a cola, how can you go wrong with that? Available at

3) Royal Crown Pomade: One, if not, THEE pomade that keeps Elvis-Pompadour-Enthusiasts in limbo, it's hard to not have a tin or five in hand! With many pomades getting heavier and heavier, light and greasy pomades are being left behind. Think about it folks, if quite possibly Elvis used it, why shouldn't we! Being thicker, with a much more pleasant scent than its readily available counterpart- Royal Crown Hairdressing- Royal Crown Pomade is definitely the better of the two to pick up. Unfortunately, it's not often you will see the pomade next to the hairdressing. So when you come across it, BUY IT!

4) Grant's Golden Brand: Now, I'm not going to get into the whole, "water-based pomades are not grease!!!" Well, no shit. Grease + Water = DUH. But, Grant's has been one brand that doesn't only offer a range of water-based pomades, but amazing customer service. It's hard to go wrong with either of their products. Plus, they keep moving forward, and have more products on the way! Check em out at

5) Tres Flores: As I've mentioned- light and greasy pomades are being left behind, and Tres Flores is one of them! While it leaves some with a bad taste in their mouths, it leaves many with fond memories of their fathers and grandfathers, barbershops, or even sketchy times... You know who you cats are! This stuff is as close to a classic pomade as you're going to get, aside from Royal Crown, of course.) Light, relatively thick, and most definitely greasy, this stuff is definitely worth having on hand, even if you just use it to add shine to a heavier pomade. Should be found at Mexican markets, CVS, or Asian Supermarkets.

Well, folks, I hope you enjoyed this little tidbit of my go-to's. Hopefully, you'll add some of these to your rotation and find some joy in em.
Until the next time,
Pomp Hard!
- Jan

Friday, September 21, 2012

5 Days of Pomade-Day 4: Noe Hernendez

(Noe Hernandez originally comes from Chicago but now calls Las Vegas his home. He is Master Barber for Truefitt and Hill and an official for roller derby. I figured what better person to get feedback on pomade then a real barber who is smarter then me!!)
      Top 5 .. 1. Mr Ducktail hairgum @ 
                     2. Acme hair pomade @ the atomic boutique 
                     3. Black and White genuine pluko hair dressing @ ball
                     4. Sweet Georgia Brown Original @ 
                     5. Dax high and tight awesome hold @ the grease
    And for thin hair                 1. Truefitt and Hill pomade @ Truefitt and
      2. Suavecito regular 

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

    5 Days of Pomade-Day 3: Fabian Ponyboy Rodriguez

    (Fabian is involved in the SoCal chapter of Greaser Social Club and since I am also apart of GSC I thought I would get someone involved from the GSC. So when I asked Ponyboy his top 5 this was what he had to say.-Frankie The Barber)

    Black Jack Pomade
       I have lame answers tho....sorry. Eloy at OLD FASHIONED BARBERSHOP in Vegas carries LAYRITE. The boys over at STAY GOLD in Fontana carry SUAVESITO. I use MURRAYS or DAX (sold pretty much anywhere) with a tad of either ROYAL CROWN or Mike Moose' BLACK JACK. Other than that Im a hit n a miss (told u my answers would suck). I pretty much stick with what works. They've been working for bout 20 years now. BUT BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR GREASERS SOCIAL Clubs very own pomade. GOD willing, it should be coming out early next year....thanks.
    Royal Crown Hair Dressing

    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

    5 Days of Pomade-Day 2: Chops Barbershop

    (Chops Barbershop is located in Harrisbug,PA and coming from the west coast I thought it would be a good idea to see what is going on out on the east coast.)

         It's impossible to find ANY on the East Coast unless you go into the major cities...Philly, DC, NY....that's why I carry so many. Sometimes you get lucky but most times you have to order online.
    Top five:
    1. Dax
    2. Dr. Rubens
    3. High Life (Adam makes it impossible to order - no wholesale)
    4. American Greaser Supply
    5. Suavecito (I hate to include a water-based pomade but this stuff can compete with any petro-based pomade. It's cheap, good customer service and it takes about 1.5 days from order to doorstep)

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    5 Days of Pomade- Day One: Frankie The Barber

        Io as you have guessed it for the next 5 days I am trying to get some regulars in the hair and pomade game to give us there top 5. You know, those cans of pomade that go everywhere with them. That go to for those special occasions. I figured I would start the week off with my top 5!! For me my top 5 is in no particular order.

    1) Suavecito Pomade - Ok let the death threats begin. I understand that alot of people hate calling this a pomade but the truth is the hold is good and when you have a wife she sometimes appreciates the fact that there are no grease stains on the pillow cases!

    2) Murray's Super Light - I stumbled across  Murray's Super Light on accident and evern since I will order a couple cans every few month. Shine and easy to comb through.

    3) AGS 40 WT - AGS holds a soft spot in my heart. I used to drive down to Fullerton just so I could get a couple of cans. Grease and a Crackerjacks for greasers!!

    4) Dr.Rubin's - The Dr.Rubin's is quickly becoming a favorite of mine....Easy to use and a smells good. Even the wife likes it!

    5)Uppercut Deluxe Monster Hold - This is my heavy hold pick. A heavy wax that does the job!

    So there it is my top 5. Tomorrow I got Chops Barbershop chiming.

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

    Taper & Fade.....Cool reading material coming soon!!

       So I know I have posted about this before but as they get ready to wind down (13 days left to be exact) I thought I would post again.

       I remember first seeing this project shortly after it's launch back in July and I will be honest kind of forgot about it until back in August when I had the pleasure to meet and spend a few days with not only the staff of BOLT Barber but Sammy Corrado and Trevor Penna.

       When I first read about the book I thought it was just a look book for BOLT Barber, but as I talked to Trevor and Sammy more about the book I began to realize that it is more then just cool haircuts from a cool barbershop in Los Angeles but it is about the culture ot the barbershop.

       This 128 page book is not going to be like the crappy style books you see at normal salons or the corporate salons. Taper and Fade will show the everyday man and the latest rage in hair. Taper & Fade: Los Angeles will not only be a collection of current hairstyles for men but offer tips on how to put more swagger in your step.

       I have put my money where my mouth is. Right after I got back from LA I made sure I committed to this project and hope to see other do so as well, especially barbers. A book like this is good for us

    Yeah, that's me after a long day of cutting in Venice

    Thursday, September 6, 2012

    Change is Coming

       So sitting around the house getting ready to head to the shop for another day. I will be honest my work weeks become hit and miss. Some days I will be busy more often then not I am slower then I would like. I have been grateful that I have been working an hourly wage but I see that coming to an end soon.

       If you are a barber (or even a hairstylist) you know that an hourly wage shop is very, very rare. You either are paying rent or commission. Hourly is great if you find it and as a your barber/stylist you are making a paycheck while developing you chops. But here is my question: Does working on a commission statues open more opportunity for you as a barber/stylist to be more successful not only financially but professionally?

       The truth is I do not think there is an easy answer to this question. I think the key to being successful as a barber working on a comission is 1) Is you shop owner keeping your hands tied when it comes to trying to build business and make money and 2) What are you doing  to get yourself out there to the public? and  3) Are you willing to work....I mean seriously start putting the time in your shop like you need to?

       Let's talk about the guy who owns the shop...If you are working as an hourly wage your hands are tied. You have to ask permeission for every thing you do (promos, prices, hours you work...etc) but as a comission barber your hands should not be tied and you should be in control of what you do but is your shop owner in charge of what you do. Do you still have to ask permission for every move you make with your own clients.  You need to take control of your business!!

       Questions 2 and 3 have the same answer...Your success is all up to you!! From your skills to getting people in the shop. If you are not willing to out the time and work in your business is not going to grow and you will never make the money you know you can make. It is your responsibility to take pride in what you do because it will show in not only your work but your business!!

       So as my shop gets ready to make changes in the next few weeks it will be my time to really strp up and take control of my future, my business and my craft!!