It’s been a couple years in the making but its finally here. We’re continuing 2019 giving you guys the most authentic and original material possible. A barbershop series has been a personal passion project of mine with two years in the making. The goal of the series is simple: tell your truth and leave it all in the chair.
I had the opportunity to travel out to Washington DC and step into the creative “dojo” of renaissance man and artistic entrepreneur Amir Browder of Homme DC. His studio stands as a communal ground that visually showcasing independent and emerging artists. From collection releases from designers, DJs, video screenings to even dinner parties, Homme DC is a platform with limited creative boundaries and has strings of creative works that fortify a strong community base.
Watch below the first half of this two-part debut as Amir describes why he built this place, what it means, and how developing a grooming routine is integrated in his as a stylist, business owner, son and more.
Be sure to check out more of Homme DC in the latest Washingtonian article here.
Every moment I get to step out of the barbershop, I’m reminded how precious time is. During this cold winter be sure to remain on your craft and keep working towards your goal. This time around I had the privilege of collaborating with the talented snapshot sensation Maeva The Radiant. We chopped it up after we sharing our thoughts on the imagery and what it means to “Stay Polish’d.” She communicated that eloquently thru her visual language of the camera lens during this shoot. Her passion for menswear shooting began a couple years back and she’s been letting her passion catarpault thru various outlets while working with power players & locals alike.
My passion for vintage shopping has grown a lot over the years. My personal style or “polish” has been reinvented as I’m introduced to vintage and timeless brands and pieces that may have never been properly showcased in the previous hands. My mind races composing colors combinations, fabrics, pieces paired with grooming tools as I pace thru clothing aisle. I always try to leave with something during my vintage shopping trips that can be an additive to the personal closet. Throughout this shoot, Maeva & I kept theme of street royalty as our visual aid and guide towards what styling combinations were formed, poses, colors etc. Paying homage to the greats like Dapper Dan and those in the 1940s and 50s who helped shaped menswear culture.
Hair + Grooming
The routine is pretty consistent when it comes to photoshoots or special events. From a facial moisturizer to hydrating my curls with a hair cream, I keep that on rotation. I make sure to wash my hair every three days and shampoo only once or twice a week (unless at the gym). A fresh head leads to maximum results for any styling product. Shea butter is a must for any event since its properties heal any cracked or dry skin especially as a barber. In this case I’ll add a face toner just give my face a bit more of a lift and wake it up.
A lot of this look is direct inspiration of the Harlem Renaissance. During that time, casual wear was considered a button down shirt and dress pants. Fast forward into 21st century, I still like to maintain that same uniformed look. A white shirt is stable for any man and you should always be equipped with a couple of those in your arsenal at home (look for Charles Twitt, Club Monaco, Zara to name a few). They’re affordable and can be worn on any occasion. I scooped the pants from a thrift store and although they have pleats, they compliment my size (since I’m packed with thighs). The pattern pants color may have some age but can be reinvented with the proper suit jacket and/or simple accessories.
This is what can make turn an entire outfit upside down. Without my accessories, this outfit can easily look like I belong in cubicle somewhere on Wall Street but the small details make it your own. A gold watch brings flavorful. A brimmed hat has the ability to elevate a look entirely making you the person to watch the moment you step into the room. Be careful with colorful hats and make sure it doesn’t clash with an outfit. Black and white shirts are great neutrals to set the stage for a colorful hat like this.
The nails get overshadowed but a critical apart of a person’s upkeep. No person wants to shake a dirty hand or feel that scrap long their skin because you choose to grow out your fingernails. Decorating the hands with rings is a matter of taste and should be layered with caution. All of my rings are vintage style and taken from some shopping experience I’ve had.
Is a new weekly series that spotlights grooming products in our personal arsenal that we use regularly. From barbers to clients, its real products tested in real time. Please note: We are not personally endorsed or paid by brands.
On tough hair days, most of the time we’re looking for some sort of moisture (other than water) that’ll wake up our hair & get us out the house. We desperately scan thru for something easy and that does the job. Groom Guy debuts the first product line sent to us in our collection since our initial launch a year or so back: Frederick Benjamin Daily Hydrator. I’ve managed to see this 4.2 ounce bottle live longer than any plant I keep in my apartment. With a small dosage, this hair cream has some maximum power of hydration and leaves my hair feeling silky smooth, keeps my curls tight and defined & loose strains hydrated. It’s a super lightweight cream that easily dissolves into the hands so a little goes a long way. It’s grease free and packed with ingredients that penetrate the scalp effectively (activating blood flow). It’s truly a “daily” tool providing that essential amount of moisture for my hair regardless of any weather condition.
The Fredrick Benjamin Styling cream is top notch. It’s light has a “great scent” styles your hair the way you need and leaves your hair feeling product free and weightless. I personally don’t like feeling like I have a ton of product in my hair and neither do my clients. Two thumbs up for a five star product.
Valjean Guerra, Cathedra NYC (@cathedranyc)
If you’re looking for a styling tool with super tight, staying power, this will NOT be for you. That’s the only hiccup with a typical cream. You’ll want to search something that’s stronger and has more possible control.
Type: Lightweight Cream How to use: A nickel size goes a long way easily dissolving into the hands. Be generous with your hands and run your fingers thru the mid shaft to the tips of hair. Great for: Typical work day. Date Night. Best Hair Types: Curls, Afro/texture hair, mid or wavy Helpful tools: Curl Sponge(use this after applying), durag for waves prep.
A new series spotlighting real life conversations in the barbershop.
In the barbershop, I had the opportunity to chat with a client on the sport of boxing. Let the record show: boxing has not been exciting over the last decade. Our major highlights include Mayweather making various lackluster appearances in shiny shorts and air-bubbled “hype.” For a moment, it looked like all hope was lost until our prayers have been answered with the nearly 250 lbs heavyweight Anthony Joshua.With a current undefeated (22-0) record, this colossal Nigerian-British titan is blowing down the competition left and right.
With a genetic makeup mirroring the greats like Mike Tyson & even Muhammed Ali, Anthony Joshua shows no signs of slowing down. After my client listed him as his favorite boxer to watch this year, it was only right I pulled up some footage for you to check out.
Step ahead Mayweather because you’re looking at the new face of boxing. Don’t believe me? See below for yourself.
With our Throwback Thursday officially kicking off, there are some haircuts over the last couple decades that stand the test of time. From classic slick backs to styles mirroring icons like James Dean, the late 80s also brought its creative wave of fashion & culture with the emergence of music genres specifically New Jack Swing led by R&B superstars like Bobby Brown. With over seven million copies sold worldwide, Bobby Brown was on top and to keep that momentum he was setting up the visuals for his lead single “Every Little Step I Take” when it happened…
BET Networks retells the funny story Bobby Brown & his rise to fame in the latest miniseries. Whoever his barber was at this time, I guess you can say you got lucky especially since Bobby chose to debut this iconic style to the American viewers in the music video below:
The haircut was a hit and was duplicated throughout barbershops across the nation and within the hip hop realm specifically in 1980s and onward.
By now, the winter season has had you buried in your house with little to no, muscle movement. I understand its dropping to the single digits with no sign of outdoor heat in sight. Nonetheless, that does not mean we can neglect all those drunk grooming promises you made NYE that evening (Polish’d Promise). As I handle clients day to day and observe my cold surroundings, I witness a pattern of behavior that we’re going to have to change to keep this winter season going strong. Don’t let your grooming habits fall apart this winter and lets bring the heat wherever we go with these quick reminders!
Snap, Crackled, Popped – Some of us are giving pimples & oily skin a free pass with the massive amounts of dry skin build up. We think as long as we don’t look like skeletor before leaving the house “as is” we’re good…Nah! Fuel your skin with that facial moisturizer or grab your loved ones. A great one can easily clear the face of access oils, cleansing agents that reduce pimples, protect skin from the strong winds, and overall gives a visibly pleasing & healthier-looking facial profile. This daily habits also minimizes any chances of skin conditions like dermatitis (eczema), fungal infections like cellulitis or even more severe like type 2 diabetes.
Broken Beard – Don’t try to convince me that the Game of Throne or Viking look is exactly what you’re going for. With their minimal resources back then, the have an excuse. Whether you’re a beard amateur or a veteran struggling on some hard times, don’t allow the cold winter to bury your follice-finesse. Get familiar with a beard brand that works for you and start to apply a shampoo (2x / week) and a daily moisturizer for immediate results. The beard is one of the most exposed parts of the face for direct winds to hit thus allowing for moisture to be quickly stripped. Many enter the barbershop with a dehydrated beard lacking water, products or trimming.
Barber Tip:Beard balms (or creams) have known to be most effective during the winter with lengths over an inch (as opposed to oils).
Reusing Clothes – Before launching Groom Guy, I was that guy taking a second look at those pair of socks I just wore the night before, contemplating I can “James Bond” my way into wearing these again. I mean, who would know my feet would smell like hot dog water if I took them off in public? The simple answer is: Absolutely not. There is nothing sexy nor humorous about wearing the same undergarments twice. For the record, if you want to expose yourself to any bodily fluids or toxins you’ve encountered the day before, I hope you’re ready for the mayhem. So get that laundry day routine underway so always have a fresh pair of undergarments or simply put that order in for a restock.
Skipping Showers – I shouldn’t even be having to write this but unfortunately I have to. Those layers you chose to re wear are packed with sweat and fluids that’ll just remain on your body. Do I even have to say more (stay equipped here)? Shower. Daily.
A new series spotlighting real life conversations in the barbershop.
If there was a Hall of Fame for grooming legends, you’d have to throw the jet-flying wrestling pioneer Ric Flair. His constant “drip” was a testament to his electrifying energy. He was a topic of discussion today at the barbershop as we reminiscent on some of his most hilarious, flashy, and somewhat comedic promos through out his career. He would shine so hard, from head to toe ($600 lizard shoes) you’d need Ray Charles’ glasses to protect your own eyes.
His charisma is unmatchable and his techniques in the ring are classic. In the ring he may play dirty but outside he was Oh-so Mr. Clean! Peep our favorite moments in Flairnation history where he reminds you his name shall not be denied.
Shop Question:Is Ric Flair in your list of greatest wrestlers of all time?
If I’m down and out, I’ll get up and take care of myself. – Ric Flair
The barbershop carries the reputation as a cultural institution but it also has the power of confession box. Future Hall of Famer LeBron James reignites his HBO speciality show The Shopand breaks new ground with the OVO leader. The balloon pops as Drake has a no holds barred conversation on his haircuts as a child to his response to rapper Pusha T. They’re accompanied by Ben Simmons, Victor Oladipo, Elena Delle Donne, and Mo Bamba.
Watch at the conversations heats up they discuss ones’ legacy, airing out Kanye West, Drake’s status as a father, and what’s in store as they transition in their careers.
“I rather fail being who I am than fail being someone they want me to be.”
– LeBron James
Did I also mention this show was shot at the shop I work at (Barber of Hell’s Bottom)? Be sure to tune in & watch the full episode HERE.
Now I know the idea of not going to the barbershop every weekend may scare some of you fellas, but listen up first. Like many kids growing up, the barbershop was a weekly routine. Every Saturday at noon I made my way to the shop religiously. I understood it; my mother wanted me to look tight for the up coming school week but was it healthy for my hair? No not really. What a lot of men don’t understand about going to the barbershop weekly is that this can cause a lot of long-term problems for your hair. Best thing you can do is get on a routine with your barber and here are my benefits to placing your haircut on a bi-weekly schedule.
HELPS YOUR HAIR GROWTH AND HAIR RECOVERY
Repeatedly cutting your hair can cause major negative effects on your hair growth over time. You may not see it at first, but the older you get it will have it effects. Your hair needs time to recover and grow. Giving your hair time to recover not only helps hair growth, it also helps hair strength.
SLOWS DOWN THE BALDING PROCESS
Lets face it, balding comes with age. Some men are blessed with a head full of hair their whole life. Some are not so lucky, but fellas lets not help our hair leave us to soon or to fast. Consistently cutting your hair low can stunt hair growth, weaken the hair over time, and it can also cause hair not to grow back. Everyone has sections of their hair that is weaker then others. Just take notice and be careful not to cut, pull or brush that section to the point of no return.
PRESERVING YOUR HAIR LINE
Your Hair Line is running! Your Hair Line is running! The town messenger cried out (don’t mind me, I have to throw in random history references). The common killer of hairlines for men are to many trips to a barbershop and getting touched up. Men want to look fresh all the time; its part of being a person. We as people want to look and feel good all the time and this is something we work hard daily to complete everyday. A reason like this is what really keep men in the barbershop every week. This is not so great for your hairline though. The less the clippers, or the razor, does not touch your hairline the easier it will be to keep it in place. You have to give your hairline time to recover before you touch it up again. This will save your hairline from receding and over time you will notice your hairline compared to others that’s in pretty good shape.
Placing your hair on a bi-weekly schedule would help you cover your bases and will prevent these common problems we see with a lot of men. Lets look at celebrities as a perfect example. They are always under pressure to look their best and this causes them to consistently call upon their barbers. As they age we can see the clear problems within their hair, lost of the hairline and the common bald spot in the back. Give your hair a break, let it breath and give it time to recover. Your hair will thank you in the long run.