Beardcare, Bodycare, Polish / Men's style

Making of Melo: 4 Grooming Habits We Learned from Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony has come a long way throughout his decorated career as an NBA star. At this point he’s no stranger to the spotlight, harsh criticisms, and even bad luck within the basketball. Now at 35 years old, he seems to have a clearer head on his shoulder and has practiced humility that has propelled not just him as a b-ball star but also a well liked individual overall. Off the court, he has made some tremendous strides both in his wardrobe and image. Over the past two decades, the NBA stars carry a rough reputation as a style “zombies” pairing awful fits and showing little to no effort in grooming. Carmelo has worked to change that narrative and Groom Guy has collected some most memorable most thru professional career. Here are some polish’d gems gathered throughout “hoodie” Melo’s career that we can all take from. 

FIT FOR THE JOB

It’s rare we expect to see a college kid drafted into the NBA with a style already reads “impressed.” Carmelo entered the league with baggy wear that appeared he carried extra weight. I like the rap group Dem Franchize Boyz too but wasn’t interested like Melo in taking a page out of their style book. Over the years, he buried the bags and rags and got introduced to  a tailor. He transitioned into fitted wear that properly presented his shoulders and legs, and even shamelessly modeled his ankles. Well done Melo! 

HAIL CAESAR

How do you say goodbye to the braids? It’s easy, go to the barber and cut them! That’s exactly what Carmelo did. As he started to attend fashion shows, have a pool of celebrity friends and nights on the town, Melo had to create a refreshing look that exemplified all of that. The classic caesar haircut was a new beginning and a shaping of his manhood. From collegiate to classy, we have grown fond of the new haircut and its aging him smoothly. 

WARDROBE SHAKEDOWN

His marriage and constant outings called for another evolution which included his wardrobe. Melo began to install his both American and European designers in his closet. His sacrificed his oversize watches and hoodies for blazer, jewelry, and fedoras that have you snapshotting onto your personal camera roll. His outdated suit colors quickly became a sign of bad style-sportsmanship. He rebounded with more neutral colored combinations and fabrics that complemented his athletic body type. The jewelry slimmed down to a more suited shape and accessorized his outfits nicely. 

BEARD BEGINNING

The beard growth can be challenging and intimidating to many. Melo made appearances with his new look. He seems to maintain it with a trimming that fits his face shape. The last couple years, he tested the length of it which makes us strongly consider him as viable frontmen for one of these beard brands. You can tell he has elevated his grooming regimen (black does not crack, still) It’s no James Harden beard but who cares, he’s Carmelo Anthony and he’s beating to the sound of his own follicle drum. Play on Melo!

Everybody deserves a second chance…even Melo. Maybe you seem to forget what’s he contributed to the NBA. Watch below.

Haircare

How To Make Pomade / Hair Wax with Kevin “OGK” Kellett [WATCH]

Every scientist has a laboratory where history is made, rules get broken, and industries evolve. Mad scientist and hairstylist Kevin Kellett aka OGK has given us a glimpse into his creative world. From the concoction to the mixing and the private labeling, who knew it would take this much work? Well travel the globe like OGK (clients including G-Eazy, YG to name a few), you’ve got the opportunity to do whatever the hell you want. So when he’s not behind a chair in the shop or a tour bus, you can take a guess where you’ll find him nowadays. I already put that order in the for latest Texture by OGK hair pomade. Salute you Kevin for betting on yourself and showcasing that DIY! Check out the full dope video below.

My chair has taken me all over the world. And one thing I’ve noticed no matter who’s in my chair, no matter where the chair may be, is that everyone was looking for a product that didn’t exist.

Kevin “OGK” Kellett
Bodycare, Featured, Skincare

Scalp Madness: Groom Guy Talks Psoriasis, Home Tools, and Barbers w/ Specialist Randy Reed

Itchy scalp. Constant dryness. Redness. Flakes.

These are just some of the common tortuous symptoms of skincare agony. We often fall into illusion that if we just scratch more, it’ll miraculously give a give us a dosage of temporary relief. That is, until you’re scalp is suffocating from some unknown oil you got from the first results page of Google Search aimlessly researching “itchy scalp solutions.” Stop it. Bury all of that.

I had these struggles as well only to find out its a very common skin condition within the United State. If you’ve got an ongoing issue with your scalp after shampoo and/or conditioning treatment, chances are, you have a condition, or some form, of psoriasis. The name itself sounds terrifying. But rest assure, its easily treatable and found in 2-3 percent of the total population. So you’re not alone in the recovery process. I recently had the opportunity to chop it up with skincare expert Randy Reed of Osswald Parfumerie Boutique in New York City. Serving NY’s supreme clientele and a licensed esthetician, Randy supplied us with some everyday tips to end the immediate horror sightings of psoriasis.

——

Groom Guy: What does psoriasis look like?

Randy Reed: So it typically takes shape of a rash. Most of the time, due to the irritation and scratching, it’ll be red patches.

Groom Guy: How many people have this condition?

Randy Reed: It’s very common. Don’t worry.

Groom Guy: What can trigger psoriasis?

Randy Reed: There’s a number of factors included in the inflammation like your diet. Most commonly is the environment or climate that you’re in especially harsh cold winters where you’ll have little sun exposure.

Groom Guy: What’s the best treatment for it?

Randy Reed: A short term treatment is buying a skincare product with SPF (aka Sun Protection Factor) as an immediate solution. Many products that are packed with this measure of protection will keep your scalp and/or face protected. Food plays a role in your psoriasis as well. For example, one’s sensitivity levels to gluten (typically found in breads) may aggravate an itchy scalp. So pay attention to what you food you intake and stock up on inflammation fight-foods.

Mister Fresh featured in GQ Thailand.

Groom Guy: When we transition into new seasons, what should we be doing?

Randy Reed: Stay Moisturized! Using a facial moisturizer will you give you a thicker layer and protect you from outside infestations. I use a serum  which is a pre-moisturizer and locks in moisturizer.

Groom Guy: Any other home made solutions?

Randy Reed: You’ll want to invest a humidifier. This device is designed specifically to put moisture into the air. By traveling, working out, you lose moisture throughout your work day. At night, your skin is supposed to repair itself. With the humidifier preventing the air from being dry, that also means it stop your scalp and face too.

The best winter investment I made. – Groom Guy

Groom Guy: Should your local barber know how to treat this?

Randy Reed: No. A professional should be mindful of this during the consultation and then recommend the client seek a specialist aka dermatologist.

Groom Guy: Is there anything a client can do before/after a haircut?

Randy Reed: He/She should tell the barber immediately before the cutting hair process. The barber should shampoo & condition the client before haircutting to reduce the inflammation during the cut.

Note: A visit to your local dermatologist will be available to give your special case a full evaluation with easy treatment. Many patients get equipped with an ointment or prescription that’ll show immediate results.

Be sure to visit Randy Reed’s site iammisterfresh.com & follow him: @iammisterfresh

Beardcare, Bodycare, Lifestyle, Videos

Groom Guy Premieres “In The Cut” (Episode 1) [WATCH]

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.

Polish / Men's style, Uncategorized

Stay Polish’d Collection: Vol. 2

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.

Clothing

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.

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.


STAY POLISH’D LOOKS:

1. Brimmed Hat | 2. Scarf – Out of stock | 3. Pants – Out of stock, similar here | Rings


Grooming 101, Product Reviews, Uncategorized

Groom Guy Releases “Product Reviews” (#100) Series & Premieres Daily Styling Cream

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.

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.


Lifestyle, Videos

Throwback: Bobby Brown’s ‘Every Little Step’ Hair Was a Mistake [WATCH]

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.

Bodycare, Featured, Polish / Men's style

Terrible Winter Habits to Retire (Immediately)

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.

When you leave the house naked of facial product. #SKELETORSTYLE

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.

Lifestyle

#BehindTheChair: Top 3 Hilariously Polish’d Moments with Ric Flair [VIDEO]

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?

3.

2.

If I’m down and out, I’ll get up and take care of myself. – Ric Flair

1. (Apparently this was completely off script)

Videos

LeBron James & Drake break all the rules with latest “The Shop” episode [WATCH]

 

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 Shop and 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