Watch Short Film "London Locks"

You ever wonder why people grow & maintain these things called dreadlocks? Is their a reason there's such a vast amount of people around the world who choose this path? And no, its because the musical ghost of Bob Marley led them to do it.

Since the beginning of time until now, dreadlocks have gone thru a string of evolutionary changes and currently represents a strong cultural identity to black people across the world. Film director Aaron Christian gives us a glimpse of the stories told by common dreadlock-stylers in London, UK. From breaking deep rooted stereotypes to infiltrating the fashion industry, these dreadlock-ers share how locking their hair has helped shaped their perspective into who they are & what people perceive them to be. We applaud you Aaron!

“It was the style and confidence that initially drew me in" - Aaron Christian, Film Director

London Locks from Aaron Christian on Vimeo.


First Look: Supreme + Andis Cordless Clipper

Barbering just kicked up a notch. If you know anything about Supreme it remains a timeless brand of street-luxury. It may not necessarily be a religion but it might as well be with its worldwide congregation of devout followers / buyers stretching ages 15-35 (estimated worth $40 mil). Supreme continues to push the envelope of development with collaborations over the years that still have customers salivating. This morning, my friend texted me this photo of the newest one with hair product powerhouse: Andis. Since I've been a barber, I've never seen or heard any type of collabs coming from Andis so this is huge. The original Envy Adjustable is a staple in the hair community and foundational tool for basic fading, designs etc. If hair business needed a new face lift, I think Supreme single handedly did that with this. At the moment, few details have been revealed on the company site. Stay tuned.

Will we see more brand collaborations like this in the hair industry? Is streetwear making its way to grooming? Hit us with your final thoughts.

Product description:

  • Cordless, adjustable lever (for fading)
  • Classic red / white color wave
  • Up to two hours of battery life.

 


Groom Guy Invades "Everybody" US Tour w/ Logic + Joey Bada$$

So its not everyday you get the call to attend a tour show like Logic and Joey Bada$$' EVERYBODY tour. It was nothing pure magic & musical nostalgia watching these two performers pure their lyrical ether to a bucket load of fans at a sold out show. Once that call hit my phone & request to bring my tools, I knew it was time. So I finished my morning at the salon and raced down to the MGM Resort in Maryland. Greeted warmly by tour management, I slid some time to reconnect with some ol' industry buddies. While Logic & Joey had center stage that night, so did I as I was able to provide cuts to the tour team. From the DJs, instrumentalist, to members of group Pro Era, Groom Guy services were in full effect baby! The conversations were fueled with honesty, authenticity, and an fire exchange of opinions filled with laughter, some vulnerability and communal building.

The night was closed out with pure gratified for the tour team for the service and catching with my guy Joey Bada$$. Tour life can definitely be a point of tension for following a grooming formula. Luckily, Groom Guy was able to drop some quick gems to make sure there's a healthy balance of general upkeep thats not too tough to maintain. Thank ya'll for a classic night. Until next time....

(photos provided by Justin Fleischer)

Groom Guy with recording artists John Lindahl

Family Reunion
Pro Era / DJ Powers Pleasant
Stay Polish'd
Joey Bada$$ x Sunny

Summer Madness: How Heat Directly Affects Our Hair

We know the summer time means burying the jackets and slapping on some SPF. Summer brings various levels of freedom but also seasonal challenges and bodily responsibilities. Being a hair stylist is not only about providing quality cuts but also about knowing how to increase the lifetime of my clients’ haircuts. I tell my clients, this means having to do the work when it comes to hair protection in the heat.

It’s simple and easy to justify that the warm season makes everything a bit more care-free but we don’t want to underestimate the power of the heat and the impact it has on our hair. The sun’s heat reigns supreme as one of Earth’s most dominant forces, so I advise having a defense plan for your hair when going up against mother nature.

The sun does 3 critical things when your hair is exposed to its power:

  1. It dehydrates and strips hair of moisture (leading to split ends and breakage).
  2. It hardens hair.
  3. It damages the scalp.

 

Unprotected overexposure to the sun can cause big problems for your scalp and hair, similar to that of hair conditions like dandruff and eczema; all ultimately leading to dry, brittle, damaged hair. The power of the sun’s rays has the ability to break down the inner molecular structure of your hair, thus making it difficult to grow naturally, causing hair to grow into a barb wire-like pattern. This means your hair and beards will have first class invitations to frizz and complete styling malfunction. It’s important to know your hair’s heat tolerance. Some hair types – coarser, thicker, wavy, or loose curly strands – can handle heat styling better than others, long term.

Thankfully, there’s a handful of products on the market which serve as heat protectants, including sprays, lotions, creams, and conditioners. Scotch Porter’s Conditioner is chemically designed to retain moisture and hydrate your scalp after it’s been shampooed or exposed to heat. You can mend hair damage by applying a conditioner which will restore moisture and serve as a first class flight to hydration. It’s your call, but I suggest, the next time you feel that ultra light beam on your scalp, follow up with the right products.

This article can also be viewed on Scotch Porter Journal


My Black Barber Remains My Therapist

This story is written by Ryan Brown originally posted Tonic.

Mental health and the barbershop have a deep correlation that exceeds beyond a haircut and goes into the mind of a man. One of Groom Guy's core values is celebrating diversity in the realm of barbering & overall grooming but we also spotlight the barbershop's cultural significance within particular ethnic groups. Read full story below.

Hands On Barbers in Mount Rainier, Maryland is pretty much my second home. The tiny barbershop is tucked between an equally small Dominican beauty salon and a dusty antique shop walking distance from the nation's capital. The neighborhood surrounding my safe haven isn't the best.

There's a growing problem with local residents abusing PCP, alcoholics wandering up and down the block with brown paper bags of booze, and abandoned buildings outnumbering the occupied ones. I know this doesn't sound too appealing to the average person, but I am there every week due to my sometimes untamable facial hair.

If Hands On is my home, then the barbers, Will and John, are the older brothers that I never knew I wanted. Not only are they experts on black hair, but they are unofficially sports analysts, local restaurateurs, DC historians, and more importantly, therapists (their business cards only say "barber," though). They've been there for me for years—and I'm not talking about just their crisp haircuts and beard trims either. I've talked with them about absolutely everything from job interviews and my personal health issues to my dating life and, of course, how shitty the Redskins can be.

It has been well discussed that many people of color are not fans of therapy. Taking it a step further, blacks have significant issues when it comes to trusting health professionals and are sometimes undertreated when we do go to the doctor. That, along with the Trumpcare on the horizon and 22 million people possibly losing healthcare in the next decade, there's a lot of uncertainty in the black community.

However, the need to take matters into our own hands—which can mean self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, not expressing our issues, and a slightly healthier option: relying on communal spaces to vent where individuals have similar backgrounds and experiences. Places like church, or yes, the barbershop.

"In these public communal spaces, there is less fear of that type of racism which would be further detrimental to our health," says Carlton Green, a psychologist at the University of Maryland. "For decades, the barbershop has been a place of self-definition where black people have this degree of power in a society where in most cases we feel inferior. In these communal spaces, we are not constrained to larger social norms."

Being around other men who occupy the same neighborhoods allows for a level of understanding and makes it easier to open up about issues that aren't discussed at home or in a doctor's office. It's as if they've taken a cue from British barbers, who at certain shops are actually given mental health training to help deal with the rising number of male suicides in Europe.

In the US, barbershops have been consistently used as research sites for communicating health messages. Nonprofits like the Colorado Black Health Collaborative (CBHC) partnered with healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente to create barbershops that combine health outreach initiatives. By combining the barbershop experience with interventions for hypertension, diabetes, and HIV for people of color, the program was able to expand from one barbershop to twelve. Health professionals are starting to realize that when it comes to treating men more effectively, it starts with being in the public spaces that we frequent.

"Barbershops allow African American men to talk about a myriad of issues impacting the black community," says Larry Walker, a researcher who has written extensively about black barbershops and mental health. "Important issues including politics, economic development, and wellbeing are frequently discussed. Without barbershops, black men would have very few places to feel physically and emotionally safe."

Every type of person walks through the shop doors on a given day. Police officers, city councilmen, addicts, family men, and their sons are all welcome. But once you sit in that chair, it's like the walls we build come crashing down and every opinion comes out. For an hour or two, you can unapologetically raise your voice, call your cheating girlfriend everything under the sun, and walk out feeling and looking like a better man. It's cathartic. But is it actually therapy?

Black customers and barber laughing in classic barbershop

"Barbershops are considered the black man's country club and often there are men in there who are not even getting haircuts," says Sula Hood, a behavioral and social sciences professor at Indiana University-Purdue University. "But the relationship between a man and his barber is a unique and trusting relationship. Barbers tend to chime in with their own personal experiences so the client doesn't feel isolated or alone. That's a different kind of relationship [than] a psychologist, who may not identify with you."

Of course, there's a big difference between getting treated by a mental health professional and working through some issues with a barber. Receiving cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) from a psychologist may restore a brain's structural balance and ease chronic pain. For illnesses like bipolar disorder, cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) has proven to be an effective treatment. You won't get those benefits hanging out at the shop—some people might even find being around large groups of people to be stressful. No doubt, the physical and mental benefits of seeing a professional outweigh the benefits of not seeing one.

That being said, there's something about the safe space of the barbershop that gets men to open up, no matter how personal the subject matter. Three-time NBA champion LeBron James alluded in a recent barbershop conversation to turmoil between him, his wife, and his mother about potentially coming back to Cleveland in 2014. In 2015, rapper Killer Mike and then Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had an extensive conversation in a barbershop ranging from free healthcare to social justice issues.

Yes, there are clinical differences between paying 150 dollars an hour for therapy from a psychologist and a 20 dollar haircut from my favorite barber. One is a licensed mental health professional and the other is not. But both have their place. This past weekend, for instance, one of my best friends, Brad, and I took the short drive to the barbershop for our Saturday morning ritual. After waiting my turn and conversing with the regulars, John offered his chair, and then he asked how my parents were doing.


Rapper Stalley Drops Gems On Facial Hair Growth + New Track

Previously written by Nate Ericksen on GQ.com 

 

No Shave November ended, but your scruff stuck around. Maybe your girl liked it, maybe it added some swagger to your step, or possibly you were just too damn lazy to pick up a razor. One way or another, that baby face of yours has some newfound growth that you’re just not sure how to maintain. You’re in luck. Ohio rapper Stalley happen to be the proud owner of one of the best beards in hip-hop. We hit up the Maybach Music / Blue Collar Gang rapper (and pick designer) to drop some knowledge on what you need to make a long-term commitment to facial hair.

 

GQ: So when was the last time you were facial hair free?

Stalley: In 2008.

 

GQ: What’s been the hardest part of maintaining your beard?

Stalley: Sleeping on it.

 

GQ: How often do you groom?

Stalley: Three times a week I’ll wash and condition it with Organix Shampoo and Conditioner.

 

GQ: Besides washing, what do you do to keep your facial hair looking fresh?

Stalley: I have a great barber named Sherman in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. He uses Andis clippers and a straight razor. He’s been cutting my hair for about 13 years now.

 

GQ: Any other products you use? Oils, etc.?

Stalley: No other products but pure confidence and a handsome face.

 

GQ: Lastly, what advice do you have for someone who’s looking to make a long-term beard-growth commitment?

Stalley: It’s pretty simple advice - just patience and let it grow.

Fast forward into 2017, the Blue Collar Gang CEO gives us a audio glimpse of his forthcoming album, New Wave, with the newest single below. You'll want to make sure you're pressing the gas with the windows down on this one.


Hands Dirty, Nose Clean: Grooming Tips We Learned From Hit Show "Power"

It seems like only yesterday we saw Omari Hardwick's Jamie be on on top of the world playing the high-profile entrepreneur / gangster who sounded like he had everything under control. If you've missed out on the highest rated show in Starz channel history, you may want to grab that channel. Jamie continues on his tumultuous journey of fatherhood, moving past infidelity, and constant avoidance of police interference and those within his own drug-run empire. There's never a dull moment for Jamie but somehow he is able to to maintain his dashing style and supremeness (yes, thats a word).

Somebody tell James Bond to step aside & take notes. We were able to compile some helpful tips from Omari Hardwick's character and learn a thing or two about getting your hands dirty but keeping your nose clean.

1. Frequent tailor visits

A basic suit can read "stylish effort" but a well tailored one signifies "sophistication." It's no surprise Jamie was a successful nightclub owner on the series and had to show for it. Whether he was conducting a deal, legally or illegally, the man made sure his suit game was proper and his colors coordinated. From a simple three piece suit to modeling an outfit with just a vest, we learned that its important to have access to counsel on the best styles that suit you and your personal preference. Let a tailor or someone you trust take over in order to really sport that suit and address any additional mishaps.

2. Show & Tell (the beard)

Throughout the series, Jamie keeps his facial hair growth to a minimum. Opposed to growing a full beard, the character lets his light shine on his other strong facial features and the goatee stands alone on its on constantly shaped. From a barber's perspective, there's a guess that a razor is including on his goatee touch ups because those that shape is super crispy. If you're one to grow facial hair, take a look in the mirror or consult your barber on the best style to grow it. From a full beard, goatee, or simple mustaches, there's a selection to choose from that can fitting smoothly with your heard shape.

3. Hitting the gym 

Club owner by day and ruthless drug kingpin by night. We see there's a never dull moment in Jamie's life but somehow makes time to hit the gym. Power's Omari Hardwick may rule his household with an iron fist but it seems as though he's also built like it too. I guess all those hours in the gym pay and led to a character who looks like he exfoliates regularly. Sweating at the gym is a release of bodily toxins and results in fresh, vibrant skin tone like Mr. Jamie St. Patrick. His physicality, either on or off the show, remains as an model of the summer bod we're still looking achieve. R.I.P. Hagen Danz ice cream!

4. Crown Royal

With a dark caesar and slight waves, Jamie's  haircut is minimal yet majestic. He keeps his crown well maintained without a single spot of frizz or loose hair propping up. He must be using that Frederick Benjamin sleek water pomade. Either way, its a reminder that an outfit isn't complete if the hair isn't in place so keep your tools handy as it relates to this current summer heatwave.

Groom Guy Tip: It's not only one to look like a boss but smell like one with 50 Cent's Power cologne. Evocative of a lush forest on a cool, crisp morning, this scent attracts the attention of everyone who walks in your path and keeps you fresh and confident all day long.

You can stay updated with the latest from Season 4 now by signing up on Starz.com.

 


Powerful: A Barber & Cop Team Up to Bring Peace to Their City [WATCH]

In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting and the resulting unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, Shaun “Lucky” Corbett wanted to do his part to ease tensions his own community. A barber in Charlotte, Shaun reached out to his local police department to explore how he could help encourage and build stronger bonds between officers and the city. Shaun teamed up with Officer Rob Dance to start a mentoring program to encourage cooperation and understanding. And, so far, the program has been successful in opening up a productive and important dialogue between the police force and the community. Watch the full video below to get a glimpse into the program & its long term impact on the youth.

The programs include:
- Cadet training
- Tutoring
- Transparency programs
- Mentorship

https://youtu.be/vEgtyqnrF4w

You can follow Lucky & his barbershop team here: @daluckyspotbarbershop


"The Shop" with LeBron James, Draymond Green & more ESPN [WATCH]

NBA's LeBron James & Draymond Green are the lasts two we'd expect to be in the same room sharing a laugh...but ESPN made it happen courtesy of the barbershop. They share thoughts on NBA, Olympics, music & more at the gentlemen's sanctuary aka barbershop. In the video, we also discover why LeBron's Mom didn't want him to go back to Cleveland. Other guests included 2Chainz, Steve Stoute and more.

I'm sure LeBron James dismisses these video after watching his rival team take a sweeping win as the new Champions. Either way, it's got some light hearted moments we don't when they're on the court.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ypwbI1NtG4&t=220s


The Blind Barber: 3 Easy Ways to Look Fresh in the New Year

This article was originally written on Edit Express

As part of our new grooming series, we’re talking with some of the best barbers in the business to bring you the tips and tricks to staying handsome, from the boardroom to the bedroom.

Looking sharp isn’t rocket science, but it is something that needs a little attention. For our first installment we caught up with master barber Julien over at the Blind Barber in New York about the best ways to start your manscaping adventures. From scoring the perfect cut to the must-have tools for keeping that mane looking tip-top, ensuring your New Year gets off to a fresh start.

When considering a grooming regiment, what should guys do to affect the health of their hair and skin? 

Men are usually simple creatures. We tend to not over do anything and stick to keeping it simple. Sometimes that leads us to forget some key things. One big thing that I’ve seen many men do is leave product in their hair at night. Some think it’ll be one less step they have to do in the morning when they’re getting ready,  but they’re not doing themselves any favors. Product you leave in your hair at night gets on your pillow. When you lay your face on your pillow it picks it up leading to clogged pores, pimples, or overall bad skin. You should always rinse your hair out at night to remove any product, even if you aren’t shampooing daily.  Clean hair = healthy hair = beautiful face.


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When deciding on a new cut for the new year, what are a few things to keep in mind when talking to your barber?

A picture speaks a thousand words. Showing your barber a few photos of something you’d like can help remove a lot of the “guess work”. Pictures give the barber a better understanding of which direction you’re leaning for your hair. But, remember that some hair types appear different in person than they do in a photograph. It’s best to start with a clipper size that leaves your hair a little longer. You can always go shorter, but you can’t magically grow hair mid cut. Most of the popular haircuts you see nowadays have some variation of a fade. So you can say you want a high, medium, or low fade depending on the look and style you’re shooting for. Your barber will know the difference. Tapering your hair is always a go to. “Squaring off” or “rounding out” the neckline will give your hair an unnatural look when it’s growing back out. Asking for a taper is a classic move that will ensure that every cut you get, will leave you looking fresher longer.

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Blind Barbershop in Lower East Side, NY

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What are a few products or tools every guy should own that will keep him looking fresh?

Every man should have some sort of styling product. From a pomade, to a wax or cream, a leave in conditioner, mousse – you name it. We all have bad hair days and every man can appreciate a helping hand in holding over until the next cut. If you don’t already own one, you can borrow a hair dryer from a friend or main squeeze. Blow dry your hair in the desired direction until the style you want is achieved. Hair dryers are life savers especially for those tricky cowlicks. Water based products are best for your hair. They do not damage it by drying it out or causing flakiness. Plus, they wash out easily. These water based products are best to use after the shower when your hair is towel dry. They go in evenly and won’t have you looking like Cameron Diaz in that one movie… Blind Barber’s 90 Proof is perfect if you’re looking for a matte finish with a stronger hold. It’s ideal for men that desire a natural look that lasts all day. For a little more shine, Blind Barber’s 60 Proof has an amazing finish with enough hold to define and enhance your look. Great for bringing out texture and reducing frizz.

Photo: Aaron Austin