Inside the NBA bubble barbershop [WATCH]

NBA ball players may be dominating the floor and getting buckets but while off the court, they're routinely getting A1 treatment with manicures, facials and haircuts. The recent move to the bubble in Orlando has caused for many players to have their general schedules turned upside down. The association created this care facility to try and mirror the barbershop experience the best way. Routine haircuts are a symbol of prestige in the league and going a week without one will quickly make you a target to the social media "sharp shooters." Now that the NBA playoffs are underway the pressure is on for the remaining teams to pull it together. Lets hope that also includes general upkeep.

Somebody get a hold of Jimmy Butler....

https://youtu.be/lEiDyL3sgQs

Barbers are preventing suicide one haircut at a time [watch]

The barber-client relationship has always been one cultivated in consistency, honesty and for some....vulnerability. The interaction is a public forum and moments of therapy that gives clients the ability to translate their feelings in the chair. The haircut is the medicine. If you think I'm exaggerating, try not getting a haircut for two and half months and let me know how you're holding up. A prime example of my viewpoint is expressed below with a wonderful story that can speak to all of us.

After losing a friend to suicide, Tom Chapman decided to do something about the biggest killer of young men in the UK. In a personal, moving talk he tells us about the international movement he founded building on the unique relationship between barbers and their clients to prevent suicide and save lives.

Tom Chapman is a Torquay-based barber who has made it his mission to propel the stigma of mental ill health among men into the mainstream. In 2015 founded the Lions Barber Collective, an international group of barbers who have undergone training in how to recognize symptoms of mental ill health in clients and signpost them to relevant support services. The group helps to raise awareness of mental illness and aims to prevent suicide by creating training that enables barbers to recognize, talk and listen out for symptoms of depression. - Ted Talk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjAQTH0aZJA&feature=emb_title

5 Major Considerations when Opening a Barbershop w/ Mikey Denton

(In the words of shop owner Mikey Denton)

So there’s a lot that goes into opening a business. Then you'll realize how much more goes into after you open. Especially if you are like me and did not have any type of business degree or certification. 

Identify Yourself: Owner or Haircutter

You should pick what you want to focus more on: Do you want to cut behind the chair or do you want to be an owner/operator? Because you need to put effort into one to do it right. Trust me, putting your eggs in different baskets will continue to be challenging. I did not open with the intention of not cutting anymore. Now it can be totally different for a small shop with two to three chairs, booth rental, no front desk, no retail store kind of shop which a lot of people are totally content with. But if you want to run a well oiled machine with the full team operations, it’s going to take a lot of attention to detail. 

I want to cut for the rest of my career. I’ve always wanted to commit to cutting and have zero interest quitting and just owning a salon. 
Mikey denton

Work With Brands You Believe In

Supporting the super small guys is great but also you need to consider what distribution companies offer as well. Points, education, free back bar, etc. After several years we narrowed down the brands that are great, offer a variety of products and provide a lot of support. 

Mikey Denton

Depending But...Aim High With Prices 

Thats a vague statement yes. But starting with a low price then working up is difficult. We started at $30 then went to $32 and people lost their minds. Eventually we made our way to $35 but when I went up to $45 it wasn't that big of a deal but for the clients who had been paying $30, I was told "that's inflation". It wasn't because we didn't write out a proper business model. Some of us were booked several weeks in advance and were losing clients so you raise your prices. Not every stylist/barber is booked so others are at $35. The level system was put into place after a few years. We should have done a little more research before going with what was the "normal" model in my hometown. 

Be Intentional & Trust the Process

Open a business with the right intentions and after checking off all the boxes. Some people open a spot after being busy for a year and are "just doing what's best for their family.” I was that guy and I've heard plenty of other people say the same. Not realizing its not that simple and isn't the best next option. I wish I knew about studio suite models before opening to test the waters first. Studio suites (pictured above) allow you to be your own business for 6 months to a year, without the small business headaches. If you are booked up enough to run a successful studio suite, then add staff or apprentices. If that works and you got a well oiled machine, then look into your own space. For a lot of people that has been the better option. At the same time people who own a business have downsized by moving into a studio suite and prefer it. Just don't rush into anything and don't take money from any person who wants to "invest.” TRUST ME. 

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Mikey Denton currently resides in Portland, Oregon and get can be reached www.mikeydenton.com. Contact him on Instagram @mikeydenton.


COVID19: Growing the Hair OR Buzz Cut. Consider This...

Before you take that clipper to your head. One must ask: Do I really want to suffocate my sink with all these hair strands?

But seriously, these times seem more strenuous as the days progress. Your hands have been washed so many times we've all put Mr. Clean out of a job. I know there's a lot more things to be concerned than hair but in the long run, we don't want it to collapse. It's no surprise you won't be seeing your barber, at least, for another four weeks. Tackle the critical question now of what we've all been asking ourselves since our last haircut visit: What the hell do I do now?

The buzz may sound like the immediate short solution but could carry a handful of regret and unease if not full analyzed. Some are looking for a fresh start and want to try a short look that reflects the upcoming hot season (burn the virus while you're at it). Taking a style from the GI playbook, the buzz shortens your am & pm routine with little to no maintenance. Some visit the barbershop or salon routinely to color or reshape processed hair. A short buzz can give any damaged hair some much needed relief. Refocus on other life priorities at the moment and allow your hair to take back seat...where you won't have to worry if its safe because there's nothing really there.

Once those clippers get an inch close to your scalp, there's no turning back. Barbers always say "You can take hair off but you can never [naturally] put it back on." That statement still stands so really consider that if you wish to mow it all. The look also brings itself a short routine of a clipper cutting everyday couple of weeks. You be the judge of the buzz length by properly using guards.

If you've always wanted longer lengths like Jason Momoa, dreadlocks like Wiz Khalifa or skateboard hot shot Neen Williams now is the time to shoot your shot. Being quarantined in the home is an easy avoidance to the public eye during the timely growth process. No need to answer co worker questions or family opinions as time goes on. The general upkeep on shampooing & conditioning is the number one priority. Drop a hat on the head when the growth becomes unbearable and you're looking for quick styling options (Fedoras > Dad Caps). Let your curiosity run laps as your follicles grow big & tall. There may be a new hair look you've always wanted but job restrictions or the awkward growing wouldn't allow. Now is the opportunity to witness your hair's capabilities as you maintain natural growth.

Don't get weary if the hair appears disheveled, messy or unkept. In the naked comfort of your own home, you can do little maintenance checks including clipper (or scissoring) the behind the ear and cleaning the neck routinely. Give your hair a much need break of products and watch it take natural shape. Whatever you decide, turn some heads this upcoming warm season and filter thru all the possible outcomes with a look that fits just right for you.

Joe Cole

Polish'd Tip: Introduce some beard growth, if you can, and watch that flow into your new look.


COVID19: Ways to Support Your Local Barber (During This Time)

We’ve received your DMs. Your calls. Your letters.

If your relationship with your personal barber was at risk for any reason a national pandemic would be a legitimate reason. It’s no surprise the current state of the US economy is under turmoil and many jobs have been terminated or left in uncertainty. One of them is your friendly, neighborhood barber or hair stylists. The government restraints have caused many barbers & business owners to close their doors resulting in an immediate loss of income. For most, it’s a commissioned based business so no work simply adds to no funds. They’re consistency and loyalty to you, as a client, over the years hopefully speaks volumes. Now I’m not saying you’re barber should be greeted with a bouquet of white flowers at his/her doorstep but some kind gestures could mean the most during these times. Take a look below at some considerable options for the one person (next to your attorney) who ensured your happiness every time you left his/her “office.”

Book a future appointment 

That first appointment back should be nothing short of pure magic. It’ll reduce any stress from barber-stylists knowing you’re securing a spot with them at a later date. Many hair businesses are equipped with online booking & everything is just a click away to complete the task. If there’s no online booking, contact them directly and make it happen. Cash may be tight so paying for a haircut in advance could be a big help. 

Purchase merchandise from online shop 

From t-shirts to customized hats, barber brands have extended their revenue streams with merchandise. Here’s the opportunity to drive sales directly to the barbershop that has cared for you...and you get to wear it! Give your Amazon account a break and throw down on some limited product lines that could use your communal support. Some companies have production warehouses that are currently operating so you’ll still be able to receive your package in a timely manner throughout the shutdown. I recently scooped some merchandise from Social Club’s limited collection packed with fresh jackets and tees. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-DyMpbloqW/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Gift cards purchases 

This may be new to some but gift cards are a great way to support your local barber. The card can easily be purchased online & used for service at a later time. Some even let you pick your barber, that way, they can secure whatever commission percentage they earn from the purchase. A sweet double dose of love is getting a gift card then scheduling a future (hopefully not summer) appointment. 

Support Donation Page (GoFundMe etc.) 

Rather than just one barber-stylist you may feel obliged to give to an entire company. With that, owners are beginning to launch GoFundMe and donation campaigns for financial assistance. The struggles of not being able to pay employees is a heavy burden for owners, so the donation page is a pitch of vulnerability and honesty during this virus outbreak. Companies refuse to take the risk of opening their shop doors which is obviously understandable: protecting clients but also their team. Washington’s D.C. Barber of Hell’s Bottom shared story gave an inside look into the realities of their recent shutdown. 

Moral $upport

For some, this quarantine time is a space of complete isolation. The weight of uncertainty sits heavy for many in the hair business. If your wallet doesn’t allow, a simple message or shoutout on social media could be helpful. Posting or sharing your barber’s page can draw any potential new viewers and clients to his/her page. Use the extra time to even insert a positive review on Google, Yelp etc. These acts of kindness is what continues to combat the fear and anxiety for some and simply what the rest of the world needs now.


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.


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.


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)


Pusha T releases some helpful routined gems [WATCH]

It's been quite an exciting year for rapper Pusha T. He took the internet by storm with his lyrically-lethal diss track that nearly sent Drake's career into cardiac arrest (for the first time). After some CPR from his fellow OVO cohorts, we're told the feud has since ceased. Pusha has awaken the doubters and solidified himself as a top tier contender to superstar Drake. But throughout his career and rigorous work days of constant travel, revealing hidden children from rappers, touring and more, Pusha lets us in on some helpful tips that keeps him polish'd. He shares with GQ some critical essentials he can't do with out while on constantly on the move.

From his favorite casual t-shirts to a facial moisturizer he lets TSA willingly take away from the airport (only to buy another one), we scooped some quick gems from the Virginia native that'll keep us properly strapped for the summer heatwave...because she's going to hit hard this year. Watch below for the full listing.

Be sure to comment and tell us your personal favorites!


Untold Story of Polish'd Legend: Dapper Dan [WATCH]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kVoaQukud8

“Fresh is something that always has to be new,” says Dapper Dan, “and always has to be potent.” He should know. The avatar of hip hop style got his start in Harlem of the 1970s designing custom “knock-ups” (as opposed to knock offs) for a who’s who of big ballers and shot callers, as well as a few rappers. From Eric B & Rakim to Kool G Rap to The Fat Boys—even Mike Tyson—Dapper Dan dressed them all. But then, during the early 1990s certain major fashion brands ran him out of business. “I had to go underground,” says Dan, who has since made a groundbreaking deal with the House of Gucci, opening boutiques in Harlem and more recently in SoHo. “I was built to start all over anyway,” says Dan. “I was NOT going to let this get away from me…. I said ‘They ain’t gonna leave me out of this.’”

photo provided by GQ Style