Mike Karg is a man with drive and vision in the industry since the young age of 15. The Swiss moved to London after his apprenticeship for additional education with Toni&Guy and their London Hair Academy.
In the early 90’s he relocated to Hollywood and on to New York to chase the big dream, where he cut TV personalities like Sharon Stone, Marissa Tomei, Florence Henderson, Donny + Marie Osmond, Gina Lee Nolin just to name a few.
On NBC television he performed live make-overs and worked in New York Fashion Week shows like Todd Oldham, Hugo Boss, John Valdi, Speedo. He works in 5 different salons across the US and one in Zurich, Switzerland, where he chops alongside with celebrity colorist Michael Canale, known for the most requested hair color in the world – Jennifer Aniston!
His vision, innovative drive and experience led him to manufacture his first DryHairCutting shear and the KARG DryHairCut was born along with education, DVD’s, books and of course the tools. In the early 2000s KARG Inc. was founded in New York and KARG Hairstyling + Products in Switzerland, and this year, he has launched his 19th KARG Shear!
We had a few questions on where he sees the men’s grooming industry and would love to share his insight with you!
Tell me about the special thing about KARG Shears compared to others in the industry.
“I manufacture very difficult shears with a very, very different blade finishes… I am not the inventor of curved shear, we’ve had such shears in the 80’s, but the craftsmanship and material we have now-a-days is priceless. I believe in great quality and even better customer service. Love what I do, dedicated my life for this business, much more to come, keep your eyes open!
“I worked for Wella USA and later I was the Artistic + Creative consultant for Goldwell USA. In 1999 I had my first shear prototype designed, this happened because I could not find a texturizing shear that would hold its edge for more then 10 haircuts, so I manufactured one that would last and it did. Today I am counting 19 different KARG Shears.“
“My first cup – manufacturing a 6.5 texturizing shear the KARG Shear K-11 Royale was born. Still a big seller… and no other company manufacturing such a difficult shear, it took a long time till the shear was balanced right.“
“The KARG Shear K-Wide Royale was my second cup, I was worldwide the first guy to polish edges… and my 3rd cup; manufacturing a texturizing shear that you can slide with, crazy! The shears are designed by a passioned haircutter for haircutters.“
Trends are often more evolved interpretations of things past. How are men’s trends evolving for the coming season?
“Men’s have finally created their own place. Barbering is accepted, cool and men’s hair magazines are on the rise. Men’s hair fashion will go on and we’ll see the following trends happening: beards, mustaches, undercuts, longer hair, long hair, messed up and sleek hair, even no hair is accepted too! Men’s hair products are supporting all of the looks and everyone is launching men hair care and styling lines left and right because there is a demand for it and money to be made. Barber shops will keep on opening up too.“
“A strong 70’s wave with a punk vibe will hit us but not till next year. The perm is around the corner too, but the perm won’t last for 4 months, but only supporting height on top OR allover waves. Diversity is still key and tattoos have been accepted in a very interesting way, even the one scoring on your neck and hands.“
Which tools and products can be used in the salon to get these looks?
“From 3-5 different pomades that give the hair shine, grease, wet or mat-dry look. Gels + hair spray are hard and solid, while beard oils and mustache waxes can be used to groom facial hair. When scoring massive hair use anything that tames and shakes up the hair.“
Do you notice men using clippers, irons, and dryers at home to keep their styles looking fresh?
“Absolutely; a modern man’s bathroom looks like the girlfriend’s powder room now… all good!“
What’s new in hair thinning/loss treatments? Which styles are best to minimize the problem?
“Shave it off, it’s cool! When having thinning hair, it’s important to make sure to keep it nice and tight, sides shorter than the top, and cut the top super solid to create illusion of hair; do not use clippers and cut it DRY of course. When it comes to styling, make sure not to use gels, use a very light pomade if at all. Washing it every day helps hair look fuller too. Forget about long hair, very sorry!“
“There are lots of “hair loss treatments” on the market, and so, lots of money to be made. We’ll see more and more such products being launched and everyone is claiming the same; it works!“
“I find more interesting the color market in Men’s hair. In Asia 99.9% of all Asian men color their hair. Highlights and balayage are offered too, the differentiation in services are not much different to the women’s (keratin treatment for example)“
If you absolutely had to pick four of your 19 Shears, which ones would they be?
“The KARG Shear K-Long Couture 6.5″, The K-Curve Royale 6.75”, The KARG Shear K-TSlide Royale 6”, and The KARG Shear K-21 Royale 6.5”“
If you want to learn more from this master educator and his groundbreaking innovations in shears and dry cutting, please take a look at the website here: www.mikekarg.com