Barbers are taking over. Clients are loving the extra attention. Technology is the stimulus that brought about in the rebirth of men’s grooming.
Women have referenced hair from fashion magazines for ages, and social media has allowed men to enter the world of men’s style and beauty through a platform where it can exist and evolve. Today, men can pull out their phones and, because these images are so accessible, clients have learned more of the trade, and now request barbering services unlike ever before.
The 90s were a time of frosted tips, Abercrombie and Fitch clean-shaved faces and boy bands, but now beards, fades, and pompadours are back to remind older generations of a time where styling grooved through the veins of pop culture; and to teach new generations about what a good barber can do to change not only your look, but also your approach to looking good… as instructed by the pro.
With hashtags like #barberlife being tossed to and from Instagram and Facebook, communication now is not geographically limiting, and barbers have created a community that thrives in the sharing of ideas, looks and techniques to perfect the services that they offer. Beards are an accessory, but not an easy one to maintain without some effort. A pompadour will look amazing on thick hair, but not if the client doesn’t have the proper texture to carry it off. Clients expect much more than a haircut, and both traditional and non-traditional barbers are stepping up to educate their clients.
“Barbering is definitely something that’s here to stay,” says David Raccuglia, the industry icon that founded American Crew back in 1994. “There will be more and more barbershops popping up all over the world. This is not a trend: it’s about going back to a traditional culture, as if men had just lost touch with grooming for a while. We are returning to a point where men feel more at ease at the barbershop. At the same time there will be more opportunities for barbers to work also at unisex salons. Stylists in beauty salons should also learn how to barber, because men are now more savvy and are expecting high-quality haircuts and a certain level of service – so I think this spurs the whole industry to raise the bar.“
Celebrity barbers, like Pacinos have launched their own brands, products and education as a result of a booming market and interest in the art of making men look good. Similarly, industry veterans like Paul Mitchell (MITCH) and Agadir launched their own men’s lines and did so successfully, while startups like 18.21 Man Made and fatboy are entering the market with distinct designs that appeal to the modern man.
“Men’s hair fashion will go on and we’ll see the following trends happening: beards, mustaches, undercuts, longer shags, long hair, messed up and sleek hair, and even no hair is accepted too,” says Mike Karg internationally renowned barber and founder of Karg Hairstyling + Products. “Men’s hair products are supporting all of the looks and everyone is launching men’s hair care and styling lines left and right because there is money to be made, which means shops will keep on opening up too.”
At ESTETICA we know that hair is an essential part of the ensemble for amazing fashion, so in that same manner, hair is altered and reshaped by the world around us, and we find ourselves in a pivotal moment for the male persona in the world of hair. There is potential for a new market, and it sprouts from the overwhelming male interest in the areas of haircare and grooming, and barbers, as the grooming gods that they are, have the role of enlightening clients with the answers to their hair’s needs in order to achieve the perfect look.
By Alejandra Acuña