23 May 2024

No Holds Barred: 20 Questions with Michael Mejia – The Nostalgic Modern Barber

Well-established in the San Francisco Bay Area, Michael Mejia is a licensed barber and cosmetologist of 20 years, specializing in a new genre of old-school style—he calls himself The Nostalgic Modern Barber.

Mejia specializes in bespoke haircuts that are bringing handsome back. His unique craftsmanship has created a secret gentleman’s society of sorts, where men gather for much-needed downtime and QT. It’s a rare-ifed kind of grooming that harkens back to an era of Elvis, Frank Sinatra and Steve McQueen. On the menu? Hot shaves and nostalgic banter.

Over the last decade, Mejia’s portfolio and client list has grown to include athletes, Coachella performers, New York Fashion Week models and average gents seeking to ‘up the ante’ on their everyday vibe. He’s helped to create the ever-evolving curriculum and teach hands-on men’s haircutting techniques not only with Baxter Of California but also with Andis as an global educator. His portfolio is a testament to his incurable perfectionism, listening skills and careful precision (an inch is an inch—amen). We got intimate with Michael in our ‘no holds barred’ interview – don’t miss out!

1. As a barber I am… always learning.
2. The thing I value the most about specializing in men’s hair is… it allows me to meet so many interesting people and hear so many great stories.
3. A barber should always have… a willingness to give his best to his clients.
4. The trend that never should have existed… man buns.
5. What I love about Andis is… support for their artists.
6. If I wasn’t a barber I would be… a hairstylist.
7. If I could change a well-known person’s look it would have to be… the owner of the Raiders.
8. The most special professional moment I’ve recently had is… working on a Community Barber Showcase put on by a super talented barber named Mark Peyton @markinstabarber. Its whole focus was on education!
9. I can’t work without my… my Andis Supra ZR II clippers.
10. I believe the future of barbering is headed to… creating no difference between Barbers and Hairstylists.
11. My main source of inspiration is… art in all its forms.
12. A men’s hair trend I would like to see come back is… Classic Greaser.
13. My specialty when it comes to hair is… making a man look handsome.
14. My journey with barbering began because… I could never have a barber or stylist cut my hair the way I wanted.
15. My favorite technique at the moment is… clipper over comb.
16. My professional mentor is… Jeffrey Tuffin.
17. Unforgettable professional advice is… it’s not about you, it’s about the person in the chair.
18. Education for a barber is… VITAL.
19. I love that my career has given me… the ability to meet incredible people who are artistic, passionate and beyond talented.
20. What I want to share with budding barbers is… don’t get too involved in social media. Use it to inspire you, but never compare yourself to others. Focus on your skillset and your own style.


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