The Woman Behind Your Man's Hands: Mr. Nail Lounge

Wow is this write-up well overdue! When I traveled to Los Angeles for the Xotics Battle this past January, I knew there was one stop in Hollywood I absolutely had to make. Mr. Nail Lounge is prominently located at 9005 Melrose Avenue but the details don't stop with the zip code. 

Naturally I had to sit down with the leading lady, Maston, who is behind every good looking pair of hands in and near Tinseltown. She welcomed me with open arms all the way from Manhattan to check out what West Hollywood has to offer.  It's no secret that I believe in elevating our industry and how people perceive barbers but this takes it to another level! Check out some details on this amazing lounge for men from haircuts to pedicures and let me know what you think of this trend picking up!

When you think of a business owner behind a men's nail salon, you assume they must have been immersed in the industry from a young age. This is not the case with Maston nor her mother, Nana, who is her business partner and it was a complete surprise to me. Okay, I know you want to know, she was in Dental school. Yeah, I was shocked too. 

Better yet, the idea came to Maston as she was considering what she wanted to do after school and realized this niche industry was extremely underserved in Hollywood. 'Too many guys have to go to regular nail salons and deal with the chemicals, chatter and awkward looks', Maston told me. She wanted to create an environment that allowed men to indulge while relaxing whether that means watching the flat screen, having a cocktail or a shave.

Upon walking in to Mr. Nail Lounge, your world is completely transformed from the rainy L.A. day to deep, black walls, ornate gold fixtures and large leather chairs. Even the small things were thought about too: menus for both your drinks and your services were individually done, bronze tubs for your feet to be pampered in, and of course, a barber station.

When I visited it wasn't even open for a full year and business was already booming. Upon asking her what she envisions for the future of men's nails and her business, Maston confidently replied that they plan on opening one in Orange County, California and, hopefully, New York City too. I know plenty of guys who would love this (and some who need it), do you? 

Check out the gallery below, your mind will be blown if it hasn't already. 

Until Next Time,

Cass

Barber Battle Tips by @Lici_LadyBarber

Every coast hosts a battle and some battles travel from city to city. With so much competition and so many different judges, how could you possibly know what to do to win? Every barber at some point battles whether early or later in their career but it seems that it's extremely hard to place in most of these events.

Lici_LadyBarber was recently one of THREE judges at the She's My Barber Battle in Oakland, California. With so many fantastic women competing, it was definitely hard to tell who was going to come out on top.

I caught up with Lici after the event and asked what sets a barber apart from the others during the competition? Is it the haircut only? Or the tools they use? Perhaps just sheer luck of doing a better job than they normally do? And she schooled me on the whole situation so we figured it would be a great idea to share this information with everyone. 

Comment below! Have you battled before? Or are you possibly considering it? Has the video helped you understand the process either way? Let us know.
Always,
Cassie

www.HerChairHisHair.com Exclusive:
Tips and tricks for winning your next battle by Lici LadyBarber

First Image by Alana Tyler Slutsky

Video by Lici_LadyBarber

Lipstick On A Barber? Lipstick_Barber Does It Right.

To preface this interview, I wanted to say how happy I am to feature @Lipstick_Barber on Her Chair His Hair. She, like the other lady barbers we've featured on here, is the epitome of the standards that should be set amongst our community. A mother, Lady Barber and soon to be business owner of her first barbershop, Elishia was a thrill to chat with. 

Currently located near Los Angeles, California, Elishia works at 909 Clippers Barbershop where she does mens' hair but is also a fabulous woman's hairstylist during her so-called 'down time'. Her personality is bright, just like her lipstick, and effervescent so it is my hope that I'm able to show you all it just through this short interview.

HCHH: What inspired you to do hair?

Lipstick_Barber: I have a Cosmetologist license but I focus on Barbering. I started 10 years ago when I attended Cosmetology School but during that time I worked at Barbershop to get hands on experience in a professional setting. I did high-end women’s hair and color for a while but my best friend opened a shop and offered me a job.  I started helping him, he mentored me and I built a large clientele. It's fun, I enjoy the challenge of men’s cuts versus women’s cuts that I already know how to do.

HCHH: Approximately, how many clients do you currently see in a typical day? Are you booked in advance?

Lipstick_Barber: I'm booked in advance most of the time. It's very rare for me to take walk-in’s, I just have my own clientele.  Usually I take anywhere from 12-15 haircuts per day but a complete service package is about 45 minutes to an hour per client. If I finish early then I will take new clients to keep building my book. 

HCHH: What kind of reaction, if any, do you receive from people when they find out what you do for a living?

Lipstick_Barber: It's usually one of disbelief – 'Oh you’re a barber?' It’s not really common, even in the Barber world it has become more familiar but only recently. A lot [of female barbers] didn’t come out and say they were barbers. One in the area just opened an Instagram account and put her name out there but she’s been a barber forever and nobody really knew.

HCHH:  Has a client ever refused you? If so, based on what? 

Lipstick_Barber: Yeah, when I first started out but then they saw my work and became comfortable with me. That’s not a problem anymore, I guess the longer you stay at a place you build a reputation. I understand where they’re coming from, though, there is a bad reputation for girls cutting men’s hair sometimes. But I’d rather say ‘Here’s my work, let me show you and I’ll prove you wrong.’ I think it definitely builds character. 

HCHH:  I think you fixed that problem quickly. So when you're busy being superhuman, what's your favorite snack? 

Lipstick_Barber: It sounds so plain but I love Almonds. Honestly, I usually don’t even eat a snack. As long as I have water I’m good - I usually have a big jug of water [laughs]. Now with so much going on I definitely give myself an hour to eat. 

HCHH:  And what's your biggest pet peeve? I ask everyone because we all have at least one!

Lipstick_Barber: If I do take a new client, they sometimes will question me. How long have you been cutting hair? Do you know how to cut guys hair? Do you know how to do a fade/taper/etc? I’ll say 'This is my first day cutting, this is my first haircut.' I would scare them on purpose saying 'Oh I don’t know what I’m doing, let me know how it comes out.' Acting like I don’t know what I’m doing, turn them around at the end and then they’re amazed after they see it. It’s so fun because they’re afraid the whole time.

Also checking their hair the whole time. Let me finish the cut and then tell me if I missed something.

HCHH:  It's like a Kanye moment 'Imma let you finish..' Anyway, I'd love to hear about big projects you have coming up.

Lipstick_Barber: I'm currently in the process of opening my own shop. I'm hopeful it will be open by the end of the year. The whole idea is to make a nice concoction of women and mens' haircuts in the same location. 

HCHH:  And what's your favorite tool to use?

Lipstick_Barber: Shear work is my favorite. Clipper cuts are fun but I am more detailed with my shears. It works to my advantage because I like working with a lot of volume and hair. Although I think a healthy mix of the two definitely helps me create a great cut. 

HCHH:   I always love to ask because it is so telling, do you have any goals, hopes, or dreams that pertain to your career as a barber that you’d like to share? {cke_protected_1}

Lipstick_Barber: Right now the new shop is my baby and primary task but my next goal would be to create a franchise business with the shop. Eventually, I'd like to franchise in major cities (next would be downtown LA) but for now get this shop up and running before thinking about the next. 

Is your head spinning yet? Mine was after chatting with this phenomenal business woman. I can't just say 'Lady Barber' which is a huge title within itself because Elishia is a go-getter in every way possible.  If you'd like to book Lipstick_Barber, leave a comment below or find her on Instagram @Lipstick_Barber. Check back in Mondays and Thursdays 11 AM EST for tips and tricks and every other Thursday for a new Lady Barber! We've got a HUGE Lady Barber in our sights for the next round so stay tuned. Thanks again for your support!

Yours,
Cassie