State of the Union: Taking Back Our Industry

Tonight I was involved in a conversation amongst many peers that discussed where the industry was going for Barbers and what we could do to improve it. There was talk about how Barbers are being poorly represented in the media all the way to how Barbers represent themselves poorly. It took me a minute to realize why I felt like I have heard this conversation before but not amongst Barbers and finally it hit me: every industry is currently facing the same problem.

If you read or keep up with my previous posts then you know that I have this knack for intertwining multiple industries or topics that seemingly have nothing to do with each other. It's a blessing and a curse because I can go completely off topic but I promise I always have a point. Stick with me.

Barbers, hair stylists, makeup artists, and nail technicians or aestheticians are facing the same reality: prices keep going up and wages stay the same, or in some cases, decrease. Before I became a Barber I was a makeup artist for quite a few years and a freelance makeup artist at that aka struggle city. We are constantly fighting as makeup artists to prove our worth to clients amongst a growing crowd of upcoming artists and the generation of established artists before us. 

But Barbers work in shops or studios, they don't 'freelance', so why are they struggling? I'm glad you asked. I'll get back to that.

Another issue is reputation amongst our industries and how the public perceives us. Half of it is from what they've experienced in their daily life and the other half is from what they see on television.  

You're telling me makeup artists don't rip each others hair out on set? No way. 

Another known fact about me is I don't keep my mouth shut and sometimes to a fault but it's who I am and I don't plan on stopping any time soon. With that being said, everyone knows I speak out often on women as Barbers and how we are constantly perceived as eye candy rather than equals at events. 

So, wait, most Barbers who happen to be women don't dress like they're on a yacht in Miami with Pitbull? Sadly not.

Perception. That's how we take our industry back.

You are only good as your perceived value in this era of being a Barber or makeup artist. That's why visually stimulating social media platforms like Youtube, Instagram and even Vine make a big impact. If you can walk the walk after talking the talk then you have instantly increased your value to complete strangers. 

People are learning how to perceive us through television shows or movies like Barbershop, Blush, Jerseylicious, Face Off and Cedric's Barber Battle. Not all are bad but not all are good either because they are completely one-sided and, in return, professionals feel like they're not being properly represented. 

When the public watches these shows that create a gilded perception, it instantly decreases the value of our work. They see the easiest and most simplified aspects of it and think that's all it requires to become successful. Forget the hundreds and thousands of hours of training or experience and the heavy investments into your kit or tools. You just get it for free like the Youtube gurus, right?

This leads me back to the earlier question of why Barbers struggle. We allow the public's perception to control our pricing.

Only in the Barbershop community have I seen such disdain for people who increase their prices based on their experience, market and simple ability to do so. Products have gone up in price, so has rent and every other utility, plus your own bills to support yourself. So why haven't your prices? Because we continually allow the public to say,"But it's so easy, look at XYZ show! So why are you charging so much?"

...Because I like to eat. (Cupcakes, for any of you who were wondering. My birthday is January 28th.)

Recently I have found myself heavily investing in my continued education, taking time to network with my peers and just take a step back to listen. So many Barbers have so much to say about the rapid decline of how Barbers are perceived but, equally, so many have hopes for changing that and taking our industry back.

There's a quote that says,"The world is full of nice people. If you can't find one, be one." 

This industry is brimming with talent: established and upcoming. If you can't find something that makes you proud and willing to represent it, then make a change. There is one thing that stands true in any industry and that is if you build it they will come. Small changes create a ripple effect in our small community that reach out to our clients and their friends or families which in return will help build a positive perception. 

Think about it.

Until Next Time,


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.
Cassie Exclusive:
Tips and tricks for winning your next battle by Lici LadyBarber

First Image by Alana Tyler Slutsky

Video by Lici_LadyBarber

He's Going Bald & Here's A Few Reasons Why

At first your client loses a little thickness and then he has you style his hair differently...eventually you consider cutting it lower so it doesn't seems so bad. But what changed? Why did hair that once grew back within a week stop growing back altogether? 

Many clients of mine have sat in my chair and faced this dilemma without knowing the right questions to ask. Some feel uncomfortable broaching the subject while others make a joke about it the moment they meet me. At the end of the day it's an unfair cosmetic issue to deal with but it's not uncommon.

Androgenetic alopecia or common Male Pattern Baldness affects about 95% amount of men in America and by the age of 35 most men will have experienced some thinning or balding. So what am I promising in this article? The Holy Grail of reasons why your client is balding? How to stop it from happening? No, neither of those quite honestly. But I can point you in a few directions that will hopefully help slow it down or explain why your client may be having this problem.

Guide to Hair Restoration - Norwood Classification of Male Pattern Alopecia via

Guide to Hair Restoration - Norwood Classification of Male Pattern Alopecia via

1. Identify The Reason.

Most men just shrug and chalk up their loss of hair to bad genes. This is the biggest factor usually but I always stress to my clients the importance of having a doctor take a look from the inside as well. I am not a licensed medical professional and I cannot guarantee reasons why you are losing hair. With that being said a great way to identify cause of balding is looking at the hair pattern. If the thinning spreads across your scalp and is not only near the crown or temples then you may have an underlying health issue like hormonal or nutritional deficiencies such as thyroid problems or low iron. Like I said - go see a doctor even if you're unsure of this. 

2. Switch Shampoos!

My ladies of the chair, I have ONE question for you. Do your clients drive you up the wall when they tell you they will wash their hair with just about anything? Ok, good, me too. I love my guys, I really do because they're so open and honest about what they do or don't do for their daily grooming. A lot of men don't know the effects of terrible shampoo, heck, a lot of women don't either. Well this is the gospel: IT IS TERRIBLE FOR YOU. It doesn't always rinse out totally and may cause more build up than the actual product used like gel or pomade.

There's only one ingredient that has proven to thicken hair by reducing production of testosterone called ketoconazole. You can try Nizoral A-D which is the only nonprescription shampoo that contains it but be careful. Lather up with a quarter-sized dollop two or three times a week; any more could dry out your hair and cause breakage. Use non-irritating baby shampoo in between.

3. Eat Better.

As I mentioned above, ketoconazole reduces testosterone which can sometimes be the cause of Male Pattern Baldness. When a man eats fried foods it most likely contains a ridiculous amount of sugar which is just waiting to trigger testosterone. Enjoy your chips while watching the game but don't go overboard.

4. Don't Go Nuts Over It.

Guys who are balding tend to react a few different ways: They focus on something predictable like fashion or fitness, avoid their reflection or just accept it. Acceptance takes the stress out of hair loss while the other strategies increase it, a German study found. So don't stress it, think of it as an opportunity to have a hot towel shave that's super relaxing. 


I hope this is helpful to anyone seeking answers regarding men who are balding! As I mentioned, I am not a licensed professional in the medical field and I always tell my clients to go see a doctor if they are genuinely concerned so they can discuss their options. Of course aside from some of the options I have offered in this article there are multiple surgeries, scalp treatments and specialty products such as helmets and personal light devices to stimulate growth. Good luck!

Please check back Mondays and Thursdays 11 AM EST for tips, tricks, event notices and of course your favorite Lady Barbers! Last Thursday we featured Rocky 'RoqKandy' Graziano, did you check it out yet? See you there!



Battle of the Beard: Part 1

Once a sign of laziness since the 1990's, beards have become synonymous with being manly and even sexy to many women. Much like the Beatles, it happened quietly and then seemed to explode overnight into a well known sensation. Credit primarily goes to large movements such as 'No Shave November' for turning beards into a social norm along with those who refused to conform to what was considered appropriate in a work environment. 

Clearly this is scientific, there's no way you can make this stuff up. 

Clearly this is scientific, there's no way you can make this stuff up. 

So what else is there to discuss when it comes to beards? It's pretty obvious: stop shaving, battle the itch for a while and call it a day. With the impending Summer season, many of my clients are starting to shave or lower their beards for the hot weather so I wanted to discuss maintenance for your beard and most importantly, your skin. The primary cause guys cite when asking to shorten their beard or remove it entirely is because it itches or with the heat causes their skin to break out. A fun fact I tell my clients is that they don't need to remove their beard to prevent break outs or to feel a bit cooler. Yes, having a furry woodland creature attached to your face definitely makes your face a bit warmer but if you really love your beard then utilizing these steps and products won't be too much work. 

Appropriate Beard Trimming Battle of the Beard Her Chair His Hair

While scouring the internet for fun beard images for my Instagram, I came across this gem and knew I needed it for my next article. Side note: I was also so excited that I saved it and clicked out of the website without copying the source (smooth Cassie). So to the original author: please step forward so I can credit you appropriately!  Anyway, like I was saying, this diagram shows how you can keep your beard without coming off unkempt or making your daily shave a total pain. 

First things first: no beard should (typically) ever go below or above the laryngeal prominence, commonly known as the Adam's apple (between B & C). The reason? If you're going for a beard that's naturally shaped, anything below (C) will appear messy while anything above (A) will appear manicured and will require a constant clean up. Some guys don't mind constantly cleaning up this line, similar to shaping the neckline round or square, and that's okay! This is for the guy who wants a beard with minimal work. 

Second, your smile line! It is a personal weakness when a man smiles and his beard isn't interfering with his awesome bone structure. Nobody is saying you have to constantly clean up your smile line (D), but we don't want your beard hairs reaching below your eyes either. The same is to be said for the guys who cut super deep into their beard when shaping it. If you're going for a chin strap or some other shape then that is one thing but when attempting a natural and full looking beard this line is the best option. An easy way to find your perfect smile line is to find the center of your ear (the tragus) or the under part of your cheek bone and connect with the corner of your lip or mustache. It's that easy, I promise!


Ryan Gosling Beard Battle of the Beard Her Chair His Hair

Now that you've established you wanted to keep and care for your beard, we've discussed how to properly clean up the lines, the only thing left is to determine how long you want it. Earlier I mentioned how my clients are interested in beard care due to the Summer heat that's coming. I figured the best way to help you understand is to just lay out the numbers and descriptions. Side note: these descriptions are derived from my professional experiences and personal opinion after listening to feedback from clients over time.

Length    Description

000           Practically clean, closest to using wet razor

1/2             Close to 5 o'clock shadow, barely there stubble

1 - 1.5        Close & Clean, still a shadow but more of a grown in look than 1/2

2-2.5        Keeping some length but not too full, still more of a manicured look.

3-3.5         Ideal length for a natural, full beard. If a client wants clean but not manicured, we go for this.

Helpful tips:

-Trim below the jawline 1/2 setting lower, this allows your beard to still appear full but not too messy/full along the neck (like Ryan Gosling).

-Shampoo and condition your beard just like any other part of your normal routine. This will help prevent skin break outs from dirt and oil and will also keep your beard more shapely.

-Invest in a small personal clipper for time in between visiting your barber if you don't go often. The Andis Charm is a favorite and I keep it in my kit at all times. It not only has 000 but additional attachments for beard trimming.

-If you don't want to remove too much length and only want to clean up scraggly hairs, go with the hair rather than against it. So if your hair grows down (like most beards), you will start at the top of the beard going in the same direction. Use the number you'd normally use to trim (not lower!) and this will be an easy clean up.


Next week is part two! We will discuss products you can use to wash, maintain and shape your beard. Barbers, do you have any awesome tricks you tell your clients regarding beard care? Guys, do you have any questions beyond what was discussed? Remember, if you have any suggestions for products or tips feel free to e-mail at

Always check back Monday and Thursdays 11:00 AM EST for tips and product reviews!



Shaving on Set!

Two weeks ago I had FOUR men's editorials, most on location and all of them requiring the models to shave. All of my barbers whether ladies or gentlemen know that a shave in the shop is fun! You have pre-shave oils, hot lather, maybe a steamer and nice hot or cold towels...oh, and a proper chair. Many of my fellow freelancers can agree that shaving is the last thing you want to take care of on set. Aside from time constrictions, people running around constantly asking for ETA to set, and lack of a proper chair, we dread having a model who isn't freshly shaved. Sure, some clients don't mind scruff, but for those who do, it puts a real damper on the makeup application. 

Shaving On Set Her Chair His Hair

I treat men shaving on set just like my female clients having their eyebrows waxed or threaded while preparing for a shoot or special occasion. If you do it too close to the day of the skin will not allow makeup to adhere thus not allowing the artist to cover any redness or flaws. It is a real pain! But I have figured out two small, simple but super helpful solutions that can be applied to shaving whether on set or in a rush. 

Glycerine Shaving on Set Her Chair His Hair

Taking a few drops of your drugstore Glycerine and adding it to your shaving cream will help create a barrier on the skin. What most people fail to realize is that when you shave you're not only removing hair but a layer of skin as well which causes inflammation and redness. This is why pre-shave and after shave oils are so important but when you're in a pinch on set this will be a life saver! By creating a thin layer, it protects the skin and allows the Makeup Artist to apply anything on the skin with ease. It also helps male models or male clients who are 'dry shaving' on set prevent breakouts after. I will note that if you have sensitive skin or are treating your skin with any medication, to please take this tip with a grain of salt, I am not a dermatologist and cannot specify who this will work for. 

Whip Hand Give Good Face Shaving on Set Her Chair His Hair

While your handy Glycerine helps protect the skin while shaving, you should still continue after as well. Although I haven't had the opportunity to discuss Whiphand Cosmetics on Her Chair His Hair yet, I felt that this product was a must to mention! Riese Lauriat has developed a whole line for makeup artists that I have used since day one, it is a staple for sure. Give Good Face is a rosewater toner that can be used before makeup application as well as after to refresh skin that may dry. So why mention it for shaving? Rosewater is known to reduce redness and naturally balance the skin which most men don't realize they need after using their handy razor. Aside from it helping out your client's skin, Whiphand developed a handy 1 ounce bottle for all your travel needs that can be refilled from their larger size bottle. A definite must have in my kit and all of the guys love how it smells!

I want to hear what your go-to products are for shaving on the go or on set! Lady Barbers, Makeup Artists, Men's Groomers, what do you prefer to use? If you give our two products a try, let us know what you think and if it helped at all! Check back on Thursday at 11:00 AM EST for more reviews, helpful tips and our feature on Chase Monroe, Lady Barber extraordinaire!