Monthly Archives: August 2012

Exodus Barber Shop supports the “Soul Project”. The “Soul Project” is a non-profit organization that provides shoes to children in need around the world. This is an incredible, and simple way to give back.

Do you have shoes around the house that you can’t remember the last time you put them on? Are you one of those people who has too many pairs? Have your children outgrown their shoes? If they’re in fairly good condition, the “Soul Project” can use them.

Here at the Best Barber Shop in Atlanta, we make it easy to give. Exodus Barber Shop is part of a never ending shoe drive. We have regular clients who have become repeat givers. You too can bring your un-needed shoes to the shop, throw them in our Big Blue “Soul Project” barrel, and they’ll find their way to a child and need. Giving can’t get much easier than that! Oh yeah, while your here, get a cut! If your interested in more information, CLICK HERE, and you’ll be taken to the “Soul Project” official website.

Blog written by Dan Brown “The Barber”

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t dealt with dry scalp, or dandruff at one time or another, but for some this issue is worse than with others. First of all, dry scalp and dandruff are not necessarily synonymous. Dandruff is actually an excess of dead skin cells that form flakes. Skin cells are always dying, as the epidermal layer of the scalp is constantly replacing itself,  but the problem of dandruff can be attributed to overly oily, or dry skin.

The body is a finely tuned instrument, and is built to take care of itself.  Sebum is produced by sebaceous glands, as an oily substance that keeps the skin from becoming too dry.  There is a theory that dandruff is caused by a naturally  produced  fungus called Malassezia If it gets out of control it is believed that it can cause dandruff. A little factoid, Malassezia feeds on fat, so excessive sebum can lead to an excess of the fungus, hence oily skin causing dandruff.

Now on the other hand there’s dry skin. Excessively dry  scalp can cause the skin to flake. Sometimes this due to a lack of being moisturized, sometimes it’s a little more complicated.

I’ve said it before, Barbers are not doctors (see shaving tips), so if I recognize someone’s issue as fungal or parasitic, I recommend the dermatologist. There are some common skin problems such as seborrheic dermatitis (scalp eczema), or psoriasis. There are also some more serious scalp diseases, so I leave the final diagnosis to the men or women who graduated med school!

Dry scalp can manifest from various reasons such as sudden weather changes, water conditions(when bathing), and even allergic reactions. I believe many of us have the wrong approach to dry scalp and their scalp in general. Underneath your hair is skin, and believe it or not, it’s more important than your hair!  Think about it, a lot of people lose their hair and get along fine, however if you get scalped…you might not make it!

Take care of your hair, and neglect your scalp, eventually your hair (which comes from your scalp) will suffer. Treat your scalp with love, and healthier hair can be the result. The skin on your head should be treated with the same care as the skin on the rest of your body. Putting grease on a dry scalp just leads to flaky oily skin. Petroleum, which is an ingredient in many Black hair care products, is not good for the scalp. Products that contain petroleum, mineral oils and paraffin wax will just lay on the skin, clog the pores, and not allow the natural expulsion of dead skin cells. This will most likely lead to dead skin build up, which is what the those embarrassing flakes are.

To properly moisturize the skin, and subsequently the scalp, moisturizer should be applied to skin that’s somewhat damp. Oil is meant to lock in moisture that’s already there, so not washing and properly moisturizing your scalp will lead to dry skin! The same can be said for over washing and not moisturizing. Be sure to control the water temperature in the shower. Over exposure to hot water can lead to irritated dry skin, especially in the case of eczema or psoriasis. As an eczema sufferer I’ve stood in the shower many a day and let that hot water hit a sensitive area. At the time it feels almost as good as sex (alright I’m exaggerating), but at the end of the day, it has the same affect as scratching. Oh yeah, thats another thing, excessive scratching, not good! So people, what I’m saying may not be what you want to hear, but getting your hair parted, dandruff scratched, and scalp greased, is not a good thing.

As with most thing in life it comes down to balance, and each individual balances at a different point, so there can be some trial an error involved.  I recommend all natural, petroleum free oils such as coconut, olive or shea that will be absorbed by the skin rather than just lay on top of it. This will cause build up that’s detrimental to the skin, pores, and hair. Now you can get your hair parted, scalp moisturized with a damp washcloth, and coconutty oiled!  Here’s more good news, a good head massage will help bring blood to the scalp, and can help as well!   Now doesn’t that feels good!

Dandruff can be controlled with some over-the-counter shampoos. There are basic ingredients  in  many of them that combat the causes of the condition.

  • Zinc pyrithione — reduces fungus
  • Selenium sulfide — limits cell turnover
  • Salicylic acid — removes dead skin
  • Ketoconazole — combats many different fungi

Once again this process can involve some trial an error. If your not suffering from actual dandruff, proper cleansing and moisturizing may be the solution. Be sure to give your hair two to three good washes, followed by thorough rinses. Once again, chill out on the hot water.  Condition your hair separately, because the combined affects of shampoo and conditioner will probably cancel each other out.

 What you put in your body is just as, and probably more importantant. Stay hydrated, and eat foods rich in vitamins A,C, B-complex, omega 3 fatty acids and Zinc. Consume a balanced diet, of natural healthy foods, without a lot of unnecessary additives (nitrates, sodium phosphates etc.) Basically, drink plenty of water, eat your fruit, vegetables, lean meats and other good sources of protein. Diet is also important because many of us have allergic reactions to some of the foods we eat. I personally have dealt with eczema my entire life. For me a week of beer drinking, and bad food eating will lead to some itching and scratching!
I can also attest to stress as a possible cause to adverse skin and scalp conditions. In my experience, working out has not only been beneficial in relieving stress, but in helping to alleviate skin issues.
Read labels! Whether it’s your shampoo, or you lunch meat, know what goes in your body. So many of us worry about the outside, neglect the inside, and wonder why they look and feel like…..well, you know what I’m saying. It’s like washing and waxing your car twice a week, but never changing the oil!
In conclusion, there are a myriad of factors that go into dry scalp, or dandruff. Fortunately, some of the same solutions for a healthy scalp, are many of the same things that can help you lead a healthier life. After all nothing operates in a vacuum, everything is somehow related.
Blog written by Dan Brown “The Barber”

Do you have a business card? If not, you should, especially if you’re in the beginning stages of serious clientele building. I can’t over stress how useful a tool a simple business card can be, and I consider my personal story a testament to this statement.

I moved to Atlanta,Ga, from Buffalo,NY in the summer of 1997. Apart from a couple of Barbers I’d worked with at home, I didn’t know anyone. I started in an established shop for the first couple of months, but moved to a new shop with no regular clients. As a rule I wouldn’t advise that move, but I’d promised the owner of the new shop that I’d work with him. In addition to being a new shop, the business was located in a plaza that was basically dying, so the walk in traffic was almost non-existent. Like I said kids, don’t try this at home… but Dan Brown was up for the challenge!

Now at the time I had a little apartment, with no family or friends to lean on. I was broke! I also had two kids to take care of back at home, in addition to bills and booth rent.  I had to make some money! I was determined to make Barbering work for me in Georgia, the way it had in NY, where I’d left a sizable clientele.  I was still confident in myself, but others in my life weren’t  so sure. I heard many times: “You Need to get a job!”,  but working for other people has never been my thing. I couldn’t afford a lot… but I bought those business cards.

With so much responsibility, I had to make things happen. For less than $40.00 I ordered 1000 business cards, and went to work. What I did, is what I tell every new barber to do. I made sure I did all my shopping in the vicinity of the shop. Whether it was buying food from the grocery store, beer from the liquor store, or gas for my car. I couldn’t afford to be shy, so I talked to nearly everyone I came in contact with, especially if their haircut wasn’t proper! When you approach people you don’t know, you need to be friendly, clean, and respectful. Have you ever heard the phrase “Persistence overcomes resistance”? I lived by it!  It’s something that has to be practiced on a daily basis, and patience is a must. You can’t get frustrated when the people don’t come pouring in. I had to make the most of my small victories, so I gave the best service possible to every client (which you should do any way!).

I was on my grind, and you have to be on yours. Attracting customers is a 24/7 job , especially when you’re starting from scratch the way I did. When I was out, I’d be networking, passing out cards. Other than that, I was at the shop!  Building a clientele is basically, starting a business. Sometimes I’d run into people who said they’d  already gotten a card from me, to which I’d reply by gesturing to my hair, and asking why I hadn’t seen them yet.  Now I was a little hungry  (HUNGRY AS HELL!), and in reality if they express true content with their current barber, let them be. Still, stay friendly, you never know when someone may need a back up Barber.

When it comes to Business cards I have a saying: The purpose of purchasing them, is to get rid of them! Like I said, you can get 1000 business cards for about $35-$40 or less. That money can be made back in couple of haircuts. If you get just a 5% turnaround on that box, that’s 50 people! I stayed true to my tactics, and in 8 months  I had a solid clientele. As fate would have it the shop remained slow, even as I prospered.  It eventually closed, but I made a deal with the landlord, and took over the business. It was a struggle, but we built a solid reputation for my shop, and in 2003, we moved to a better location and began to thrive.

A note about clientele building; once you get the customer, and give them excellent service, get their info. Be smart, use that smart phone! I  am a firm believer in appointments, although this may not seem realistic for all barbers. I wrote an article on it, if you’d like to read it, click here!

Today Exodus Barber Shop is one of the premier Hair cutting establishments in the Atlanta area, but most people are not aware of the struggles I went through to get it up and running.  This is a fact: I was able to build my initial clientele with business cards, I couldn’t afford much else! There were times when I didn’t have electricity, heat , and I couldn’t even think about cable!  It wasn’t easy, but my persistence led to my own business, a couple of homes, and I was even able to move my children down to Atlanta with me. I’m glad I didn’t get that Job!

Blog written by Dan Brown “The Barber”

Every Barber has to deal with questions regarding shaving of the beard, and razor bumps in particular. Now a little history lesson will tell you that in the days pre-dating specialization of professions, barbers were basially Surgeons, and Dentists! The Barber performed all sorts of tasks from blood letting (the red on the barber pole symbolizes blood), to pulling teeth. Needless to say, today, we are not Doctors! As a Barber, if I recognize bumps as being parasitic or fungal related, my advice usually is “go see a dermatologist”.

  A common issues we deal with is Psueudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) or what we commonly call shaving or razor bumps. PFB is an inflammatory reaction of the hair follicles, that primarily affects curly haired males who shave. Basically the curly hair grows back into the skin after shaving causing the body’s immune system to react. The inflamed follicle leads to the hard bumps that afflict many a black man.

As a precursor I want to state that everyone has different skin and hair so each situation is unique. With that being said, some recommendations are universal. First and foremost is hygiene. Always use new or sterilized razors, and shavers. If reusable razors are your thing, sanitize them before and after ever use. I’m of the belief that you can never be too clean, so you can go with soap and hot water, as well as alcohol. The same thing goes for electric shavers and trimmers (no soap and water, except for certain shavers, see instructions ie. Braun).

The next phase of hygiene is your skin. Be sure to clean the area you shave. I find the best results occur after bathing or washing up. As far as shaving products go, I like them as natural as possible. I use aloe vera gel or Shave Therapy by Xotics.  You can choose whatever you feel comfortable with, and there are many products on the market to choose from.  I prefer to shave myself and my clients with a product that doesn’t have to be washed off because of an uncomfortable post shave residue. Shave Therapy can actually be used pre, during and post shave. I usually reapply it to the skin after cleansing.

Cleansing the skin is of the upmost importance. At home you can use soap and hot water, and I recommend a hot towel pre and post shave. Hot towels soften the hair pre shave, and cleanse as well as open the pores post shave.  I use products that may contain alcohol for antiseptic qualities (after shave, sea breeze etc.), but this is where an individual’s skin condition should be taken into consideration. For example, a person with psoriasis or exzema may find their skin too sensitive to handle excessive amounts of alcohol. On the other hand, some people need to feel that burn!  Monitor it, and in the case of skin conditions, once again, consult your dermatologist.

Now here’s a little something many of you don’t realize. Once you start to shave, shaving probably has to be performed on a regular basis. Personally if I don’t shave every other day I start to bump up. Many of my customers only get shaved at the Barber Shop. If I recognize a bump issue, I may recommend purchasing a good pair of trimmers (check the sidebar of the website) to maintain the beard hair in between visits. Some can’t take a razor on the neck at all and should use trimmers, or shavers that don’t take the hair  too close. You may choose to use a depilatory such as Majic Shave, which chemically removes the hair. Once again, skin condition is a major factor determining ones ability to use such products. When shaving with a razor there’s no reason to apply too much pressure. If the hair is softened, and properly moisturized with a good shaving product, the blade should do the work.

Shaving is something that all men have to do, or have done. As with any other task the more knowledge you have of it, the more successful the results will be. Hopefully this article will help!

Blog written by Dan Brown “The Barber”

Why do we cut hair? Hopefully because we love it. Personally I enjoy transforming someone’s mood by making them look better, and feel better about themselves. I also enjoy being an entrepreneur, and Barbering was the first profession I encountered, and was good at that allowed me to be just that. So let me get to the point of this article. Barbering is my profession, and therefore I engage in it passionately, every day to, well…make money!  

Barbers make money, and believe it or not, that’s the easy part. For many of us, whether we know it or not, making money is not difficult…keeping it is. How many of us really know how to manage and save money? We earn in small increments, which makes it easy to spend in small increments, making it difficult to turn them into large increments.

I built my business from scratch, in a city I had recently relocated to, and knew hardly any one. In order to maintain I had to prioritize, and manage my daily spending as well as saving. I started cutting hair in a shop that was new, had no clientele, and really didn’t have any walk-bys , let alone walk-ins. me being a very persistent  young barber with hustle ,and determination,  I gradually built a clientele.

I had a small apartment which cost $615.00 a month, and my booth rent was $150.00 a week, so I knew I had to at least make $1215.00 a month. At the time I was working 7 days a week, just to stay afloat. I decided to break all my expenses down to what I made in a day, rather than worrying about what I had to come up with at the end of the month.   This meant that to have a place to work, and live, I needed to make approximately  $45.00 per day before  I could think about doing anything else. Now of course I had other expenses, child support, utilities, gas, etc. (fortunately my car was paid for) so obviously I had to make more than that, but  $45.00 was my minimum, even if I had to work day and night to get it. It was a struggle, but I stuck to my little system, by putting money in envelopes everyday to make sure I met my goals.

There were times I sat in my little apartment and read by candlelight, because electricity was not a necessity, and a phone was a luxury!  Through hard work, determination, and consistency my clientele grew, and in less than a year, opened Exodus Barber Shop. That first year was a grind and it gave me a few good habits, the most important, as far as money management, being the envelopes. I set new goals for myself, and adopted a policy taught to me by my mother…pay yourself first. So that would be my first envelope, savings. I eventually realized I enjoy taking vacations more than any other activity, so I started to put $10.00 a day ($3650.00/year) in an envelope labeled vacation. I did the same for my bills, and my taxes. I figured out the daily amounts and set monetary minimums I had to achieve before I could leave for the night.

This simple system worked for me and it can work for you to. Of course money management has to be taken to another level, so I encourage everyone to deposit money in bank accounts to avoid the temptation of having excessive amounts of cash laying around. I also recommend eventually employing some sort of financial planner, and an accountant. I won’t pretend to be a financial genius, in fact, I’m far from it. That’s why I’m confident this system can put Barbers, and anyone else who makes money everyday, on the path towards financial freedom, because if I can do it, anyone can!

Blog written by Dan Brown “The Barber”

Its back to school time at Exodus Barber Shop, and we love the kids. This is a busy time for us, and it’s a great clientele  building opportunity for new, or newly relocated Barbers. I moved to Atlanta in 1997 and I timed the move to coincide with the week before school started. I must say, that was brilliant! When a shop is packed with kids their parents are more likely to try a barber they’re not familiar with, and if you do a good job on their child, you may find yourself cutting the dad next.

The Atlanta area is full of transplants from other cities(and different countries), so Exodus caters to the newly arrived customers and is a great landing spot for barbers. This concept,however, is not just limited to barbers relocating to different cities, but can be effective when simply changing shops. It also holds true for other high traffic times such as Christmas, Easter, Graduation,etc. Now like I said, we love the kids, and ” I aint scared of no babies”!

Cutting a baby’s hair, especially a first cut ,can lead to life long clients. I have a method for my “brand new clients”,  it’s not rocket science…treat them like YOUR children. Talk to them, make it a game, make them laugh, make faces, make noises, but try not to get frustrated when they cry. I try my best to sit the baby on the booster seat rather than on the parents lap, they’ll have to do it eventually. Encourage them, clap when they sit still,”yea, that’s a big boy”! Ohh yeah, DON’T TRY AND DO TOO MUCH! Babies don’t need shape ups. Their hairlines need to develop, plus they probably won’t sit still. I know the customer’s always right, but the Barber is the expert. Some moms get a little over zealous and want their babies to have these grown up little cuts, that in many cases are impossible to do. Let them know in your professional opinion what you think would be best for their child.

Some barbers like to give candy to kids, and if the parent allows it thats cool. I personally don’t like people offering my kid candy so I don’t do it. I’m not a believer of bribing kids with sugar, it’s the drug of choice for preschoolers! I just gave you some sound advice, but at the end of the day, some babies will be out of control! When this happens…suck it up and do your job! Once you have a good clientele  you can direct the babies to the new guy! Take it easy good people.

Blog written by Dan Brown “The Barber”

 THE BARBERLIFE MIX CD  is hip-hop music performed by DAN BROWN “THE BARBER”, and mixed by DJ JAMAD, of AFROMENTALS fame.  This CD was put together to promote ALEX CAMPBELL’S  BARBERLIFE.COM, a social networking site for barbers in support of the barber movement.  It features skillful MCing from the viewpoint of your friendly neighborhood barber star.

ALEX CAMPBELL is the creator of the world renowned  ALEXCCAMPBELL.COM . The website was created to facilitate some of the best “HOW TO CUT HAIR” DVD’ s on the market, and dedicated to the enrichment of the barber community as a whole. Dot Com (as we call Mr. Campbell) not only encouraged me to use my love of hip-hop to represent our amazing profession, he  also inspired me to build this site, and become an internet marketer/blogger. The BARBERLIFE Mix Cd is what I call a “Classic Mix” in that DJ JAMAD exhibits immaculate DJ-ing techniques, without “cussin ya ass out” throughout the project. BARBERLIFE also features the underground lyrical talent of POL-B, MIKE TWICE as well as production coming from TOKYO THE DISCO KID, MIKE MONGO, SOLO THE PRODUCER, and MIAL “BLACKBELT JONES”. Check it out for yourself! You can DOWNLOAD THE CD FREE here at BARBERLIFE  FREE CD Enjoy!

Written by Dan Brown “The Barber”

Exodus Barber Shop is a full service shop that accepts walk ins, so customers come on in! Now for those of you who don’t like to wait, we encourage you to make an appointment, because we know how important your time is. This article however is not directed at you. I’d like to talk to the Barbers.

I encourage Barbers to schedule appointments as it is a good way to build solid clientele and take control of your own time. Making a career out of this profession starts with clientele building, with the key word being career!  As barbers we often get caught up in the hustle of the business. Now don’t get me wrong, you have to have that hustle to establish yourself and those without it often fall behind. However, having hustle and being a hustler are not the same thing, and a  professional Barber is NOT a hustler. As the owner of a shop I choose to only hire full time, dedicated barbers. There are many aspects that qualify an individual to fit into this category but here I’m focusing on clientele building with a focus on appointments.

Many barbers are apprehensive about appointments because they don’t believe their customers will adhere to them. I had the same reservations. I was a stay in the shop all day all night barber who had no control of my own time, and to be honest when I switched over I lost some folks, but that was short term, and we REAL BARBERS are in it for the long haul. How many of us have been ready to leave on a Saturday evening only to get that last minute dude who, once he gets in the chair, you realize he probably was at the mall or smoking weed all day. Yes he’s inconsiderate…because you let him. At a young age I figured out if you let somebody punk you off you will continue to get punked! Stop being a punk ass barber! We understand that reasoning, don’t we?

I’m not advocating a rude awakening type of transition because we are, after all, businessmen and women. Fortunately most of us possess the key to our Barber Freedom…a mobile phone. Even the simplest of phones have contact lists, and you probably have some sort of smart phone. Always exchange contact info with your customers. If they don’t want to do it they probably didn’t like the cut and that’s another lesson. Your phone should have a calendar…use it. Now I generally book half hour appointments, some do an hour , others 45 minutes. Once you establish your clients needs you can schedule according to those needs.

Now comes discipline. If you have a 2pm appointment, don’t take a 1:52 walk in. Over time you’ll realize who the dependable clients are. Trust me the dependable clients will love you for it and will reward you with their loyalty. Now the most important aspect of this equation is your dependability…be on time, and be there for your appointments. Consistency and dependability are as much a part of your success as good haircuts. In order for this concept to work one must exercise patience and stay the course.

This is not for the hustler, it’s for the career barber. Professional career barbers work for clients, and appointments are an important aspect of turning customers into clients. Well that’s it for now. If you have any questions feel free to contact me, my info is on our website http://www.exodusbarbershop.com on the Staff page. I’ll be teaching a class at the 2012 Fall World Natural Hair, Health, and Beauty Show October 6th and 7th, in Atlanta. Visit www.naturalhairshow.org for more info. Of course you can catch me at Exodus Barber Shop whenever your in the Atlanta area.

Blog written by Dan Brown “The Barber”

Greetings good people. I’m coming off  a big Hair Show weekend in Atlanta. If you don’t already know, the Bronner Brothers is the preeminent Black Hair Show in the country, attracting upwards of 100,000 participants. I did notice that the crowds were not as thick as usual, but there was no lack of activity. Exodus Barber Shop was well represented as Dan Brown”the Barber” (me!) was a platform artist with the Xotics Natural Hair and Skin Care Company.  The Xotics stage also featured the likes of Curtis Smith, founder of Xotics products and Barber to Usher, Diddy and many other noteworthy A-List celebrities. Along with Curtis, and Dan, were DC Conley (vice president), Jessie Lima, Christina Goree, Kelan Bilal, and many other Team Xotics Barber Stars! We got busy on that stage, but the highlight of my weekend was the The Barber’s Roundtable at Mingles restaurant and nightclub. This semi-annual event, hosted by Curtis Smith and Xotics, gives Barbers from around the country a place to network, and hear exciting highly motivated speakers in their industry. This summer’s event featured: Christina Goree the dynamic platform artists and educator for the Wahl Clipper Company, who is also a world traveling Celebrity stylist; Nuri West, a founding partner of Major League Barbers, a team of talented barbers who travel the world representing the Barber profession; Lee Resnick, founder of www.barbershopconnect.com , one of the industry’s premier Social Networking websites; Tim Shelton creator of the Pro Grip Clipper cover;  Tone McGill a platform artist and educator for Andis Clipper Company. Now everyone on the stage was impressive, but I was actually in awe of Mary Jenkins founder of Christians Overcoming Cancer, an organization that is dedicated to helping cancer patients handle their expenses as they face the horrible disease. Amazingly the organization dedicates 90% of every dollar made to cancer patients, and Mary, who is a cancer srvivor herself doesn’t take a dime! I call her a modern day Hero!  Now I was also blown away by the first speaker Floyd Kenyatta. Mr Kenyatta is one of the most powerful voices in our industry. He is the founder of the Black Hair Olympics team, Chairman of the US Council of Black Salon Owners, and President of New Age Distributors. Kenyatta is “Global Ambassador” for Paul Mitchell Hair Systems, who actually does business out of China which has respectfully yet playfully led to people he works with in the worlds most populous nation to refer to him as “Blackanese”! Refreshingly this Global Icon has made himself available to all of us in the industry who take it seriously. On top all this Kenyatta is a hair product innovator, check him out at www.floydkenyatta.com  After all of this we still got it in as I toasted it up with Curtis Smith, Lamar Watkins and the Rest of my Team Xotics bretheren. I’m still recovering as I write this!

Whats up Beautiful people. This is Dan Brown “The Barber” owner of Exodus Barber Shop, and creator of EXODUSBARBERSHOP.COM. This site will be a little different than other hair orientated sites because I’ll be blogging and you never know what I might talk about. I figure you don’t just get more out od a barbershop than haircuts, so you’ll get more out of this site. I just got my locs interlocked by the incomparable Key Glover. Now she doesn’t work for us but she is immensely talented and we spread love throughout this industry! Check her out at keyessentialshair.com. This is her work! Now for those of you who don’t know, interlocking is a process that puts a “knot” at the base of the each loc when they’re maintained. This works for me because it lasts longer and allows my hair to hold up better under the stresses of washing. I work out frequently and wash my hair on a regular basis. This method is also advantageous because I have a softer grade of hair. Ironically what we traditionally referred to as “good hair” is actually the opposite when it comes to locs. Until next time, take it easy and GIDDACUTT!