Monthly Archives: October 2012

I’m not old, but I’m not that young either. So I remember when a cell phone was not a staple in our every day lives. Now, let’s make this perfectly clear. I’m pretty much attached to my mobile device, and for me, like most of us, it’s more than just a phone.

If you’ve been keeping up with me you know I consider the smart phone an integral part of my marketing, promotion and clientele retention. If you haven’t been keeping up, or need a refresher,  click here, and here, and become more acquainted with my views and ideas related to this topic.

So now you’re aware of the fact that I’m as addicted to my phone as everybody else (maybe more). But just like any other good thing, too much is not a good thing. Actually let’s focus on the wrong time to use it.

Some of these instances are obvious to us all. For example, the “loud talker”.  This guy, or gal, uses the phone in a public place, say a movie, or a barber shop waiting room, and talks so loud, that we all become distracted, or a part of their conversation.  They might be arguing with a significant other, or bloviating over money, women, cars, or something braggadocios that they “inadvertently” want us to know about.  Sometimes they’re just loud, and we all wish they’d step outside!  Is this you?  Well, sorry, but ahh…hey, ya might need to check yourself!

Now, this next issue is very familiar to Barbers. Customers, I know you’re always supposed to be right, but sometimes, like everybody else, your just not. Excessive phone conversations while we’re cutting your hair, “just aint right!”, and it’s bad for both of us. You’re talking can add to the length of the cut, and take away from it’s quality.  Sometimes the slightest movement, especially if you’re one of those animated talkers, can damage the outcome. Texting can be almost as bad. People don’t realize that the attention being given to their device can inadvertently force their head out of the position we need it to be in.

Now if you have to answer an important call, it’s perfectly understandable. I have no problem when a customer answers a business call, or an important personal one, I get it. But if you answer that phone and your conversation is going like: “yeaah son, she had the fat a**, I gotta hit that, you goin out later, man, you know what I,m sayin…”.  In the words of the great Mike Ditka, “STOP IT”.

Funny isn’t it? Barbers, stop laughing! You know, many of us can be the worse culprits. Customers, have you ever gotten your hair cut buy a Barber who is holding the phone with his head and shoulder, got home and your line was crooked as a criminal? How about the constant “phone break” Barber. or the “one hand cutter”.  We all have been guilty at one time or another. A bit of advice for Barbers, invest in a good bluetooth headset. Sometimes we have to take a call, and the hands free device allows you to do so, without messing up the flow. However, don’t let that be an excuse to over talk, and ignore your customers, especially at the beginning  consultation, or the end when you get their feed back.

We all love our phones, lets just practice proper  mobile phone etiquette!

Blog written by Dan Brown The Barber

I have a client who recently made his way back to Exodus Barber Shop after a hiatus, due to his relocation away from our general area. He explained to me that he came back because of the quality service he received from us, and that the bus ride was worth it.

The other day he asked me why some barbers “dry shave”, because he had a negative experience with a barber during his absence from Exodus Barber Shop. For the lay person, a “dry shave” is a razor shave that is performed with no moisturizing agent, such as shaving cream, gel, etc.  Honestly, I really didn’t have an answer for him that I could stand behind. I’ve talked to some barbers who employ this tactic on hair, and beard  lines to sharpen them and I had never heard any justification other than that.

The customer told me that it made no sense to him because it was uncomfortable, irritated his sensitive skin,  and the lines were not as sharp as mine anyway (Hey, what can I say!). So I set out to find out the some reasons for this practice. Ironically I realized that at times I use the tactic to sharpen up lines, but only after I’ve shaved them the normal way, and the skin has already been conditioned, but dried naturally. We barbers love those sharp lines (don’t you?)! I polled some tonsorial artists on various online forums.

On Facebook we have “The Barber society”, “Andis Clipper Education”, and “Barberlife 101”. There’s also an excellent forum on the Barber’s social networking site www.barberlife.com (not to be confused with the latter of the Facebook groups.) Note to barbers, and people interested in top quality barbering…don’t sleep on Social Networking Sites! Let me know about some others in the comment section if your aware of any I haven’t mentioned.

Back to subject. Most barbers I corresponded with dry shaved for the same purpose, to sharpen the line.  There’s also an “ash affect”. This is a powdery like line up against the edge of the hair, beard and mustache. Some of the barbers started the shave dry, while others did it just to finish.  Some, however, stated that they’d shave the entire face, and head dry, from start to finish.  One of the premier barbers in the country, Johnn Belt (owner of Premier Clipper company, and Majic Touch hair products) told me he has a particular customer, with sensitive skin, that he dry shaves, because that’s the only way he doesn’t break out. Johnn is adamant that to do this you need sharp blades, and a soft touch.

The beauty of our profession is that at times, there is no definitive right or wrong answer. There are so many variables such as the sensitivity of skin, thickness of hair, sharpness of blades, touch of the Barber etc.  I admit, I tackled this topic with a bit of a negative stance against the dry shave. Personally, besides finishing for that sharp line, I’m not doing it, because of the skin sensitivity issues. However, I’m not hating either. Lubrication helps protect the skin and softens the hair for easier removal. Those Barbers who choose to engage in the practice Dry Shaving must have an extremely high skill level. I will say this, amateurs…don’t try this at home.

Blog written by Dan Brown “The Barber”

I have three kids, two of which are boys. My oldest son is a grown man, and my youngest is a baby. Most people respond to this  by asking (or thinking) “What the hell were you thinking about?!” What do they know, I’m a happy man!

Now this age difference between my offspring gives me an advantage in raising my youngest child. It’s very rare that one has the opportunity to raise children to adulthood, and then be able to lean on that complete experience while bringing up another.

I’ve been cutting hair, well, forever. My children grew up in the Barber Shop, and my son is now a Barber at Exodus Barber Shop, the Best Barber Shop in Atlanta! Once my baby boy arrived, Daniel was adamant that he should spend time in the shop, and be brought up around “real man” situations.

I always thought my kids were bored to death in the shop (well my daughter was), and back then, I had no choice but to keep them with me at the job. Imagine my surprise when my son exclaimed how valuable the shop had been to his development as a boy, and a young man. You see the Barber Shop, especially in our community, is a place for men to be men.

In this day and age, it’s hard enough for fathers to get quality time in with their children, particularly their sons. In fact a recent study revealed that on average, men spend only 56 minutes a day with their children. We live in a society where we’re forced to spend more time away from our families, just to keep food on the table, and a roof over their heads. Kids spend the majority of their time in school, daycare , and in many cases the streets, because mom is working all day herself. Heck, today even grandma’s working all day, and doesn’t have to time to make those meals we used to love!  Plus we all know that many of these kids are raised in single parent homes, and that single parent is stressed out! No wonder so many of our kids are lost, as they increasingly find themselves turning to the media, strangers, other kids, and worst of all, the streets!

That’s why I advocate father’s taking their son’s to the barber shop. Now I know you’re thinking, “Of course you’d say that Dan, you own a shop!”  Ok, you got me there, and in the big picture the Barber Shop is just one way to spend time with your boy. For example, I worked a lot when my kids were growing up, so I made sure I took off Sundays, and that was my son’s and my day to play basketball. He’d play with all the grown ups, and it helped him

become a man. We continued this for years, untill he dunked on me and eventually became bored with the lack of compettition from the old folks!

Seriously, this isn’t just a plug for the shop, but a sincere expression of the need for us to put that special time in with our boys. Think of it this way, most people get their hair cut on a schedule, once every week or two. This is a time when you can look forward to getting away, just the fellas. The Barber Shop is just one example of how to get that time in.

This becomes even more important for father’s who don’t live with their sons. If at all possible, don’t let your kid’s mom take the them to the shop by herself. Trust me, 99% of them don’t want to go anyway!

If you’ve ever patronized  a traditional Barber Shop, you know that all kinds of topics are discussed, from Politics, to music, sports, etc.  These conversations present a wonderful opportunity for certain subjects to be introduced to, and discussed with your kids, especially  after your visit is over.  Admittedly,  the introduction of some of these subjects can be a bit uncomfortable (ie: women, relationships, SEX!), but it’s always better for us to be able to get ahead of these topics, rather than have them lean on other boys, who probably won’t know what their talking about anyway. Fortunately, at Exodus, the conversations are kept clean. Profanity is a “no-no” because we are, first and foremost, a business.

At the end of the day, it’s just healthy for us to be in “real man” situations with our boys. So come on down to the Barber Shop. Spend that quality time with your sons, and leave feeling, and looking like a million bucks!

Blog written by Dan Brown “The Barber”