Barbering has come a long way from its medical/surgical beginnings. Over time, barbers became known for their expertise in male grooming, and their shops were a place for social movement. Technology progressed to make things more efficient. Today, we see applications of AI in shops and salons!
WHERE WE'VE BEEN
Barbering dates to ancient Egypt, with barbers highly regarded as surgeons or priests. In the Middle Ages, barbers additionally performed dental work. In the 1800s, the medical role transitioned out, and barbering became its profession.
Through the 1900s, cultural shifts in communities brought popularity to barbershops. Shops were safe for men to voice their opinions and call for social/political movements. Barbers were popular, and technology was helping to create the experience. Tools were developed to help men relax and feel pampered. As more men came into barbershops, there was a decline in the sales of safety razors. Electric tools replaced manual ones. Barbers were looking for more efficiency and better quality. Mike Iskhakov has a fantastic piece covering more historical timeline details. Check out “Barbering in the 21st Century.”
A whole new world opened with the creation and development of social media. Not only can barbers advertise their business, but now they can advertise their art. Showing your style as a showcase of talent is a way to change the game. Putting your style out publicly is more effective than a logo. Technology is still advancing as algorithms evolve and new platforms emerge.
This medium is a great way to educate. How-to videos can help others. Barbers can learn so much from watching others in style, technique, and systems in cutting hair. Clients can learn how to use products or maintain styles. The rise of social media contributed to the growth of skill and creativity in the industry.
Currently, professionals are using technology to run their barbershops and salons. At our shop, we rely on Squire as our management system. Automated systems provide seamless booking and appointment reminders for clients. Technology will count inventory. Autopay systems allow for smoother digital payments that save time.
AI can be very helpful to write captions for social media posts, and hashtag generators can help make those posts gain traction! Smart thermostats, cameras, phone systems, and music systems can all take the time and energy out of those tasks and keep the shop running smoothly without much effort.
Technology is advancing the tools available to barbers.
Tools such as hydro-steamers and smart brushes can save time and allow for the offering of additional services. The client experience can be enhanced with augmented reality, such as style previewing.
Technology has advanced along with the purpose and needs of a barber. We are in the Digital Age. We are driven by tech and our need for instant gratification and efficiency. What will be developed next? Are you ready to learn? Knowledge makes you sharp on the inside. Applying it makes you sharp on the outside!
The hairstyle is the finishing touch of a great haircut. Make sure you know how to maintain and replicate your favorite style! Here are some common hairstyles and hair types, along with tips on caring for them.
Textured styles are fun because you can do a lot with them! Texture is added during the cutting process so talk with your barber about the look you are after. I recommend using styling power, Slick Gorilla is one, to get your hair to stand up. Matte pomades are a good choice for styling this look as well. Piece it apart, style it how you want. Textured tops are unique and creative to the individual. Have fun expressing your personality!
NATURALLY CURLY HAIR
Commit to a routine with the proper shampoo, conditioner, leave-in moisturizer, and oil to get maximum definition in your curls.
Shampooing is super important for those with naturally curly hair. With the hair being coily and kinky, make sure to get all the product washed out for consistency in your curls. Clean the hair all the way, even if it takes 3 washes! After washing and conditioning use a good, natural leave-in moisturizer. Top it with argon or coconut oil for a healthy look with some shine.
Combing the hair is important for consistency too. While washing, comb all the way through. Begin at the end and go to the root.
For any combover, it’s best to begin with the natural part. Everyone has a natural way that your hair parts, so going with that movement will help your style stay. Choose a pomade based on the finish you desire. Suavecito, for example, offers a matte or shiny finish. These types of pomades are water soluble and will be easy to wash out.
Water and heat are helpful to set the style and follow with a product to make it stay. Blow-dry wet hair in the direction of your desired style. Once dry, apply pomade to your fingertips and spread evenly throughout your hair. Remember- less is more so start with a small amount and add more product if needed. With pomades, a little goes a long way.
Pomades and durags are important for a perfect wave style. The more brushing you do the deeper your waves will be, naturally. Some people try to cheat with a relaxer, which will get you the wave pattern you desire, however, that is all the wave you will achieve. It’s better to do it naturally.
Start with a good wash, conditioner, and leave-in conditioner. We recommend natural products. Add a wave pomade such as Sweet Jamila, which contains healthy nutrients. Get to brushin’ and wear your wave cap!
Slick-back styles are different for people according to where the natural part is and how the hair is naturally. Some people desire a loose, natural look while some like a more flat, slick back look. The look will also depend on your hair type, and the product you use (gels, pomades, greases). I recommend a water-soluble pomade because it will be easy to wash out.
After using a good shampoo and conditioner, begin styling with water and heat. Then add product to get the look. Remember portion control: less is more. Make sure to apply the product to each strand of hair before setting it back. A wide-tooth comb can create a textured feel on the top to add to your style.
Reach out to your barber if you need any help with a style or technique. Your barber is your best resource! Work with them to discover the products that work best with your hair and styling goals. Don't be afraid to try new styles. Knowledge makes you sharp on the inside. Applying it makes you sharp on the outside!
Aaron & Kristi Brown, Authors
Aaron Brown is a Master Barber, Cosmetologist, Educator, and Entrepreneur. As a shop owner and product developer, he has a passion for promoting healthy hair and scalp. He loves to connect with others and share knowledge on industry trends and products to solve common problems with the hair, scalp, and skin to help clients look and feel their best.