During my formative years, getting a haircut was an annoyance and was treated as such. It was just something that had to happen every month or so, thus my early “styles” were typically limited to one of two choices: short and shorter. In college, when decisions were made between getting a nice haircut and buying a few more packs of Ramen Noodles… well, turn on the stove. Right?
As Gear Patrol focuses this month on the Be a Better Man In 30 Days Initiative, I propose, nay, demand a move from the gum chewing, long finger-nailed, chop-shop Debbie’s and Donna’s to the accomplished, knowledgeable hair experts across this great land. It is a cry that resonates from Cristophe in Beverly Hills (herein) to John Allan’s Manhattan digs. Gentlemen, it’s time to care about your hair.
On my journey toward hair-awareness, I met style sensei and “hair to the throne” (couldn’t resist) of men’s hair-do’s and don’ts, Cristophe. This Brussels-raised follicle phenom has five locations (Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Newport Beach, Saint Barths) across the country and boasts a celebrity client list that would likely make any TMZ employee salivate. We met up at Cristophe’s flagship Beverly Hills location and talked hair, first impressions, quick tips, and why he is busier than ever despite this economic downturn.
I learned a metric tonne.
From the moment I entered the salon, there was a fresh energy, a vibe of newness: modern design meets laboratory whites, wrapped in the aura of newness. People come in looking and feeling one way and leave transformed (not necessarily in a Michael Bay way).
Christophe notes that in these times that seem gloomy for many, his clients come in because they want to feel better about something… anything. He sees new zip codes everyday from people needing a new start. In fact, Cristophe is so good at transforming people that he is often consulted by lawyers, directors, and agents to create or alter perceptions of their clients who appear before juries, casting directors, and audiences alike. Deeply mired in the acting industry myself, I felt I was in good hands. A latte prepared and handed to me, my robe was on, (Man-Note 1: Make sure you’re wearing an undershirt so you don’t look like you are in Karate class while robed), and I was ready to get my hair… fixed.
Terrance, my stylist, brought me to his chair where we talked about my hair and about men’s hair in general (more on that in the video), a conversation that was followed promptly by the hair re-tooling. Two hours later, my hair was relaxed, vitamin-ized, cut, dryed and styled, a second latte consumed, and haircare tips learned (Man-Note 2: tip your stylist or barber 20%+).
The past few weeks have yielded more compliments than ever for my hair (which is infinitely more than my previous record of zero). My girlfriend is a huge fan of it and people have actually fused curses and compliments in observation: “Your hair looks fu*&ing amazing.” No joke.
Granted, this endeavor to Cristophe Salon (Beverly Hills location) was an expensive one. It’s not necessarily a pilgrimage that I could make on a monthly basis (~$160), but the truth of the matter is this: hair matters. I’m not saying we all need to drop a ton of cash. Times are certainly tough. What I am saying is that it’s often worth a few extra dollars to look and feel tremendously better. Confidence is priceless and, though you shouldn’t derive your confidence entirely from your looks, it doesn’t hurt to have a couple high cards in your hand. Someone once mentioned the adage that hair is like wealth, if we’re lucky enough to have it, we need to pay attention to it and take care of it. Well said.