As a beauty editor, I made occasional forays into the world of male grooming. This is not because I’m an expert at it, but because it’s truly such a joy doing male transformations. Males are always the most hesitant for a makeover. God knows they need it so much more than us women. So when my brother asked me, “Should I go to a barber or salon?” I took on the opportunity not just to tell him, but take him there.
The answer to that question is quite simple. Just as you wouldn’t go to a cardiologist for brain surgery, you won’t want to go to a barber for some chunky highlights. You go to a barber if you’re looking for a short, traditional-style haircut such as a buzz-cut, flattop, fade or military crop.
Barbers will typically cut your hair in a wash and wear manner, without the use of styling products. So if you want to leave your hair a bit longer, (like Zac Efron), then you really need to say goodbye to those clippers and visit a salon.
The main difference between the two types of haircutters is that barbers are typically trained to cut shorter, traditional haircuts for men, while salon stylists, who are more into women’s hair, are trained to cut longer, fuller men’s styles.
With the industry trend moving toward more upscale barbershops and salons for men, the line between barbers and stylists is becoming blurred. So there really is no shame in walking into a salon if you are a heterosexual male.
I took my brother to Hairworks Salon across the Greenbelt 5 driveway (where Zara and Paul Smith are located). His long, wavy and unruly hair needed a more fashion-forward style—something a stylist is normally accustomed to since he or she is more updated with current trends than a barber.
During the consultation, my brother looked confused. This didn’t surprise me at all. Barbershop talk can be a great source of camaraderie between guys, but typically with no frills. Barbers will ask you how you want your hair cut and do what you ask, normally without much feedback. At Hairworks, the stylist made suggestions for a style that will flatter his features better.
They soon settled on something he was willing to try—a faux-hawk, to hide his subtle receding hairline and put his wavy hair to good use. While I got him locked down to the salon chair, I called for a complete overhaul as well: haircut by a senior stylist (P728); eyebrow threading (P250); chest wax (starts at P448); a manicure (P168) with no polish, just cleaned and buffed to look neat; and a pedicure with foot spa (P560) so he could experience a foot scrub.
The experience for him was life-changing. “It’s a bit overwhelming at first to have so many people working on you all at once,” he said. “After a while, you begin to feel really special, as opposed to the assembly line style at barbershops. The stylists take your opinion very seriously and wouldn’t give you anything beyond what you were brave enough to try. All told, it was a worthwhile experience showing me a whole new look I never thought I could pull off.”
In spite of the hemming and hawing at the start, the male makeover ended happily ever after.
Indeed, deciding how to choose a stylish haircut for men can be tricky, but going to the proper salon is a great start. Likewise, maintaining a great-looking head of hair involves more than a single trip to the salon; it’s following through on the styling procedure.
Try the cutting expertise of Dennis Agaton, senior stylist of Hairworks. (Hairworks Salon is at the G/F, BSA Tower, Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City; tel. (02) 9758115; mobile 0917-822HAIR (4247); e-mail [email protected])
And to keep that faux-hawk in place, try L’Oreal’s Tecni.art styling range (P1,026; Play Ball Deviation Paste, P700; Play Ball Density Material, P700), perfect for clean, weightless styling, and beautiful results.