Barber Martial Vivot has tended to the manes of everyone from DJ/Producer Mark Ronson to various titans of industry, owns New York City barbershop Salon Pour Hommes, and has been plying his trade since he was 15, so he knows a thing or two about dudes’ hair needs. The obvious next step was to use the knowledge he acquired on the job to create an eponymous line of hair products, which he did last year and just recently made available outside his salon. Rather than relying on synthetic ingredients to get results, he formulated his tightly edited range with effective naturals like scalp-soothing aloe, coconut- and sugar-based cleansing agents, and conditioning plant oils. Here, Vivot lays out what stylers every man needs in his arsenal, the iconic men whose cuts continue to inspire legions of copycats, and the most common styling mistakes.
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It’s what I call an updated Beatnik-era approach to men’s hair. The foundation of the hairstyle is to wear it as natural as possible. You don’t force it to do anything—if it’s straight you respect that; if it’s curly, your respect that. The point is you don’t force your hair to be something it isn’t. You let your hair be. Think, ‘60s era Beatles and Steve McQueen, and 70s era Jim Morrison, Mick Jagger and Clint Eastwood.
Do your clients ever look to celebrities for cut inspiration?
Yes, guys definitely get inspired by celebrities. The clients at Martial Vivot Salon Pour Hommes are celebrities in their individual worlds and, generally speaking, want their own look and don’t really want to look like anybody else. That said, we sometimes will look to a celebrity in terms of concept and inspiration.
Which celeb’s hair is most copied?
Mark Ronson and Jake Gyllenhaal are referenced a lot these days.
What types of styling products are the most popular?
Creme, gel, and paste are doing well because each are essential depending on what the clients wants to do with their hair. Creme is almost invisible and provides a very light hold, paste is thicker and drier and gives a stronger hold, and gel is for a very slick, strong look, like a Great Gatsby-era part.
What do your clients look for in styling products?
Performance. But men today also want products to be formulated in a way that will keep their hair healthy. So it’s not just how they perform, it’s what is in them. They also don’t want to spend a lot of time experimenting with hair products and switching products when their hair styles change.
What are the biggest mistakes guys make when styling their hair?
Too much product, and not distributing it evenly.
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