That mop on your head can really make or break a job offer, romantic evening or family photo eternally framed on your mama’s bookshelf. While it seems like hair shouldn’t be that hard to control, there can be lots of factors. Now that we are knee deep in the kiddie pool of summer, we turned to third generation barber, Thorin Decatur who owns one of Manhattan’s most happening barber shops, Decatur & Sons. No bells and whistles here (i.e. no flat screens gents!) just great barbers who know what the hell they are doing.
We headed over to Thorin’s on a sweltering afternoon to garner some follicle facts from him that will make our heads happy. Here is what we learned:
What kinds of trends are you seeing in the men’s grooming world these days?
We are slowly transitioning out of the ‘Mad Men’ hairstyle into something that is a little less structured.
Do your clients here in Manhattan keep up with the trends?
Absolutely! They tend to want to try something new every season, about twice a year. It is great because it keeps me on my toes and it sure beats doing the same style for years on end.
What kinds of products should guys use?
Guys need to use water soluble products and pomades in their hair. The water-soluble kind will rinse out with a bit of shampoo. Some of those others literally stay in your hair until they fall out.
Any tips for applying product?
Lots of guys do a kind of weird ‘dabbing the tips’ routine. That just doesn’t do anything. You want to get the product deep into your hair by really massaging it in at the root and kind of pulling it up towards the tips. That way your hair really gets what it needs for styling.
How about tips for hair care after the pool?
Lightly shampoo after the pool. Chlorine is harsh and can be very drying. Rinse your hair in the shower, and then apply some form of moisturizing product to your hair. Your hair was completely stripped in the pool so don’t make it worse.
And tips for after the ocean?
When you get out of the ocean, make sure to rinse the salt out. You can also mildly condition after the beach.
How often should men get their hair groomed?
I always say once your hair touches your ears it is time to get in my chair. That is usually around 4 weeks.
How do you figure out what style works for a client?
I’m a big fan of less is more. But my rule of thumb is to ask the guy how much time he wants to spend doing his hair in the morning with the style he wants to wear and I go from there. No matter what style he is going for, you never want to over do it.
Should guys get a natural or square cut on their neck?
Unless you get your hair cut daily, gents should ask for a natural neck. First off, nobody’s hair grows in a square and also, it just looks better growing in.
In your opinion, what constitutes a great barbershop experience?
If I can get a client to put down his phone, relax his shoulders and just zone out, I know I have done my job. A hair cut should be a calm experience and I try to add to that with the hot shave on the neck as well as finishing with a hot towel scented with eucalyptus. That’s the magic touch!