With so many of us inside for an extended period of time, the hair on our face (and on top of our head) is becoming slightly… unruly. With many of us deciding to take scissors to our own heads (some for the first time), it was necessary to call in an expert on how we should be caring for our beards, eyebrows, and he even tossed in a quick lesson on how to cut your own hair for the first time. From carving out the perfect jawline to keeping your eyebrows & beard snatched, Wella Education Field Signature Artist Christopher Cetroni offered up some expert knowledge on mens grooming for us all to put to use.
Michael Cook: During a time when most of us are not able to get to our favorite stylist, what are some primary suggestions you have for daily hair maintenance?
Christopher Cetroni: For daily haircare, this is a great time to focus on scalp and hair health. If you were considering growing a new style, what better time to get through the awkward “grow-out” phase then when you are in quarantine? There is a Nioxin system kit for everyone. (baldies like myself, and people with all hairstyles). It keeps my scalp healthy and fresh looking which is important. For people with any hairstyle, it provides an environment in which hair wants to grow, it works on the derma, density, and diameter of hair.
MC: What kind of products are the best to keep on hand and use daily while we are unable to get to our stylists for them?
CC: In addition to a Nioxin System Kit (think skincare for your scalp), skin care, and styling products will ease the burden of maintenance when we are forced to self-maintain. For me, professional products will always yield the best results. For those who shave (bearded or clean-shaven), SEB/MAN ‘The Protector’ (shaving cream), ‘The Gent’ (aftershave), and ‘The Groom’ (beard oil) are must-haves. The former gives amazing results through the shaving process, and the latter is not only an amazing beard oil, it’s a hair oil as well. It’s a great foundation for any hairstyle (from short textured styles to longer pompadours and beyond) it smoothens the hair and not weigh it down.
For non-baldies who do not blow-dry their hair, my styling recommendations are: SEB/MAN The Hero a re-workable Gel; you can sculpt your look, then re-sculpt and refresh later in the day. The Dandy which is a light-weight pomade excellent for a smooth, controlled or textured look, and of course The Player which is a medium hold Gel, it smells amazing and has the perfect hold w/o creating a “forced” look. The Booster is also a fan favorite for not only men with a finer texture hair, but for men who blow out the perfect pompadour. 100% of the people who I have given NIOXIN and SEB/MAN product as a gift has asked where they can purchase more, and 100% of models and clients I have used these products on have contacted me to re-purchase.
MC: For once and for all; should men be cutting their own hair right now?
CC: Short answer: NO. More detailed answer: there are things you can do to feel more like your groomed self. For example, I find a lot of men only use styling products on the top of their head. (With a tight fade that makes sense, we’re not used to styling the sides.). Try a bit of your product of choice to style the sides straight down, it’ll help to hold it down and lay leaner. As it grows longer, try styling toward or away from the face, play around and see which works best.
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MC: If they decide to cut their own hair, any tips of tricks to do it properly and with the least amount of trauma?
CC: Your barber or hair stylist invests thousands of dollars on tools and continued education for to create a personalized look for you. If you are going to cut anything, take a ‘less is more’ approach. You can always cut more off, but you can’t glue it back on. I’d recommend keep the cutting to limited areas. From your sideburns to where your hair peaks toward your eyebrow (hairline on the sides of your face), around the ears, and the neckline to keep yourself feeling fresh. These are the most impactful, yet safest areas. There is a highly technical industry term for this, we call it “clean the kitchen”.
MC: Okay, we’re gonna need a lesson….
CC: Approach the sides by combing the hair towards your face and using a small, pointy scissor (I like the Tweezerman brow shaping scissor) it is a smaller scissor so you will have maximum control. Additionally, it looks like a duck and you can groom your brows and around your ears with it. Using the point of the scissor (think less than last centimeter of the blade and trace the hairline, about ¼” longer than where the hair grows from your scalp. Around the ear and anywhere your hairline is rounded think of cutting a circle mirroring the shape of the hairline. To clean your neck, its best to have someone you are quarantined with to do it for you, shave off the hairs that look lonely and out of place. Don’t go too high or too far in on the sides. (you can get creative with a couple mirrors and do this on yourself, but practice the movements before you go in and shave away. You’ll be backwards in the mirror and this can be tricky. You could also do all of this with an edger or a buzzer. For the sides and around the ears, hold the side of the buzzer to your head, not the full blade [it should really only be the last few teeth of the blade] and follow the same recommendations above. Keep in mind, the buzzer will cut a lot of hair quickly, so it is easier to make a mistake faster, you’ll have more control with the little tweezerman duck scissor. After a few times you’ll be a pro!
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MC: Below the forehead; how important is beard/moustache/eyebrow care and maintenance? Any particular hints you have on care?
CC: For best beard and mustache care, I’ve made a little tutorial video to walk you through an at home shave. Using whichever razor you use at home (I prefer the Gillette ProGlide. Its pricey, but we’re talking about your face here). For your eyebrows, again a less is more approach is best, on DRY brow hair, comb the brows up towards the ceiling. Mirroring the shape of the eyebrow trim hairs that travel past the shape of your brow, small snips, using the very tip of the scissor. Start longer, comb the brow back into place, and cut shorter if needed. See how it looks, and if it’s still unruly, follow that by combing the hairs straight down to the floor. anything that is traveling way past the brow shape, trim in the same manner. To clean up stray hairs, use a clean tweezer, hold the skin tight with your non-dominant hand and pull hairs in the same direction they grow out of the skin. Don’t get too close to the shape of the actual brow, in that area, every hair counts and it is easy to over-tweeze. For the uni-brow stay right above the nose, don’t navigate too close to either side.
MC: Post-quarantine, what are you seeing as possible trends in mens hair for the coming season(s)?
CC: For men, longer blown-out pompadours were on trend. I think we will see shorter, textured looks come back into play for 2 reasons: first, a lot of men are just shaving their heads right now, it’s going to be in that grow-out phase and nothing makes growing super short hair out less painful than a great textured cut, for others who do rock the longer pompadour, I feel it will also be equated to the quarantine period of time, which none of us want to have to think about again!
MC: Personally, how did you fall in love with the art of hair? How do you stay inspired to keep doing creative and amazing work?
CC: I always had the hair I didn’t want. It was super thick, coarse, and curly. Everything that was “cool” growing up I couldn’t have. Spikey hair, the Caesar combed straight down on your forehead, all of them. My only option was the “mushroom” – Shaved on the sides, longer and curly on top. Eventually everyone started bleaching their hair (somewhere around 1995). Well it turns out, color I can have. There were no YouTube tutorials at this time, so I questioned every hairdresser I could to find out how to color my hair. I taught myself how to bleach my hair within an inch of its life, but was I finally had something about my hair I could control, I liked the result, and even more, I loved doing the process.
Staying inspired can be tricky, luckily, I get to work with some incredible talent. I find the best inspiration comes from something not related to hair. Looking at art, architecture, fabrics, sculptures, nature. Taking those inspirations and translating them into a look that works for a client is incredible. The best reward is when your client looks at themselves in the mirror with their eyes in awe when they see their reflection look back at them. There truly is no greater reward for a hard day’s work.
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