John Scala founded The New York Shaving Company to reintroduce the old-fashioned way of shaving and to provide men with a superior shave and haircut using only the finest ingredients. Nearly 10 years later, the parlor has been voted Best Barbershop in the World by GQ and Top Barbershop by Forbes. There's a reason big stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Joe Jonas and James Marsden have paid John a visit -- he knows how to help men look their best.
We visited John's Lower Manhattan tonsorial parlor, threw back a shot of whiskey (We told you he's old school!) and he shared some of his hair care advice and tips for men.
What factors should a man consider when picking product for his hair?
By choosing and using a product perfectly suited to your hair type and style, your hair can get that just-left-the-barber look (minus the hair in your shirt). Use hair wax to add shine and control if you have a shorter style, hair creams to control frizz and flyaways, and pomades for texturized styles.
And for the beard?
Don't use hair shampoo and conditioner. Look at the ingredients on the back of your off-the-shelf shampoo bottle. There’s a few chemicals in there that you’re unfamiliar with, let alone unsure how to pronounce them. Case in point; sulphates. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is a synthetic detergent found in many shampoos, and in most body wash liquids. Many of these chemicals are responsible for stripping your hair and skin of its natural oils. And while you may want oil-free head hair, the hair on your face and the skin on your face are different. Using these types of shampoos on the beard can lead to not only your beard being left dry, coarse and unmanageable, but will inevitably lead to weakened roots and a higher chance of developing unnecessary split ends.
What hair styling mistakes do you see guys making?
Being afraid to let go. Whether you are just starting to lose your hair or you are halfway there, attempting to style your hair as if you still have a full head of hair is not the best idea. Opt for either cutting your hair very short or shaving it all off for a more bold look. For the hair you do have left, use a product that provides volume -- and consider growing some facial hair.
What about hair care mistakes?
Experimenting with hair dye and overusing hair products. If you must dye your hair, ask a professional. A pro will be able to select the right color and match it as closely to your natural color. Attempting to do it yourself usually results in an unnatural look, which doesn’t work for anyone. When it comes to using hair products, remember, your hair should look naturally put together and not as stiff as a board. Overstyling hair is something that can easily be avoided with the right products.
Any tips for caring for hair in the warm weather? What should guys do differently?
Lose the beard and go easy on the product. Nothing is worse than the stinging you get when perspiration mixes with your hair product and gets into your eyes. A lighter, casual ensemble looks better in the summer heat anyway. Speaking of which, there is no reason to be sporting hot, face fur in the heat of summer. Your significant other will thank you.
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Image credit: Lamar Dawson