Men lie, numbers lie, clippers don’t lie


Dear barber shop patron,

I want to start this first post by stating that an African American haircut should be considered one of the wonders of the world because it has endless creative possibilities because nature has given the African American man’s scalp an opportunistic canvas. We all have different grades of hair, hair patterns and different head shapes which allow a master craftsman of the barbercological arts a unique advantage in creating something fantastically innovative that can only be sculpted on the client being artisted and can only exist as a masterpiece for one week. The hair will grow and it is time for the blades of hair to be re-sculpted.

Having said this, a unique work of art such as the aforementioned is not something that can be accurately envisioned by the client, it can only be adequately pre-seen by the craftsman, the master barber. Therefore the first rule that you, the client, should know when going to be sculpted by a barber is to never give him or her a number pattern to go by while informing them of the haircut you desire. Consider this: would you buy an exquisite painting that you were told was painted by numbers, or would you prefer the painter had used his imagination infinitely to articulate his minds vision? You should apply this logic to the barber artist accordingly.

When you sit in the barber’s chair and you tell him, “I want a 2 on the top and a 1 on the sides with a 0 taper in the back,” you are destroying the creative process that should be underwent during the hair sculpting process. A master barber does not see numbers. Rather he sees hair texture, hair pattern, head shape, facial features and sebaceous concentration of the hair and scalp, or the lack thereof. An artist with these visual instincts should be allowed to indulge the envisioned creation in his head based off of these observations. If you give the barber numbers, he is going to give you a number rigid haircut, which means that it is devoid of art. Anyone can pick up a pair of clippers and cut the top the length of a 2, and the sides the length of a 1 if they are given a 2 guard and a 1 guard. But you don’t go to the barber shop to be given a haircut that you can give yourself.

You go to a master barber because he can sculpt something that you can’t envision. If I gave a monkey a pair of clippers, a 2 guard and a 1 guard, he could rub the head with those guards until the desired length is achieved. You don’t go to the barber shop to get a haircut a monkey could give you. A master barber knows that the art is in¬†alleviating the numbers altogether. Every head has dips and peaks and irregular symmetry in different places. Therefore, in order for the haircut to look smooth and uniquely blended the barber’s instinct tells him to change the setting of the clipper length an infinite amount of times while cutting the desired length and giving the desired blend because the irregular head shape demands it. In order for art to be sculpted, the stroke of the paintbrush has to be adjusted periodically.

Allow your barber to use his artistic instinct to give you the length that is necessary for your head shape, the blend that is necessary to compliment your features and the symmetry or asymmetry that your cranium demands. In stead of telling your barber that you want a 2 on the top, a 1 on the sides and a zero taper on the bottom, you should say, “keep me dark on top, a little lower on the sides and back, but fade the nape out.” This way the master barber craftsman is free to create art, not a number collage you would mistake for a haircut.

Yours truly,

The Loft La Brea Elite Men’s Grooming

351 S La Brea Los Angeles 90036




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