Headmasters: Mike Karg

Mike Karg has made a career out of convincing hairdressers to cut hair dry. ✂ —Marianne Dougherty

as0415-HM-2-rev_C2101__fmt_0_0.jpegInternationally renowned stylist Mike Karg was Sassoon-trained, which meant that he cut hair wet, but sometime in the 1990s he decided that the best way to cut hair is dry. “We wear our hair dry, not wet,” he says, “so it follows that if we cut hair dry, the way it grows, we’ll get the most precise haircut you can imagine.” Another plus: There are no surprises, like bangs that are too short when you blow-dry the hair. You can also work with larger sections and longer shears. It was only a matter of time before Karg felt the urge to create a line of shears specifically for cutting hair dry. He’d been on the hunt for the perfect texturizing shear for some time, and when he couldn’t find one he liked, he invented it. “I wanted something affordable that was made from high-quality Japanese steel,” says Karg, whose first shear was the Karg Shear K-8. What made this texturizing shear so unique was the handcrafted V-shaped teeth that held the hair in place. In 2000 he took the prototype to the International Beauty Show in New York where he had a 10-by-10 booth and offered a free DVD or book to anyone who bought the shears. “Education is everything,” says Karg, who continues to preach the gospel of dry haircutting at trade shows around the country. His Rent-A-Karg program—“Salons around the country can rent me to educate their staff on dry haircutting,” he says—was a hit from the get-go. He calls it the most powerful and the most economical education there is, and he promises that it will boost morale and energize your staff like nothing else. Demonstrating the latest looks, Karg offers easy steps and salon-adaptable techniques that will work for anyone who loves to cut hair. “It’s all about shape, proportion, weight distribution and balance that will lead to confidence,” he says.

Today, Karg offers a complete line of texturizing shears, precision shears, sliding shears, razors and blades. GQ magazine also named his first styling product—Karg Perfect Styling Wax with as0415-HM-bearb-rev_C2_fmt_0.jpegShea Butter—one of their top 10 favorite grooming products in 2012. Despite his foray into the styling product arena, Karg’s focus remains manufacturing the best possible haircutting shears on the market, while sharing his knowledge with hairdressers across the United States and Europe. “It means so much to me to support other hairdressers in our craft,” he says. “That’s what gets me going every day.”

Photography: Eric Smith

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