Making the Man
Barber and entrepreneur Curtis Smith of Marble Hill International Unisex Salon in the Bronx, NY spends much of his time manning his haircare line Xotics by Curtis Smith as well as styling a roster of A-list clientele that includes Usher, Maxwell, Major League Baseball retiree Gary Sheffield and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. Smith ensured Combs looked supremely coiffed for the summer 2013 cover of Los Angeles Confidential magazine by trimming his hair with the grain using an Andis Excel Ultra detachable blade clipper with a 000 and 1-inch UltraEdge Blade, followed by a BaBylissPRO Professional Cordless Trimmer FX780. For the edge and line, Smith used the Andis SlimLine 2 Trimmer, then applied Xotics Shave Therapy to shaved areas and Sweet Jamila to the remaining hair before using a Bass Shaving Brush for a wave pattern. He then wrapped the style for 20 minutes to set. For fall, Smith is working on a new style that he first cut on performer Jay Electronica that he says looks like The Caesar cut from one side, and a fade on the other. —J.T.
In The Cards
Tapping into the male demographic can be a tough feat for salons, but GBS The Beauty Store has become a trailblazer in helping men garner their own supply of grooming products. The beauty store and salon, with six locations in Florida, offers Groom Like a Man – Reclaim Your Man Card, an incentive program in which male customers can receive a Man Card in place of the regular frequent shopper card to get 10 percent discounts. “The concept behind this campaign is to encourage men to stop using their wife’s or girlfriend’s products and to get their own,” says Shannon Dalbo, director of marketing and resident trend forecaster for GBS. To further entice male shoppers, GBS gives men a free bag of male-centric grooming goodies simply for visiting. —C.R.
Men’s grooming line Mitch by Paul Mitchell and mixology master Patrón Spirits have teamed up to create the limited-edition Mitch by Paul Mitchell Patrón Agave Bar. Boasting a cocktail of sulfate-free, natural cleansers and agave leaf extract found in Patrón 100-percent Agave Tequila, the lather features soothing properties and aims to prevent moisture loss. mitchtheman.com —K.H.