A very wise cosmetology teacher once said, “Beauticians and barbers are complete opposites” and “ beauticians should never, ever cut into the hairline, EVER!” That was the mid-1980s when men wore mullets, long rocker looks or zipper heads that did 90MPH in a 30. Beauty salons were filled with men leaving the barbershop for a more modern look in fear of it all getting shaved off. Then all of a sudden buzz cuts became popular and men were asking their hairstylists for “barber type” dos. Clippers, buzzers and trimmers inundated the beauty business with brand names like Wahl and Oster taking the forefront. Hairdressers could buzz like the best and it seemed the old-fashioned barbershop was becoming a distant memory.
Span twenty years into the future with a new wave of ethnic diversity and a new trend to haircutting: the shape up. The shape up is just what that very wise woman said not to do: cutting into the hairline. Hairlines are rarely perfect with a straight line running from ear to ear; some have baby hairs, cowlicks or widow’s peaks and styles along the lines of pop stars such as Bruno Mars * or Usher have perfect hairlines. Barbers began buzzing off the little hairs that got in the way of the perfect line. Hairstylists said “no way”, and lo and behold the corner barbershop began cropping up everywhere with lines out the door.
Jonathan, pictured in the slide show, lives in New Jersey, but will only use his stylist (a woman hairdresser) on Long Island when he stays with his mother in Valley Stream because he “doesn’t trust anyone else”. When D’Anne began cutting his hair he asked her for the shape up and she almost fell over. “NO” was her immediate answer, but with pleading she reluctantly cut into his hairline and told him not to tell anyone she does his hair.
Apparently, the customer is always right, for if hairstylists want to keep these men coming back, they must give them what they want, the shape up, at the price the barber shops are charging or else clientele and subsequently revenue may suffer.
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* Bruno Mars is nominated for Best Male Video and more at MTV’s Video Music Awards airing this Sunday, August 28, 2011 at 9:00PM on MTV.