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Quick Question: So They're Cutting into Your Hairline

Quick Question: So They're Cutting into Your Hairline

The scene begins as we head to get our hair cut one friday after school-- someone’s told us that our hair is acting out and it needs to be shaped up. We wait patiently in the waiting area looking at dated magazines and vintage style profiles. We pick out random numbers and imagine what would happen if we came off with a faux-hawk and a perm. Before we get to the yelling portion of our daydream, we are called up to the chair and cool hands rotate our head to ask about what we want. Immediately, we hear the faint voice echo the same warning we receive everytime we come to get a cut, “Don’t let them cut into your hairline!” However, we never mention this, we just say we want a simple fade so we can make it to the neighborhood court before the sun sets. And so, when we wander out of the chair and look in the mirror, we are shocked that our hairline has received a penalty and has been pushed back at least half an inch. We can’t go back now, the cut is over-- so we plan for next time searching through the internet seeking answers to the age-old question:

Why are barbers cutting into my hairline? 


Just like many other things in life, students become teachers and barbers are no exception. As a profession that is heavily client-centered, our brand-improvement stems from our ability to connect with our clients on a professional and personal level. Whether we acknowledge it, or not, some of our very own clients may have googled the following question to understand why they’re forward now has more living space. As barbers, it is our job to provide answers to our clients concerns through improved technique or strategy. For both barbers and clients alike, asking better questions and seeking more creative and efficient answers will allow better success for both parties (and less familiar google searches.)

So what can we do?


Tool Kit Check

Barbers, like many artists, rely on the tools of their trade to enhance their final result. If we as barbers use tools that are outdated or don’t serve a purpose in our routine, we are not only selling ourselves as artist short but also not fulfilling our promise to provide satisfactory results for our clients. Seasoned barbers have discussed the necessity for using tools that work for you and your barber brand and then sticking with them. Our barber kits aren’t solely what allow us to work as great barbers but they provide a constant framework for our future success. 

We as barbers are an extension of our tools-- so choosing items that represent us and our brand is key. 

Communication is Key

Communication is a vital component to any business, especially those that provide a service. If our clients feel that they can communicate their needs to us without harsh criticism, we have succeeded in creating an environment that breeds success. In order to do this, we need to acknowledge that we are providing a service and then open up the floor to allow clients to ask detailed questions and discuss concerns. Barbering is about transforming the conceptual into the actual-- our clients visions are just as valid as ours. 

 A Step Ahead

As artists, we need to continual train and elevate both our skill-set and our ability to foreshadow possible problems. No, we don’t know everything a client is thinking, but we can work with a general set of problems that other barbers have encountered or will encounter. Think about some of the questions and concerns we’ve heard clients bring up during sessions in our chair; consider bringing up those concerns as a part of your routine service. We have the ability to provide solutions by simply asking more client-centered questions; we can even consider compartmentalizing topics that come up often and walking through that with a client to ensure the best results.

So the next time you come across the question, “Why is my barbering cutting into my hairline,” what will be your response?

“Being a barber is about taking care of the people.”

                                            -Anthony Hamilton


Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Deep Cut: The Evolution of Dedication

Deep Cut: The Evolution of Dedication

Our road to success is never linear. We learn this early, as we navigate life fascinated by the people who’ve come before us. As we idolize basketball players and entrepreneurs; neighborhood celebrities and local barbers, we begin to draft our own dreams. We hear about their stories—how they walked a path less traveled and took failure and adversity and triumphed. Unconsciously, we begin to brand our own success story. Our sights are set on the big leagues and sometimes picturing where we will be at times overshadows how we will get there. And so, we look at the journey's of the people we hope to catch up to and attempt the easier path. We soon realize that moving into our dreams is a little more complicated than we imagined.


 In our failure and struggle, we learn that the road to success is never linear, never easy, but it is our dedication to pursuit that propels us forward.


Daniel Contreras, entrepreneur and founder of The New Era Barbering, has built an entire empire on his resilience and dedication to pursuing the truth in his craft. As a powerhouse in the barbering industry, Contreras has amassed a large following on several social media platforms while providing others with the information that helped him build in his own career on his podcast,  “Dlucs_Podcast.” He is also a marketing extraordinaire, providing his services to high profile clients and businesses alike. A man of few words, Contreras spoke  with Isaiah Ford about his success as a barber and the journey’s we take as barbers to fulfill our own success stories.


For those who may not be aware of your work in the community, can you give a little background?

I’m on a mission to transform the barber industry by driving barbers to push themselves out of their comfort zone and challenge their own ideals. While everyone zigs you gotta zag.

What does success as a barber look like to you? And do you consider yourself a successful barber?

 Always evolving. Looking at the historical tract of my own path and then pushing the boundaries to constantly evolve. I’m in a constant state of evolution so yes, I would consider myself successful.

We’ve been talking about the importance of manifesting your goals and taking actionable steps to pursue them, can you walk us through how you got to where you are today?

 By pursuing of the truth and always questioning myself and what I believe to be true. This looks like  always being curious and understating your why; that is extremely important as you seek after things that propel you forward.

I started online barber classes and really delved into social media marketing. I’m also a digital marketer for barber companies/niches in the industry by focusing on pursuing the truth and developing a greater understanding of who I am and my truths.

 What things inspire you to keep improving on your craft?

 I no longer cut hair, but I am very much involved in the industry. I’ve been focusing on one specific question and that is, what is my true potential? I believe that constantly pushing my boundaries and moving out of my comfort attributed to my evolution as a success in the industry. And this mindset is translatable; it can be applied to multiple fields because success doesn’t happen with a linear mindset.

We talk a lot about building your brand, what the one piece of advice you can give someone else that’s trying to expand theirs?

 My advice is: be unapologetic about putting your authentic self to the world, who you are currently, not who you are tomorrow but today.

 Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

 Growing, through adaptations of myself with ruthless self analysis. Not simply becoming who I will be but actively pursuing this person by adapting and evolving. And changing my mindset in order to do this— successful evolution occurs when we attempt to find the truth and dedicate ourselves to pursuing this relentlessly.

Follow Daniel on Instagram (Dlucs_)

How will you zig while others zag?


“I just believe in ownership. I believe in investing in yourself. Your foundation should be strong.”                                                                                     Nipsey Hussle


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Dedication to Building: Professional Relationships

Dedication to Building: Professional Relationships

In at least one summer in our lives, we’ve been the kid selling lemonade on the street. We bother our parents to go to the store at the last minute, claiming that our lives depend on buying the supplies for our very own stand. We dream about our customers and what our signs are going to look like﹣ we even picture ourselves making enough money to afford those shoes we’ve been eyeing all summer. The morning of, we put on the outfit we’ve chosen the night before and rush outside to catch our first customers. We smile and wave at joggers and new moms pushing strollers around and families walking their dogs. We yell that we have lemonade; our jaws begin to hurt because we’re working so hard to attract our first customer. And then it happens﹣ the first customer arrives. They make casual conversation and ask us about our stand and our prices and if we’re going to be out the next day, even the next week. We work hard to show them that we value them as a customer: we make direct eye contact, firmly shake their hands, tell them about why our business is important. Most importantly, we dedicate the service, not to why our lemonade is better than the stand three houses down, but to the customer and how we appreciate their decision to sip on us. This is one of  the very first lessons we learn about good business practice. That night, we take our cash and fall asleep, thinking about how we can make our business run smoother and also gain loyal customers. 

As barbers, we are often taught to emphasize the quality of our cuts. We learn about precision and the importance of staying vigilant when considering tools and resources for our future endeavours. However, rarely do we talk about professionalism in the craft and how that affects our business and brand. 

If persons aren’t willing to reconnect with us after we provide our services, our services lose their value.

One of the things we need to consider as barbers is our dedication to maintaining professional relationships outside of the barbering world. Our brand needs to be reflective of a myriad of connections in and outside of the chair. This allows us to build our network laterally and extend our reach in environments that might not have been open to us prior to these connections. Maintenance focuses on these four core values:

Presence﹣the ability to stay connected after your initial meeting 

Detail learning to emphasis smaller details that show you’re attentive to the direction of the relationship

Time the idea that your input is reflected in their response to your dedication to the relationship (time wise)

Partnership building a relationship that extends outside the limitations of the brands current goals and focus on building together 

Let’s break this concept down. If we want to build our business to include professional athletes, how can we utilize these four core values to establish our brand and build our professional working relationship? 

Presence- Attending games and leaving business cards with information for staff and team management is one way to build presence. We might even include vouchers for free cuts for managers/staff/players while the team plays in our city.

Detail- While solidifying our  presence with a potential partnership, we will need to pull important details. This may manifest in the form of remembering when teams will be arriving or offering our services before birthdays or for important events. In addition, this might include providing information that is unrelated to baberbing but important to the people we are working with and will highlight our attention to providing accurate and detailed service. 

Time- Emphasizing our dedication to the partnership in these ways will highlight the time we’ve taken to get to know the people we’re working with and ensuring our goal is to produce quality service through our actions. These actions should be recognized by other persons involved and will allow us to use these connections to spread information without having to advocate directly to potential clients﹣ our work and those we work with will speak on our behalf. 

Partnership-We have always been told that relationships build organically by the energy that we invest, and this also extends to building partnerships. By applying the three core values, partnerships develop organically﹣ our job is to maintain and work at these relationships to secure the connection we’ve established. 

Utilizing these four core values, regardless of the relationship we’re trying to build, will allow us to increase our professional presence in and out of the shop. 


How will you sharpen your professional presence?



“Leadership is never an avenue to be self-serving but,a platform to render great service to people.”
Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha
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