Barbering, like a lot of things your grandfather did that were awesome, is making a comeback. And while some barbershops use gimmicks like free whiskey to lure in customers, you’ll find none of that at Baxter-Finley of West Hollywood, California. The shop is classy, clean and, while it has a premium price point, worth every penny.
The best part of Baxter-Finley isn’t just getting a great haircut in a 100-year-old barber chair. It’s getting it from a totally hot babe. In 2011, there aren’t many trades where females are a novelty, but this field is one of them. Lauren Jae Nichols is blazing new trails at Baxter-Finley by being a woman at a barbershop—not a salon.
“I’ve changed a lot of clients’ perspectives while also dealing with a lot of sexism and harassment,” says Nichols, who doubles as a fixed-gear bike enthusiast and bike model. “Guys would ask, ‘How do you know how to cut a man’s hair?’” Still, she was drawn to the simplicity. “I never said ‘I want to be a barber.’ I just wanted a trade. I was working in a café and thought of becoming a stylist, but asked myself if I wanted to dye hair, do makeup and manicures? No, I just wanted to cut hair!”
And Nichols’ take on why men go to barbershops might surprise you. It’s not for the ruggedness—it’s quite the opposite. “The men’s barbershop has an appeal about it. It’s relaxing and soothing and a real men’s retreat. There’s less chatter and more communication about what they want.”
Which made us wonder, what does she want? So before you wander into Baxter Finley or someplace like it, take note of her expert input on several celebrity-favored styles—good, bad and seriously regrettable—on the pages that follow. After all, wouldn’t you like to call a woman like her more than your barber?
It was five minutes before we noticed the bike. (Photos by Matt Lingo, recfail.com)
“This look is great because it follows the curve of his head. It’s very important to blend sideburns with a beard. Big sideburns are never sexy.”
“This is a great example of making long hair look good. It’s natural, off the face, groomed, fun, rugged and sophisticated.”
“As a barber I tend to do more classic and simple styles than dreadlocks. However, it can be a good look. The important part is to keep them clean and well-maintained, which means getting all new growth twisted often.”
“There’s a fine line between bedhead and hot mess. The latter can be very sexy, but it has to be natural. Packing your hair with pomade is a bad look on anyone, even Robert Pattinson.”
“A smooth bald head can be a really handsome look. I think a lot of men that are insecure about hair loss should see this and know that going with a bald head can look youthful and attractive.”
“The side part is one of our most popular styles right now. It’s a sexy and sophisticated option for businessmen or a dapper look for everyday wear.”
“Pauly D spends way too much time on his hair and it shows. It’s way too shiny—the heavily gelled wet look is out. He needs a dryer pomade.”
“Benjamin Bratt is classy and sophisticated, but his hair here is not so great. It needs some product. There’s no dimension to it. It’s just one solid mess of hair.”
“This is not my favorite Jude Law look. Moustaches are outdated. His product is too glossy. He needs a more waxy product.” [Editor’s note: Nichols lost us around sentence two here.]
“Drake has the best hair. It’s always groomed and clean cut. No matter how long his hair is, his fade is clean.”
Black Veil Brides
“I don’t care how edgy you are, this style is never OK.”