Chris Foster cuts for Google

Chris Foster headed to the Google offices in London recently to perform a rather unique and unorthodox cut for Bjorn Bringert, Google’s Engineering Director. 

After the Android Search team at Google had won a bet with Bjorn, the team had the choice of what they would have him do as a result. After throwing a few daring ideas around, the team settled on the idea of Bjorn getting a new haircut, featuring the icon of the team’s app. 

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Going grey is part and parcel of getting older; for some men this can be quite a worry...if only we could turn back the hands of time. Does grey hair worry you?  A survey of British men by market research firm, Mintel, found that three-quarters of men (75%) aged between 45 and 54 worry about their hair turning grey.

When you see the first grey hair appear on your head, you may be tempted to probably pull it out.  Don’t! The action of pulling out the hair can distort and damage the hair follicle and the replacement hair that will eventually grow takes longer to regenerate.

Silver Fox Celebrities, like Gerard Butler and George Clooney are embracing their natural grey look. Even younger celebrities like Olympic athlete, Tom Daley, has been photographed sporting grey hair, but, if the ‘Silverlock’ and the three bears doesn’t work for you.

Here are a few options.

Before you start colouring your hair there are a few things you need to consider. I would always recommend to consult a professional Colourist before attempting to dye your own hair. They will have the skills and knowledge to get the colour right the first time; with that said here are your options:

Camouflage Colour - This works as a camouflage for grey hair. This product will not get rid of your greys merely tone them down so it won’t look so obvious that your hair has been coloured. This product is great if you don’t want the office gossip to be about you and your hair.  This type of product gradually fades and generally it lasts between 8-12 shampoos. Or lasts about one month. For some guys this is about the same time they will need to get another haircut so the timing is perfect for no one to notice.

Semi-Permanent Colour – If you have less than 50% grey coverage, then this product will be ideal for you. It will not dramatically change your natural colour. The colour will gradually fade lasting between 12-14 washes.

Permanent Colour - The colour is permanent as the name suggests. This product is perfect if your looking for a stronger permanent result to greys or if you want to change your hair colour completely. You will need to re-colour your roots every 6 weeks as your hair grows. You can also comb on permanent colour tint on grey hair for that salt and pepper effect. If your going to use a home kit, please, please read the instructions carefully and carry out the allergy tests. Ruining your hair should be never be an option.

The Best Shaving Methods for Black Skin

In the last edition of Black Hair Magazine I asked the question: To Wet or Dry Shave?

I hope my guide to wet shaving helped to achieve a smoother and closer shave.

However there is a large percentage of black men who just cannot wet shave because their skin is simply too sensitive due to the curly nature of afro hair. It tends to curl back on it self and then re-enters the skin.


There are different types of electrical razors you can use for your dry shave.


Clippers and Trimmers

Clippers are ideal for very sensitive skin or skin susceptible to razor bumps. Unlike wet shaving electrical clippers never get super close but work better on dry hair. You can use a shaving primer before shaving too soften the whiskers. There are certain parts of your face and neck that are more sensitive than others. If you have shaving bumps in one area of your face ensure you shave the unaffected areas first then the affected last to ensure there is no cross infection.


Foil Headed Electrical Razors

Foil headed electrical razors yield a much closer shave. You can opt for a wet/dry razor. Combine it with pre-shave oil or a good quality shaving cream. They will provide your skin with the protection and the lubrication it needs during the shaving process.



First shave after a shower when your pores are open and clean. Next apply a pre- shave product this lubricates the skin. If you have existing razor bumps the oil coats the skin so that the electric razor simply glides over. Use a steady consistent motion .Too much pressure on the razor will irritate the skin by removing too many skin cells. Excessive pressure can result in razor burn and razor bumps. As the razor passes over the skin microscopic folds and ridges of skin are lifted. It is important to cleanse the skin after shaving and use a scrub twice a week to remove excess skin on the face. Failure to remove this layer of excess dry skin can contribute to in growing hair.


Remember to clean and sterilize all your equipment

Grooming Is Only Skin Deep

Practising the art of the professional shave is one of my passions. I enjoy teaching this particular subject in salons and barbers shops up and down the country. As a service I believe the art of shaving professionally has had a real renascent over the years.  Recently barbers are well supported with fantastic skin care products. The professional barber is in an excellent position to advise clients. 


Companies such as The Refinery, Acqua di Parma and Maxwells Apothecary provide high quality products to support the advice given from the barbers’ chair. After a professional shave the client can maintain his skin care routine at home. A good daily maintenance routine is the best gift a man can give himself and is the best way to prepare their skin for a shave. It is key, to establish exactly what type of skin your client has. This in turn will help them to choose the right products to get the best possible shave.


Providing a professional shave service puts you the professional in the perfect position to recommend the correct products for your clients. In turn increasing revenue to the salon and maintaining the professional respect from your clients.


We all have different types of skin; oily, dry, sensitive combination skin and premature ageing.  Here are a few types you will find in your chair. 


Oily skin


Oily skin takes on a shiny appearance. This is because individuals with oily skin tend to have overactive sebaceous glands leaving the surface very shiny. Dark skin tones usually fall into this category. This skin type is prone to pimples, ingrown hair and blackheads due to dilated pores that can become blocked. Recommend a cleanser that is not too harsh. Harsh cleansers will exacerbate the problem stripping too much moisture from the skin, disturbing the skins pH balance- Causing the skin to go into sebum over drive producing more oil to maintain it’s balance…as you can see not helping the problem! Recommend the client use an oil- free moisturiser in the morning and especially at night.

Sensitive skin


The tell tale signs of sensitive skin is evident by redness allergic reactions and inflammation. Sensitive skin can have different reactions particularly to things like a change in weather, poor diet, chemicals, dirt and stress. Treat this skin type with care; never use anything that is too harsh. Stick to products that are as natural as possible and away from anything that has strong chemicals or fragrances.


Dry Skin


Dry skin is caused by a lack of sebum oil. This skin type can be harder to shave. This is due to the fact that the pores are much tighter. The skin is prone to premature ageing and will develop wrinkles faster than any other type of skin. Encourage the client to use moisturisers that are rich in natural vegetable oils and essential oils. A hydrating mask can help to replenish lost moisture.


Skin Deep Tips:


Sell the routine and not the products. By selling a good grooming routine, clients will buy the products that support the suggested routine.


If selling a product don’t talk about each ingredient endlessly. Stick to the benefits, keep it simple. 


Satisfy customer’s concerns with professional advice and product solutions 



Male skin is 30% thicker than female skin because of facial hair and hormonal changes. It is important to recommend products that are specially formulated for male no nicking from the Mrs. Tell ‘em to buy their own!


With all the knowledge on skin care and products out there on the Internet and men’s mags. It can be a minefield for most guys to choose the right products or have the correct routine. Some men find it hard to communicate that they need help in this area.  I still believe that men still take advice from their grooming professionals; this is why it's so important to understand and expand your knowledge on shaving, skin care and men's grooming products. 

After all, they’re your clients and they're worth it!


Does Exactly What It Says On The Tin...Retailing To Men

Does Exactly What It Says On The Tin


A few years back there was a TV advertisement for a brand of wood stain. The strap line was simple and effective. “It does exactly what it says on the tin." The one thing I loved about the strap line it was straight to the point - No jargon. If the product says it is a wood stain, guess what folks it stains wood. It's that simple.  Could this simplistic approach be adopted for retailing to male clients?


The ranges of Male Grooming products have grown significantly over the last 20 years. From consumer grooming ranges such as the ones found in Boots or Superdrug’s through to professional rangers sold exclusively through salons and barbershops. The choice for men has never been so great. The marketplace for men’s grooming products has become even more competitive. In fact, the shelves groan under the weight of so many different grooming ranges all vying for that spot of being the number one men’s grooming range. In hope to gain a massive slice of the men’s grooming, fragrance and toiletries market that is worth approximately £920 million (according to the research company Key).


But, are the products flying off the shelves?  How easy is it for a man to make the right choice when there are so many products to choose from? Does he give up the right to make that choice to someone else like his partner? Is there a sense of apathy to his grooming regime that resorts to using his partner products, or not using any products at all? Retailing to men can have its challenges. Men have different buying habits to women and will respond differently to the whole process of being sold to. I would like to explore some ways that we could increase the spend of our clients in salons and barbershops by doing...exactly what it says on the tin...



Allow them to buy into your enthusiasm for the product or service. There is nothing quite as infectious as passion. There has to be genuine passion for what you are doing and selling. The transfer of your enthusiasm and belief in the product is essential for the client to walk out the door believing that he has made the correct purchasing decision. Plus, what the statistics show is that if a man purges the product that they had with them they are more likely to stay with that particular new product which means they’re more like to stay with you and who made the recommendation.


Read their body language. This is a great indication of whether you are connecting with the person you are trying to sell to. Making then feel comfortable is very important. If you're introducing a client to a new grooming range sell them one item in that range first. Tell them that you value their opinion on it. Over a period of time build on the relationship with that product with them buying more products from the range. Research has shown that men are likely to stick with the product they are happy with and are unlikely to product hop. Men are incredibly loyal to brands they like. Women on the other hand are more likely to buy on the promise of results and will continue to search for products that give them the results they are looking for.



Know Your Stuff... the homework

To the client you are seen as the expert. Your knowledge and expertise in the art of cutting and styling is what there are paying for. Share the knowledge and the routine then recommend the products that support the grooming routine. It is vital to be knowledgeable about the product.



Make it crystal clear to the client what are the key benefits of the product. Always answers the question how will the product benefit the client?


Ensure that the product has been adequately explained

One thing I've learnt of my years of working in the male grooming industry is that I never assume a client knows how to use the product I've recommended. I'm sure you’ve always heard clients say "I can never get it looking as good as you". Well they should!  With the right products and explanations. Always break down the method of how to use a chosen product either on the face or on the hair.


No More Metrosexual

Fact: The modern man shares the overwhelming acceptable knowledge that men can and should take care of themselves. He’s not some strange beast that has all of a sudden found that he use products to make him look and smell good. So metrosexual he’s not - he’s just a man. If we as professionals take the time to educate our clients, the growth of the industry can only get better, adding to the predicted growth of the male grooming market which is set to break through the

1 billion barrier by the end of 2015.


Have your say?

Let me know your thoughts by tweeting me @hairchrisfoster or on Facebook Hair by Chris Foster