It’s understood that a man’s barber is one of the more important relationships in his life, just below parents, children, and significant others. Gillette Barber Council members and celebrity barbers Vince Garcia and Ray Santos are familiar with this important dynamic and how it only helps to keep their clientele looking fresh.
Garcia and Santos recently lent their skills by prepping the models in the exclusive, limited-run GilletteLabs Lookbook, which featured images shot by renowned photographer Joshua Kissi. The book’s purpose is to illustrate how the new GilletteLabs with Exfoliating Bar razor can make the chore of shaving an enjoyable experience. “For one, it looks great in any bathroom and doesn’t need to be put away,” says Garcia of the GilletteLabs with Exfoliating Bar. “It provides a smooth & efficient shave thanks to the built-in exfoliating bar.
Cassius spoke to Santos, whose clients include NBA pros Kelly Oubre Jr. and Justise Winslow (and is the founder of SandalBoyz) and Garcia, whose clients include Devin Booker, Nigel Sylvester, and Ludacris (and he’s also been featured in HBO’s The Shop). Both men, who are based in Los Angeles, graciously offered their expertise because when it comes to getting cleaned up, both celebs and civilians deserve only the best treatment. Yes, there are some blatant product name drops, but the stuff does work, so there’s that.
CassiusLife: As a pro barber, what tips do you have for civilians at home when it comes to a quality shave?
Ray Santos: If you’re looking for a quality shave, you’ve got to stock your medicine cabinet with quality products! Mastering the art of the physical act of shaving is one thing, but you need to buy quality tools to achieve the same fresh look you get at the barbershop. It’s also important to ensure your skin is clean before the shave to avoid irritation.
Vince Garcia: For guys trying to achieve a quality shave at home, it’s important to start off with a shave gel that’s right for your skin. The new Gillette Labs Rapid Foaming Shave Gel is one of the best on the market. It immediately provides a cooling, soothing sensation when applied and protects the skin from irritation, so you can get a barbershop-level smooth shave in the comfort of your own home.
Cassius: What is something you do that someone at home that anyone else can also do?
RS: Something that I like to do for my clients that anyone at home is capable of is elevating the shave by using a hot towel on your face beforehand. This loosens hair follicles and reduces irritation from the blades, for a smoother, more efficient shave. You can feel like you’re at a spa from the comfort of your own bathroom.
Can you speak on the importance of the barber and client relationship?
VG: The relationship between the barber and client is very important because it builds trust, which is essential for the barber to be able to provide great service and perform their best work, as well as loyalty, which keeps clients coming back.
RS: I help clients get ready for some of the biggest events in their life, and the relationships built through playing a role in those occasions is one of my favorite parts of the job. As a client, you always want to make sure your barber is comfortable with you so you get their best work!
How are you able to maintain that level of loyalty and familiarity with your celebrity clientele?
VG: I always say consistency and being professional goes a long way, especially with A-List clientele. Having them understand your worth and value shows a lot about how you carry yourself and your business. Building that trust with any kind of clientele period can truly make for long-lasting barber client relationships.
RS: I am able to maintain my relationships with all of my clients by being “present” whenever a client is in my chair. I devote my utmost attention to them and ensure I know exactly what they’re looking for, while also being very interested in learning about their lives.
With Father’s Day coming up, what are some products you’d recommend for dad when it comes to beard and haircare for men?
RS: For the bearded dads out there, King C. Gillette just launched three great products that would make for top-tier Father’s Day gifts. the King C. Gillette Style Master—a versatile tool that’s fully waterproof so it can be used in the shower, King C. Gillette Beard Thickener, and the King C. Gillette Face and Stubble Moisturizer—perfect to refresh his skin as the weather gets warmer. Each of these tools is awesome for maintaining the look his barber gives him from home for days and weeks after he visits the shop.