Back 2 School Haircuts: Concerns and Safety Tips

By Gerard Gauthier, BuzzersBlog

Jurek Williamson, the Owner of King’s Temple Barbershop in Memphis cuts the hair of client (16) during pandemic. Joe Rondone

Nationwide, schools are starting to open back up and students are entering a grade closer to graduation. For both students and parents, this time of year is usually a joy. However, there is a different feeling in 2020 because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this spring we released a blog entitledReturning to the Salons during a Pandemic. Safety tips, Reservation tips, is it worth it?’. In it, we described the new normal of returning to the barbershop and salons during a pandemic. I bring that article up because parents are expressing the same safety concerns of getting their kids ready to go back to school.

Pre-pandemic, around this time of year parents would normally take their kids shopping for new clothes, shoes, school uniforms, bookbags and other school items. Along with that, parents would take their kids to the barbershops to get a fresh haircut for the first day of school. Depending on your state and your school district, some parents have the option to keep their kids home and have them go through E-Learning. For the parents who do not have or are unable to take that option, it means they must send their kids to school for in-person learning. Like most parents, they want to make sure they send their kids to school looking presentable.

I recently went to a barbershop and spoke with the parent of a 3rd grader who explained to me that he had to learn how to cut his son’s hair because he was uncomfortable with bringing his child to a crowded barbershop. Another parent who was also there getting a haircut stated his son, who is a high school Junior, learned how to cut his own hair through DIY (Do It Yourself) tutorials on Youtube. It is incredible to think that a decision as simple as going to the barbershop to get a haircut could be a difference maker in whether or not a person is exposed to a deadly virus. For parents who decide to take their kids to a barbershop, here are a few safety tips that could be helpful:

  • Make reservations prior to going to the barbershop. This will avoid long wait times and therefore cutting the amount of exposure.
  • Wear a mask. Wearing a mask has become political, but given the barber/client interaction, I would highly recommend wearing a mask during a cut.
  • Ask the Barber to wear a mask. Most barbers are wearing masks as mandated by their shop, but just in case yours isn’t, you have every right to ask him or her to wear a mask for your own safety.
  • Try to go in as early as possible. The less people there are in the barbershop, the better it is for you. I would not only set an appointment ahead of time, but I would set it first thing in the morning to beat the wave of clients coming in throughout the day.
  • Practice social distancing while waiting for your barber. I would recommend waiting in your car for your barber to be done with their client, and to text you once they are ready to take you on. If you are unable to wait in a car, you may want to sit a couple seats away from other clients.

As I mentioned, some people have taken to Youtube during the period of quarantine to learn how to cut, style and manage their own hair. Although they are not experts, they feel safer doing it that way. For those using Youtube to cut their or their own hair, below is a helpful video that can get you in the right direction:

I would not recommend cutting your hair for the first time right before going to school. Instead, I would suggest alternatives such as using a trusted friend or family member to cut your hair for you, or to refer back to the safety tips mentioned above if you decided to go to a barbershop.

In the past, there have been shops that offer back to school specials on haircuts for parents bringing in multiple kids, and we here at Trmster wanted to keep that tradition going and do our part in giving back. We are running a special for parents who would like to have their kids freshly cut right in time for school (whether it be in person or e-learning) by giving away free haircuts. Whichever route you choose, let’s be safe during this back to school year.  Click on the flyer below for more information:

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Natural Hair Maintenance and Routines

By Ashley Northover, BuzzersBlog

There are a multitude of natural hair products on the market for your hair, and they all into the different categories of shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioners, moisturizers, and even stylers. Each product category serves a different purpose for your pre, during and post-wash day routines. In addition, each product is manufactured differently to allow you to achieve serve a different purpose along your healthy hair journey. Let’s dive into a couple hair product categories that are beneficial for your natural hair.

SHAMPOOS – 
Shampoos should only be applied to the scalp and massaged into it. Your scalp is the powerhouse of the health of your hair and if it is not functioning correctly, neither is the rest of your hair. The remainder of your tresses will be cleansed when you rinse, and the shampoo runs along the hair strand into the drain. The massaging technique aids in promoting growth and breaking up dirt, excess oil or product that is preventing your hair from performing at its best.

CONDITIONERS –
Conditioners are applied to replenish your hair strands with the moisture removed from shampooing. It should be applied into smaller sections so that the conditioner can coat each strand thoroughly. In addition, the smaller sections make it easier to de-tangle using your wide tooth comb, Denman brush, or fingers. Your hair needs to be tangled free to be successful when you’re styling.

DEEP CONDITIONERS –
Deep conditioners should be likened to a hair treatment as that’s what it is. For 5 to 60 minutes with indirect heat (using a plastic cap, steam cap or deep conditioning cap), the hair cuticles will open so that the deep conditioner can penetrate the hair strands and impart itself there. Deep conditioners are made with fortifying botanical ingredients that will penetrate the hair shaft with moisture, strength, and enhance the natural luster and definition of your hair.

MOISTURIZERS –
The natural sebum from our scalp is rich in minerals needed to moisturize and strengthen our hair. It can’t travel to the ends of our hair shaft due to the curly nature of our strands. It usually gets stuck in crevices/corners of our hair. Hence, we moisturize it manually using the LOC/LCO method. For this method, L stands for Liquid, O for Oil and C for Cream. The liquid that should be used is water as it is the best hydrator for our hair. Then, the hydration stays in our hair for an extended period because it is sealed in using an oil/cream.

STYLERS –
There are a lot of stylers to choose form within the market but there are two top categories which as cream and gel stylers. Cream stylers are more for your textured looks. If you want a fluffy twist/braid out, or flexi/perm rod set, then cream styles are your best option. They give you less definition than a gel. However, it will not leave your hair too crunchy to hold. As well as, you can use gel stylers. Gel stylers will give you the maximum definition. It usually highlights and enhances your natural curl pattern as the curls clump together for wash and go’s. For other styles such as (braid/twist out), it will take the pattern of the style that you are trying to achieve. And more importantly, it will give you long-lasting hold.

Check out a quick video of one of my favorite hair related content Youtube vloggers as she give you a breakdown on her wash day routine for her natural hair.

As a side note, if you notice that your product isn’t working like it used to, then it’s time to switch it out. Your hair may have become used to the ingredients and need a break. I have provided links to the products above, but they may also be found at your local beauty supply store or local drug store. Whichever medium you choose, it is easily accessible to you.

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Barbershop Being Built Inside NBA Bubble In Orlando.

By Gerard Gauthier, BuzzersBlog

NBA bubble practice courts

With the NBA season set to restart on July 30th, NBA players have been inside a Disney bubble over the past couple of weeks practicing before the first tip-off. Despite rising cases of COVID-19 in Florida, NBA execs are fully confident in the bubble they have put in place to keep the players safe. There are a strict set of rules that players must follow in order to maintain the safety of everyone in the bubble. Some of the rules include:

  • Undergoing testing for anyone who has entered the NBA bubble during the week of June 23-30.
  • Required quarantine for up to 48 hours for anyone entering the bubble until they register two negative COVID-19 cases.
  • Players who leave the bubble environment would undergo quarantine of up to 10 days upon their return and will need to register two negative tests as well.
  • Everyone in the bubble is tested each night, with results coming the following morning.
  • Anyone traveling with each team (players, coaches, staff) are required to acknowledge in writing that they will follow the league’s safety precautions.

Although the league cannot guarantee that the bubble will be 100% Covid-19 free, they have taken additional measures that may seem strange, but to officials, they will be taken extremely seriously. These measures include: Players cannot lick fingers during practices and games, and players may also wear bio-metric devices that can measure vita signs.

bio-metric sensor-laden Oura ring

With all these rules, restrictions and lack of social access, it is easy to understand how an NBA player can feel a little uneasy from the lack of comfort they are experiencing now compared to their stay at luxurious hotels pre-pandemic. However, the NBA has added an extra feature to the bubble that the players are all hyped about. That feature is a real-life version of a barbershop that is similar to the one found in the 2k neighbourhood section of the popular game NBA 2k.

At this barbershop, players will be able to keep up their appearance before the games. Most players including Lebron himself have been in quarantine mode growing out their hair and beards mainly because they were unable to go to the barbershops.

Back in June, the league mentioned having available barbers to cater to the grooming needs of the players. The league has broken it down to 6 barbers who will join the bubble, and they too, will have to go through quarantine protocol prior to making their first cut. This is a great incentive for the league to offer to keep the players inside the bubble and still receive that amazing feeling we all have of receiving a fresh cut.

First look of the NBA Barbershop being built on Disney gorunds

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Unspoken Rules: Cheating on your Barber/Stylist

By Ashley Northover, BuzzersBlog

The relationship between you & your stylist is a bond. This bond is something that in our community, they say should never be broken. That is, unless your hair is being damaged, then it’s definitely time to cut ties with your stylist or barber.  Finding the right person to care for your hair can be a challenge. But once you do find the right hairdresser, you’ll be wondering where they’ve been your entire life. Honestly, the bond between a hairdresser and a client is unmatched, mainly because you both have the same vision of the particular style you’re looking for. Whether you want to look amazing for an event, or you may just be regrowing your hair and starting fresh, your barber or stylist can help you get there.

There are many factors that affect a lasting relationship with a stylist. This includes price, dependency and most importantly trust. A trusting relationship will carry on for years. Have you ever noticed that your mom/dad/uncle/aunt has had the same hairdresser/barber for years? Yes, I can attest to that. Also notice how they don’t switch stylists unless they absolutely “have to”.

This is because for generations, there has been an unspoken rule to not “cheat” on your hairstylist/barber. Whether you want to believe the rule or not, it’s there. Notice how your brother, father, or significant other may need to get their hair trimmed, however, if Travis the barber is not there on Mondays or he’s gone on vacation, they are not going anywhere. This rule also applies to women. As a child, my mother had one specific hairdresser that she would go to all the time. She would set her appointments and it would be a rare occasion that she would break that appointment. It was extremely important to maintain a great relationship with the person she trusted with her hair. If by any chance her hairdresser was going to be out of town, she would try to maintain her current hairstyle for as long as it took until her stylist came back.

I vividly remember the minute she decided to do her own thing, and her hair ended up getting damaged. She later confided in her hairdresser and they were able to revive her hair to her liking. I took lessons from my mother growing up by learning from her trials and tribulations. Now as an adult, I have my own hair stylist that I trust. But I must admit, I have cheated on her. Just like my mother doing her own thing, I went to a new hairdresser and she completely gave me a style that I did not ask for and also damaged my hair. I have learned that there can be consequences to cheating on your stylist.

One of my favorite TV shows is Black-ish, and I’ve included a clip of an episode where they discussed the importance of sticking with your barber through thick and thin:

We can also be more pragmatic. If your hair really needs to be done, then get it done. Regardless if your stylist is not available. It isn’t wrong to go to another stylist or barber because there is no literal contract that states: “you shall not go to any other stylist besides me”. Hence, you can take your business anywhere you please. However, if you are friends with your hairdresser on any social media platform, I wouldn’t recommend you posting selfies of yourself at another shop wit the hashtag #BestHairCutEver. That would make for interesting conversation the next time you visit the hairdresser you’ve been seeing all the years.

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Barbershop Spotlight: The Swag Shop

By Gerard Gauthier, BuzzersBlog

You might have recently spotted Michael Render, better known by his stage name Killer Mike hitting the trails as he gave support to the Bernie campaign. Being politically savvy and having a voice in the community has positioned the Atlanta native to be one of the front persons in the lines of communication between politicians and everyday citizens. The first time I’ve heard of Killer Mike was from Outkasts’ Stankonia album in which he completely bodied his verse on the Grammy-Award winning song “The Whole World”. Killer Mike went on to be featured on Jay-Z’s “Poppin Tags” and Bone Crusher’s “Never Scared”, which at that point I became a fan of his, prompting me to purchase his debut solo album Monster – released 2003. After all these years, one thing I can take away from Killer Mike is that he is all about longevity and diversification.

Browsing the Internet, I came across a video of Killer Mike expressing his admiration for the Barbershop industry. The video takes places about 4 years ago in the city of New Orleans in which he was scouting for real estate space to expand his own barbershop; The Swag Shop. At the very beginning of the video he stated, “Once I became an established rapper, the only thing I ever dreamed about doing was owning a barbershop”.

Render now owns a couple Barbershops in Atlanta, with the newest one located in the State Farm Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks. The flagship store is located on Edgewood Ave and has been a popular spot for celebrities and people of all kinds to stop by and get their haircut. The Swag Shop is all about delivering the best customer experience and providing a service that leaves the customers with no other choice but to come back.

Part of the customer experience is the layout of the barbershop. Presentation makes for excellent impressions and The Swag Shop does just that. Imagine watching your favorite NBA team play while getting a haircut and politicking with the barbers. “In the stadium, you can come get your haircut, but I don’t want you to leave after the haircut. I want you to stay. I want you to talk; I want you to argue over who’s the greatest ever: Pete Maravich or Dominique Wilkins,” he stated in a 2018 Bizjournal article.

Between the music, politics, community involvement, activism, and business ventures; Killer Mike’s body of work should serve as an inspiration for young people who are trying to establish themselves as entrepreneurs while giving back to their communities. If you are ever in the Atlanta region, I recommend for you to stop by the Swag Shop. When I travel, I usually try to catch a sports game in the city that I land in. When things get back to normal and I fly to Atlanta, I will be sure to get a haircut while watching the Hawks play.

If you would like your shop to be featured, contact us at: Support@trmster.com

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Maintaining Your Hair During Quarantine

By Ashley Northover, BuzzersBlog

Depending on where you are based in the world, COVID-19 has affected you in some way.
Whether it’s with working or learning from home, being laid off because the product/service your job offers is no longer needed, or not being able to go out as frequently as you normally would. And more importantly, your favorite hair salon or barbershop being closed. This means that you must take matters into your own hands regarding maintaining your hair. Also, this could include your children’s hair or even your significant others own. If you’re in doubt about how to care for your hair, “google it”.

Here are three resources for how to maintain your natural hair during Quarantine:

Youtube: Youtube is one of the key drivers in the natural hair community.
It has a multitude of videos showing you how to style your hair differently, what products to use, and how to achieve your goal of having healthy hair. The naturalistas or natural hair gurus uplifted many naturals like yourself (and me) as they showed us how to care for our hair by watching them care for them. They gave us tips, tricks and even product reviews. And we are still being provided with natural hair content as it is never one size fit all. These girls became like our virtual friends telling us all the tea that they know about a situation however this time it was our hair. And, they can teach you too. They have a plethora of new and old content that is still relevant during this quarantine period.

To start check out these 3-natural hair youtube channels:
1. www.youtube.com/naptural85
2. www.youtube.com/naturalneiicey
3. www.youtube.com/thechicnatural

Instagram: Since the emergence of Instagram, there has been an increase in the job title “influencer”. COVID-19 has caused an increase in the content that is being provided online, including Instagram. Natural Hair Influencers are increasing their tips, tricks and techniques online. They are sharing videos on the timeline, IGTV or even going “LIVE”. As well as, they are sharing their natural hair routines in their caption for their different natural hair-related images. In addition, there are motivational pages dedicated to providing you with natural hair tips and products that will work for your hair. As well as, inspirational photo comparison posts to keep you going while on your hair journey. This platform just like youtube offers you are a wide variety of information from different accounts. Thus, making it a great resource for caring for your natural hair during this time.

You can start following these pages below:
1. www.instagram.com/natashaleeds/
2. www.instagram.com/healthy_hair_journey/

Blogs: Blogs have been providing information (as how you are reading this article), and even now more than ever. There are new blog posts (including this one) letting you know how to maintain your mane at home, how to style your hair at home, how to maintain your hair without your stylist and so much more. All this information is geared towards keeping your natural hair during this unusual time in history. With the variety of information, by just the click of a button and a good keyword (aka quarantine), you will find just what you need to know in written format about your natural hair.

Natural hair is not easy to take care of especially if you have no experience or knowledge. But in-depth tutorials in written, audio and video format will be provided through all these sources. Hence, you will learn in no time. You can start with the basics about learning how to moisturize, do simple styles, finding your porosity level, or even choosing high-quality products.

With the vast variety of content related to maintaining your natural on the web, you will succeed in maintaining your natural hair during the quarantine.

Writer: Ashley Northover, Ashleynorthover@gmail.com


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Women’s Hair: Making the decision to cut it off and start again

By Ashley Northover, BuzzersBlog

We’ve all been there, deciding whether to cut our hair or not. If we cut, we open a can of worms literally. From family and friends telling us that we shouldn’t have, comparing us to a boy, making fun of our short hair, or just us becoming insecure in how we look. It is an internal battle that we have all been through at least once in our life. If your hair is damaged or you need a fresh start just follow O. T. Genasis words because “you need to cut it”.
And cutting it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.

Here are 4 ways to rock your “big chop”:

1. Style It Up – Accentuate your shorter hair using accessories. You can use headbands that come in different shape (big or small), different patterns and colors. Either will boost your overall look as you can mix and match the head bands with your outfit. Or, you can rock a head-wrap.  Not only does it come in different colors and patterns, but it can also styled be in various ways. You can do a ribbon bun, low bun, high bun, ponytail and so much more with your head-wraps. And don’t forget to slay those baby hairs using your edge brush and edge control.

2. Switch Up Your Fashion Style – If you feel like your hair is lacking, dress up the rest of your body. This will aid in boosting the crown that you wear effervescently on your head. So, it’s time to go in your closet and see how you can become chic today. It may even require you to purchase a few new pieces. The big chop has placed you out of your comfort zone, so why not step all the way out.

3. Moisturize and Massage – While your hair is growing into its healthy state, help it get there even faster. Keep your curls consistently moisturized along this journey. Ensure to use a moisturizer that can penetrate the hair and impart the hydration that it needs. As well as, can seal it in so that the curls stay moisturized for a long time. In addition, massage your scalp to promote healthy hair growth. Massaging increase blood flow circulation to the scalp to provide it with the nutrients from the foods we consume. The greater the nutrients, the more our hair follicles will absorb to promote hair growth.

Once you have passed the initial shock of it all, you will start to embrace it. You will walk with confidence so high regardless if your head is bald, your hair is in a teeny weenie Afro or if it’s shorter than you are used to. You will enjoy the process of growing out your natural hair. You will start to learn how to care for your unique coil pattern. As well as how to maintain to achieve your favorite styles.

It’s not called a natural hair journey for nothing.

Writer: Ashley Northover, Ashleynorthover@gmail.com

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Returning to the salons during a pandemic. Safety tips, Reservation tips, is it worth it?

By Ashley Northover, BuzzersBlog

Hairdresser, wearing a protective face mask cuts the hair to a client which also wears protective face mask on Monday, April 27, 2020. Nationwide, authorities have partly lifted the lockdown allowing the reopening of shops nearly of closing due to the coronavirus COVID-19. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)

Now we’ve been locked up for approximately two months or even longer depending on where you are in the states. And, in different cities are being opened back up and trust me, I know you are excited (we are too!). However, there is a lot of uncertainty about different business opening, including salons. Salons are different from other business as regularly there is little to no social distancing.

It’s hard to employ social distancing and safety protocols while at the salon.
You usually sit in a chair with your hairstylist hovering over you as they comb your hair. In addition, the next client is usually a hand stretch away. So, what do you do?

Salons would have to employ serious social distance protocols post quarantine. This includes keeping clients 3 or 6 feet apart so less chairs would be occupied. In addition, less than the average number of clients can be seen daily. In addition, the stylist’s hands and your hands would have to be constantly be cleansed. The stylist would have to wash her hands very often especially when he/she wipes their sweat off. In addition, you will have to have your hand sanitizer on hand to keep your hands clean until you can go and wash them. And finally, masking up. We have heard time and time again from the experts that masks help to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We want to slow down the spread or flatten the curve as a massive outbreak is not good for the economy and our health care systems. You and your stylist would have to wear a mask. And as such, no client would be allowed to enter the salon if they are not wearing a mask. And the stylist cannot come to work, if he/she does not have a mask.

Do you think that salons are worth going around during this time? Well, it depends on the situation with your specific salon. Can your salon employ social distancing protocols and more mentioned above? If yes, then it can be open. During this unknown time, a business owner must be safe and cautious when doing business. They must employ these protocols to stay open and make money while being open. As well as, doing their part to stop, slow down and/or prevent the spread of the virus.

Writer: Ashley Northover, Ashleynorthover@gmail.com

Welcome to Buzzers!

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Buzzers is the official blog for Trmster. We will cover a variety of topics regarding grooming, style and fashion. Buzzers will also get an in depth point of view from stylists and barbers in regards to their profession. We are looking forward to releasing future articles and getting feedback from you, the readers.