National Barber Day is February 3, 2018 and every hairstylist with male clientele should celebrate! Learning how to offer the perfect shave is a great addition to any hairstylist’s menu. Brent Nelsen is a master barber with over 23 years of experience, specializing in his own style of the straight razor shave. Nelsen is a brand ambassador and educator for 18.21 Man Made Grooming, which is now developing a new line of professional shaving products to augment their successful haircare system. Nelsen regularly attends salon industry trade shows to provide instruction in providing “The Perfect Shave” for 18.21 Man Made Grooming.
18.21’s Man Made Glide, launching in February of 2018, will offer a precision shave for men who want to shape beards, mustaches or sideburns. Normally a shaving gel would emulsify into a white cream that hides the hair beneath, making it difficult to get the perfect result. This innovative product containing jojoba oil and aloe vera, feels like a lotion and turns into a clear liquid when worked with fingers, allowing for a precision shave with complete transparency. The glide is lubricating with moisturizing benefits that soothe and heal the skin, rinsing off easily. It provides a slick barrier, holding up to the razor’s blade while letting it get close to the skin. As the concept of gliding is symbolic of aviation, the product will be packaged in a frosted, amber glass bottle featuring copper metallic artwork inspired by one of the most well known aircraft in the world, the Spirit of St. Louis.
Nelsen opened a small two-man barbershop with his father in 1997. He shares, “I did research to see what the barbering business was lacking. I realized there wasn’t a good quality grooming line for men and I wanted to be able to offer them high end products. Clients were asking why straight razor shaves weren’t being offered anymore. Barbers had been avoiding them for insurance costs or to keep their service time faster, but they weren’t paying attention to the client experience.” Nelsen’s shop began adding the new shaving service and got positive feedback. So, they began seeking additional ways to elevate the experience. They contacted London’s famous Truefitt and Hill, which is the oldest existing barbershop operating since 1805 and which services
the royal family. Nelsen brought in a barber to teach their techniques joining them with his own touches to craft his own luxury shave. With their elevated shaving experience and product retailing, Nelsen grew the business into a six man barbershop with an attached barber school.
Nelsen loves to share what he has learned and help students incorporate his techniques into their own practices. “We all borrow from each other. Nothing is really original, yet everyone develops their own styles. If I can help someone to become successful then I am happy.” Through Truefitt and Hill, Nelsen became acquainted with a Nashville line of barbershops that offered hair shows for students and he was invited to teach. There he met Angel del Solar who was representing 18.21 Man Made Grooming and the partnership was solidified.
He adds, “As soon as I saw the 18.21 packaging, I was very impressed. Generally men’s products have been women’s products packaged for men. 18.21 Man Made doesn’t have to say ‘for men’ on the label! You can see they are for men and are a real conversation piece; elegant and luxurious.” Nelsen soon began
teaching “The Perfect Shave” with 18.21 Man Made Grooming.
Nelsen stresses the importance of continuing education for barbers, teaching how to grow their businesses, successfully rebook clients, get referrals and market themselves. “The consultation is a vital tool to build business. I teach them to set themselves up for success instead of just accepting what comes in the door. When you set up a personalized consultation and solve a problem; then you become a haircare hero. In our industry, we solve grooming problems all the time. Someone may have a cowlick or a specific hair issue. When you explain how you did a process to fix the hair and what you used; they will understand the perceived value of your service, instead of thinking they just got lucky and got a good haircut. Hairstylists and barbers often don’t
understand their true value. We help them understand how valuable they really are.”
Nelsen adds, “Developing a good rapport with your client is probably the biggest thing I try to relay to my students. You can have a decent hairstylist with great people skills and they will build a business faster than a master hairstylist who never talks to their client. This is a people business. It is about learning how to love and care for people. In the process, we get to create art. Cutting hair is a small part of what we do. I try to teach that getting good at cutting hair will come. Students know nothing when they begin at our school; not even how to hold scissors! What you need to learn and practice the most is developing that relationship with the client and letting them know you really care. You do that by being interested in them and less in yourself.”
Nelsen plans to continue his teaching ventures with 18.21 Man Made Grooming and to partner with them to develop a shaving line and instruction protocols.
“They are truly an important professional American brand. They inspire the work ethic that we have come to know and expect from American companies. It’s not just the product line I like. It is the three guys behind the lines. They are businessmen; yet they are approachable and they are men of their word.”