In 2009, L.A.'s Imperial Barber Products set out to "evolve the craft of American men’s grooming" with all-natural, utilitarian, premium goods. Each product is custom formulated and crafted with performance, utility and function in mind, and all adhere to the same guidelines: "Made by Barbers, Made to Work, Made in the U.S.A."
Here, co-founder Pedro Zermeno, who also operates the Razorbacks barber shop in Long Beach, Calif., gives Maxim his five essential grooming rules for men of style:
1. Know Which Products Works For Your Look
"Life is all about different types of styles. The most important one is the way your hair looks. Most people look at your hair first before they look at anything else on you. A barber should read or recognize what type of hair style would look best for you. Thick pomade usually is recommended for thick hair. Or if someone wants to lay it slick down. Our Classic Pomade is recommended for this type of style. As for fine hair, you'd usually want to use more of a paste or cream pomade. Our Matte Pomade, Free From Cream is recommend for this style."
2. Learn How to Shave Like a Pro
"Give yourself time. You should never rush a shave. Always use a new blade, your face is worth it. A new blade all the time will give you the perfect shave. Then do as follows: Step 1: Warm water to help open your pores and soften you hairs. Step 2: Shave soap or cream, it's your preference, but you need to make sure it has some natural healing ingredients to help your face. Step 3: Aftershave splash. You need to closes your pores after shaving so no bacteria can enter and cause infections. Step 4: Moisturizer, to help your skin look healthier and hydrated also keeping the elasticity looking great and young."
3. Know How To Use Pomade
"You have the product that works for your hair but you need to know how to use it. Pomade works differently on wet hair than it does on dry hair. If you towel dry your hair, you can easily comb in your pomade to the shape of the look you want. Add pomade to dry hair if you want to add more volume. Wet = use pomade to shape your hair. Dry hair = use pomade to add volume. Use both hands when applying pomade and then a comb with teeth that are not too close together. Our pomade is water activated so you can re-activate your look later in the day without having to reapply."
4. Lock in a Great Barber
"Finding a barber is like looking for a doctor that you like and who understands you. You want to find a barber who can literally read your hair and what it wants to do. If your barber just agrees with whatever you say just to make money, run! You need to find one that will take the time and give you a consultation to let you know what works best for you. Trust a good barber."
5. Take Pride in You Look
"Taking pride in your look says it all in a man: confidence, cleanliness, success and achievement. Your hair, your clothes and your shoes say everything about you and leave a lasting impression on whoever you meet about who you are and what you’re all about. You take pride in your work and who you are – our look should communicate that at first glance."