We are very pleased to introduce the talented hairdresser from California, Andrew Kozak .
Andrew is passionate about helping men understand their hair, how they are unique to each individual, and how to style accordingly. Andrew believes that the more information the customer receives about his hair and the styling options, the better. To share helpful insights and the experience he has gained over the years, Andrew regularly teaches other professionals including barbers , hairdressers and stylists.
How did you come to cut and style hair?
I was never good at following the instructions or crumbling and doing my homework, so I dropped out of high school and started earning a living in music as a career. Knowing that this was not likely, I wanted a job that allowed me a lot of flexibility in my schedule (and my looks, thinking I’d become a rock star), but without a high school diploma. The hair seemed to me to be the path of least resistance, I never felt like I had to make an effort (when it came to male hair). Although I wanted to become a hairdresser and only cut men’s hair, I ended up in a beauty school because it was more comfortable than a hairdressing school (even then, the hairdressers were cool and barbering was forgotten by most), but that career The Way forced things on me I never would have if I had gone to the hairdressing school. The styling of hair has given more value to my time than anything else I’ve done during my career.
What do you like most as a barber or hairdresser?
The relationships. Not just with customers, but with others in the industry. I work in a small, quiet town and I love it when I go to the movies, I know the guy who sells me my ticket because I cut his hair. I also love that when I go to a hair show, I know half a dozen people from all over the world. Especially since the social media got underway, I can go to any major city and meet a friend. I think that was something I wanted from music, but never got away from it, I have friends on tour who just seem to know everyone. Money or creativity does not interest me as much as people.
What changes have you seen in the hairdressing or hairdressing salon over the years?
A lot of. Anything big comes with a wave of fans swearing that they will live and die in this look, and when it goes out of style, they do too. When I started making hair, the men had very structured hawks with random strands of hair that peeked out everywhere, they had chunky highlights, and they all ironed their hair. New hairdressers, like me back then, swore that their looks would bring them retirement. Almost overnight, after the cool kids found the classic looks of traditional barber, I saw 9 out of 10 hairdressers that I knew needed either to leave the salon to work in a barbershop or to do without hair. Now I see new barbers left and right swearing they’re going to build their careers to make the freshest “bunch,” but that will be quick. One thing that I emphasize in the classes I teach is recognizing and understanding trends, but do not trend in your face or tag yourself with it. Stick to timeless terms (and just because something was cool in the 1940s and cool again does not mean it’s timeless).
Also, social media has ruined much of what we do behind the chair. When I started cutting hair, people came to me and trusted my technical skills and expertise, they wanted my advice on their hair and the expertise that I developed through the school and through my work in the salon was part of that, what made my time behind the chair valuable. Now there are charismatic amateurs on YouTube who tell the kids what to say to me to do a haircut (and most of it is wrong), and at first it was annoying, but now it’s sad because I see how The role changes career in the hair, too many haircutters think that it is “ego” to complement their expertise in this way. We would never see a Youtube video about the training so we could tell our coach how to give us the training we want, pay a trainer for his expertise, and tell him what we want. I see Instagrammer and YouTubers tell kids “just ask for a number 3 with 4 inches above” as if everyone has the same type of hair, the same texture, density, porosity, color and growth pattern. A trainer will say, “What do you want to do to improve your fitness?” And we trust that he knows where we are and gets where we want to be while not trusting our hairdressers and hairdressers in the same way But instead we want to call it out and ask why the hair does not lie down properly or stand up properly. There are a handful of people who understand how long your hair needs to be to bend back or stand up, or how short you can go without seeing skin – these handfuls of people are haircutters and they use that understanding to deal with your hair problems to solve.
Where do you get inspiration from?
True life. People who are not worried about “fashion” or trends. People who come to me with special requests for their hair to adapt it to their actual lifestyle, rather than requests that help them fit into a form that they have seen in a magazine. I do haircuts for this surfer kid and every time he comes in he tells me he wants to have hair that looks good straight out of the sea, so I leave his hair long enough to make it fit in a pleasing shape, but short enough that it does not get out of hand, and when he returns a few months later, he tells me where he’s having trouble and I’m getting used to it. When I look at a customer like that, the result always motivates me. It’s not about copying a trend or even making a trend, it’s about real life and making this guy’s hair look like HIS hair. Sometimes I get books with old photos of teenagers in the 50s and 60s just trying to rebel, but there was not a very standardized uniform for it yet. Such images inspire me because they do not try to duplicate this idealized version of the past, they’ve created it in their presence, and that’s something that seems so plastic and cheesy throughout the “neat” trend. I ask my customers what their hair is supposed to say about them, and many new customers are taken by surprise because they have only thought of being the cool model they follow Instagram.
How do you help customers find their best looks?
I think I answered the above. I do not let them say lengths or sizes, but instead I have a very down to earth conversation about what their hair should say about them, whether they want to look like they’ve woken up and put together very neatly with a fresh haircut, or if they want to look like they’ve woken up in a ditch and jumped on their bikes with too much cool stuff to worry about fixing their hair (but they also looked really cool by mistake). If you do not want that much of an overhaul, I ask you what you want, smooth it back, lie back gently, lie back, but are huge and have volume, tips, etc. Do you want the hair? hang or meddle on this page? Do you want it shiny and shiny or dull? Do you want to go through the whole day with your fingers or do you want to stick them? I try to give them as many options as possible, then I ask them what problems they have with their hair every day. They do not care how to get it there, I do it for them, then I teach them how to restore it later. If a client has a particularly unusual trait (low or wide parietal ridge, protruding or crooked occipital bone, receding corners, strong or unusual cowlicks), I will factor this into their final result, but first explain why they should stay here or there, to fix it, tell them what to expect if we cut it too short. In the end it’s their reputation, but at least I’ll do a fight before I let them do something that I know will not help them get the hair they want.
What can the boys do at home to create the fresh look of their hairdresser or hairdresser?
Ask your barber or hairdresser to teach you about your hair. Learn how to grow, where your natural part is, how to push your cowlick to lie down. It’s all different for everyone, and the professional behind you is the person who guides you through it. If you want to remove curls or waves, ask them to teach you to just blow dry your hair. If you want to add more volume, ask them to teach you to dry it. Cosmetologists usually have more experience in styling hair this way, but many hairdressers come to mind as the smooth looks reach critical mass and innovators venture into different looks. The bottom line is that the stunning images of hairstyles you see in ads and at IG are not the culmination of a perfect haircut and just the right product on the right head, but several minutes of expert hairstyling to get those results. and men are NOT incapable of learning this or using it themselves. I believe that the strange stigmata attached to men who really blow-dry and style their hair are the result of a flawed system in which the product companies seek to heal and the hairdressers want to make their best hairstyle. If you want expertly styled hair, ask the expert behind you in the salon or hair salon to teach you how to do it. I even give my hair dryer and brush to every customer who wants to be trained with it. These styling lessons are how I built my career and I believe that they are the most valuable thing a technician can offer to their customers.
What are the top hair trends for men this year?
That is hard to say. I definitely think that the wet and smooth looks go out. They came in quickly and I think that it is so easy because you can glue your hair with pomade. What I now see a lot are loose hairstyles, falling and flowing hair, hair with movement. I think natural textures will also be popular. I always say, “Here you can straighten your curls with a hair dryer,” but I think this year people will say, “No, I like my curls.” Growing in the pages has been growing in popularity, many of my clients have become they are tired of their transitions every 2 weeks (which is fun for some, but not for everyone). If you cut your pages long enough to lie down, then they look good for 6 weeks, but if you see a fade, it will look good for 2 weeks, then it sticks directly for 2 weeks before it lays down, and then the edges hang and messy. That may be a bold guess, but because much of what I saw became “disgusting” became a few years later (like the Mullet / Rattail trend around 2008), I really want to see heavy sides and neck. Almost like Han Solo or Christian Bale in American Psycho. Tom Cruise in the risky business. You know the hair that I’m talking about! People might make fun of you or mock you if you do that, and that’s what they do with the next big thing before they grow up. 🙂