Master barber Matthew Ketchum and stylist Nena Valentine of MR Barbers in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, are partners in and out of the shop to create the latest styles for Gen Z. Ketchum, a Gibs Grooming Ambassador, wields his clippers and razors for crisp cuts and designs while Valentine, in addition to cutting, caters to all the chemical services in the shop. Their Zoomers at home help keep them on trend with the latest styles.
“What’s old is new again,” says Ketchum. “The kids want styles reminiscent of the early 2000s. The wet mop or birdnest cut is a bit of a progression of the undercut with the volume on top.”
Valentine, who is naturally curly says, “It’s great seeing kids with natural texture embrace their curls. Finally, perms are making a comeback with kids wanting volume and texture on top to emulate heroes like quarterback Patrick Mahomes and footballer Marouane Fellaini. Our client wanted a perm and style he could have fun with.”
Wash hair with a clarifying shampoo. Make a horse shoe section on top along the parietal ridge. Valentine used white rods near the crown and purple rods on top and front. Saturate with a perm activator. After 20 minutes, rinse thoroughly with warm water for about five minutes, leaving rods in. Blot hair and rods with a dry towel. Apply neutralizer. Remove rods after five minutes and rinse with warm water. Do not shampoo for 72 hours.
Clip freshly permed hair out of the way for the sides and back to be cut. Start the fade with a #4 clip on an Andis Master clipper. Use an open clipper blade at the temple, cut with a C stroke to the other side. Taper to a closed clipper around the head using C strokes. Edge the perimeter with an Andis GTX trimmer. Finish cleaning the edges with a Gibs Shark Bite Razor. Ketchum etched a freestyle design along the side with his trimmer and sharpened the design with his razor.
To enhance freshly permed curls, flip head over and diffuse with the blow dryer for a few minutes. Cocktail Gibs hair pudding and hair gel to hydrate and hold curls. Do not wash permed hair for 72 hours.