"We see guys trending to tradition, so [...] guys are looking for simple and traditional surroundings." - J.P. Mastey

It's safe to say that there is an emerging segment of the men's market that is into all things influenced by the 50s and 60s. Don Draper has become an international sex symbol, tracks by bands like The Drums are getting some serious air time and the old school americana clothing trend doesn't seem to be fading out just yet. You may be wondering where all of these like minded men meet to discuss important matters and have a laugh? Well, certain entrepreneurs are hoping that it will be (like in the 50s) at the barbershop.

The metrosexual movement of the early 2000s taught men that it was ok for them to take care of themselves. In order to do so, men started buying a variety of beauty products and even went as far as to get pedicures and fake tans. Although some men continue following such procedures, others want to look after themselves in a more masculine way. Hence, the return of the barbershop.

Baxter of California, a company known for its premium mens grooming products, has recently opened a traditional barbershop in downtown Los Angeles. BAXTER FINLEY, Barber & Shop offers its customers basic haircuts and shaves and that's it. Nothing fancy. J.P Mastey, the president of Baxter, explains that their barbershop "...will not be a lounge, or a place to get spa services. We want to keep it simple and build a reputation for excellence in barbering and services." (Baxter Finley blog) They don't want to be the men's hair salon du moment. Baxter Finley wants to create a lasting impression. They're doing this by rethinking the old business model and paying attention to detail. The store layout and decor was carefully designed to create a rustic, authentic, and most importantly, masculine environment. A place run by men for men. Nothing was overlooked. Even the barbers' uniforms were reworked. Baxter Finley collaborated with Steven Alan to produce gingham shirts that are to be worn exclusively by its barbers.

Toronto has also experienced a boom in men's barbershops over the past few years. Blood & Bandages was one of the first on the scene. Roger Janes' small space, consisting of only two chairs, provides 70s Playboy magazines for customers to flip through and plays music by classic bands such as the Rolling Stones while patrons wait for a trim. Crow’s Nest Barbershop takes it a step further by offering its mostly male clientele a beer with every cut. Their 1950s style space has a jukebox blasting rock n' roll tunes, a retro cash register and old school skate decks hanging on the walls. Jon Roth, the owner of Crow's Nest, just wanted "...a place where you can come in and see other men, talk shit, have a drink, get a cut and feel like you have a place of your own." These servicescapes are the perfect places to (as they say in french) "se retrouver entre hommes".

Barbershops make customers feel comfortable. As I mentioned in my first post about the realness movement, in uncertain times people turn to what they know. In this case, they're turning to a tried and tested man's sanctuary. In a barbershop, men are cared for in a safe environment by someone they trust (a skilled barber). This sacred relationship is currently being rediscovered. Barbershops carry countless meanings and memories and therefore hold a special place in most mens' hearts. Even if you have never been to a barbershop, the barber’s pole is an internationally recognized symbol that is a part of most people's neighbourhoods. All they needed was an update. Barbershops are usually not aesthetically pleasing but this perception can and will change with reputable companies such as Baxter of California opening well designed ones. It's only a matter of time before the new age barbershop becomes the go-to hair cutting place for men.


"There's no such thing as bad publicity."

A lot of words come to mind when trying to describe Lindsay Lohan. Not a lot of them are positive. Just a few weeks ago it seemed as though she had hit rock bottom. I can't even remember the name of the last film she was in. But the future looks a bit better for this troubled celebrity. It has been announced that she will be cast to play the role of 70s pornography star, Linda Lovelace, in an upcoming biopic. This may be the last chance for Lindsay Lohan to get her act together and there are a few things she needs to consider in order to succeed.

Let's start things off by reinforcing a basic concept; CONTROVERSY is never a bad thing in the entertainment industry. People love troubled celebrities and what they love even more is a comeback story. Mariah Carey's and Britney Spears' careers have both proved that. No matter how much attention Lindsay Lohan has gotten for her stints in rehab, DUIs or lesbian phase her career will not be affected by it. These episodes will actually help her immensely because they will play a crucial part in the creation of her own fairy tale. She's experienced the rise and the fall. Now, she can either slowly fade away or work her way back to the top. The odds will be heavily against her but that's what will keep people interested. Celebrities' pasts are very quickly forgotten. Lindsay Lohan just has to help people forget by proving that she has talent.

While Lindsay Lohan has the general public's attention she has to make a few professional changes. The djing and singing careers have to end. She's not a musician and never will be. It's difficult to seem authentic when you're involved in too many artistic outlets. Gaining credibility in one field is already tough enough so why make it even harder on yourself? Lindsay Lohan also needs to be more selective when accepting magazine photoshoot deals. Her recent photoshoot for Muse magazine generated an overwhelmingly positive response but she ruined it by quickly appearing in a less than average Purple Fashion magazine cover story, followed by the previously mentioned Hollywood.tv photoshoot. By selecting her photoshoots more carefully it will help her turn her current desperate image into a provocative yet empowered one.

Now, this may sound surprising to some of you but Lindsay Lohan is a decent actor. She just has to focus on obtaining roles in edgier indie flicks. The Linda Lovelace biopic can be the perfect launch pad for this. It will be a challenging role due to the film's controversial subject matter and emotional complexity but this is her chance to prove her worth. A solid performance in this film could lead to other respectable roles. Lindsay Lohan should learn a few things from Joseph Gordon-Levitt's career path. He was also a child actor that most people remember for his role in 3rd Rock from the Sun. As an adult, he solidified his reputation as a talented actor by appearing in many independant films. He played troubled characters in movies such as Mysterious Skin and Brick and gained critical acclaim for these roles. Now he's appearing in more mainstream cinema ((500) days of summer) but is still widely respected. Lindsay Lohan has to move on from her child/teen film stage. It's time for her to wholeheartedly enter the independant film industry. Playing a troubled Linda Lovelace is a dream start.

Second chances don't come around very often so Lindsay Lohan needs to seize this opportunity. She was at the top of the entertainment world but has since spiraled out of control. She hasn't starred in a profitable film since 2004 (CBS). It's about time she worked her way back up. There will be moments when it will seem as though the entire world is against her but if she plays her cards right she could become a cool, sexy and respected actress. All the ingredients are there. It's just up to her not to mess it up.