Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Gifts for Men

When we first opened Truman's in May of 2006, we had no idea how important women were going to be to the success of our business.  To be fair, our ignorance can be forgiven due to the fact that Truman's is dedicated entirely to men.

From the moment the first 30-something woman strolled into the shop after her eye caught one of our Father's Day holiday package window signs, it hit me how big this was.  We had created a "gift" that women had been dying to give their guys - a good haircut.  The manicure was just icing on the cake - she would settle for the haircut.

In reality a lot of gifts that we give are a twinge self-motivated, particularly when the gift is intra-family.  Did my wife REALLY say she wanted a digital camera for her birthday or did I decide it was something she probably should have.  Did the fact that I was interested in that item enter my mind?

Far be it from me to complain, but I think there is a little of that going on when a woman buys a guy a Truman's gift package.  The big difference here - if you will allow me - is that the gift is not usually something the guy necessarily believes he actually needs until he comes in and gets some services.  And then he cannot believe what he was missing.  9 times out of 10 he is hooked.  And then perhaps she wonders if she as created a monster when the next year he actually know what he wants . . . a Truman's Membership!

For great gifts for  . .er. . .him, check out www.trumans-nyc.com/holiday_packages_2011.htm

Happy gift hunting and happy holidays.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Do The Right Thing [and you will have good customer service]

I am proud to say that we do not make too many major mistakes at Truman's, but I will also admit that we are not perfect.  Over the course of about 100,000 client visits / men's haircuts over 5.5 years, we have stained three shirts when a team-member was moving too fast and failed to fully remove some residual color chemicals from the wash sink.

The third incident was last week. Invariably, the client has no idea because the offending color stain is on the back of his shirt.  His stylist discovers the spot and then has the unenviable task of breaking the news to the client.  I happened to be at the front last Tuesday morning when this incident occurred.  For me, the answer was easy: Acknowledge the problem, apologize, and act.

In this case I told the client we would replace the shirt immediately.  He was very gracious about the entire situation and did decide to go out immediately to replace the shirt.  To complicate the situation slightly, he had just purchased a Truman's annual membership prior to his service!   In an attempt to minimize his inconvenience, I suggested he need not return with the receipt, but just call us to let us know the total amount that we should return to his credit card from his earlier membership purchase.

As it turned out, he returned 20 minutes later wearing a new Thomas Pink shirt.  It was a great shirt, but I did feel slightly awkward complementing him on his replacement choice.

His response caught me off guard.

"Thank you.  This is great customer service!"

Then it hit me.  In today's service economy, where good service is a real scarcity, the most important thing is simply to do the right thing.

 - Joe

Sunday, September 11, 2011

GOP Presidential Candidate Hair Swaps by The Huffington Post

Looks like someone at the Huffington Post is having fun with Photoshop.

The full slide show can be viewed via the link below:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

TONY Tests Man-Makeup

Posted by Melissa Colabella

Lauren Levinson of Time Out New York, with the help of a few TONY staffers, rates a handful of male cosmetics available on the market. Truman's carries two of these products in our retail area. Can you guess which ones? (HINT: It's not make-up! We think you should leave the eye-liner for your sister.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Caring For Your Gray Hair

By Melissa Colabella

More than 40% of Americans have gray hair before their 40th birthday.

There are multiple reasons for going gray, or shall we say, pigment-less. If you've ever plucked out one of your stray gray's you have seen that it's actually not gray at all, but a white hair that lacks pigment. The appearance of this white hair amongst a bundle of ashy brunette hair appears gray.

There are several ways of caring for the salt amongst your pepper.

    • "Gray" hair is usually more course than pigmented hair. Be sure to condition regularly and use a styling product containing moisture. Remember, if your hair is styled well, healthy and shiny, it will look great regardless. 
    • Neutralize tones with specialized shampoos. Silver shampoos contain blue-to- violet pigments to neutralize the tones on brassy, yellowed white hair. The sun acts like bleach, removing the blue molecules in the hair. Smoking, the water you shower with, and pollution can also be factors. Try Aveda's Blue Malva, L'Oreal's White Color Depositing Shampoo, Phyto's Phytargent Whitening Shampoo, or Clairol's Shimmer Lights to name a few. 
    • Speaking of smoking, don't smoke. If lung cancer wasn't enough to make you quit, be vain about it. Smoking greatly increases the likelihood and amount of graying
    • Don't color it yourself. The likelihood of choosing your own boxed "Just For Men" color to match your natural shade is as impossible as me becoming a professional NBA star. Blue-Black is not natural looking, and unless you are 100% white, you risk colorizing fiascoes when mixing pre-made shades with your natural remaining pigment. Ask you stylist for options. Coloring technology has evolved. You can chose temporary colors that wash out to avoid roots, or demi-permanent colors that translucently blend color into the white, making it less noticeable. Your stylist can also focus on sections such as your temples, leaving the majority, therefore coloring the hair gradually and preventing a shock response from everyone at your office. 

Truman's Turns 5!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Obama Gives Birth To A New Type of Swagger

Taken from MariaShriver.Com

Is The Model of Masculinity Changing In America? By Maria Shriver

Got Me Thinking: Is the Model of Masculinity Changing in America?

By Maria Shriver
CNN's John Blake analyzed "What 'Situation Room Photo' reveals about us" from many cultural angles, but I was struck most by what the photo might say about the evolving model of masculinity in America.
This excerpt got me thinking:
American presidents have traditionally sold themselves as our alpha male. Theodore Roosevelt went safari hunting; Ronald Reagan cleared brush at his ranch in a cowboy hat; George W. Bush did his "Top Gun" imitation when he donned a flight suit on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
"There's a certain kind of machismo and swagger that Americans expect their president to reflect," says Clarence Lusane, author of "The Black History of the White House."
Projecting that presidential swagger was so powerful that it obscured some presidents' serious illnesses, such as President Franklin Roosevelt's polio and Kennedy's hobbling assortment of ailments, including a bad back, Lusane says.
"They were both very ill. Kennedy could barely stand for two hours. But they never let those images out because they had to project toughness. Obama, though, is a different animal." The photo shows why.
If someone didn't know who Obama was, he or she probably couldn't tell that he was the president in the room, some scholars say.
"He's not in the tallest chair," says Brown, the sociology professor at Meredith College. "He's not the center of attention. He's not even in the middle of the room."
Yet Obama's willingness to be photographed without the typical Oval Office swagger gives birth to a new type of swagger, says Contee of Jack & Jill Politics.
She says that photo shows Obama's self-assurance and leadership style. He seeks out the opinions of his advisers. He believes in collaboration -- all while he's taking down the baddest terrorist on the planet. He doesn't need to wear a "Top Gun" flight jacket to project strength, she says.
I've been wondering recently whether we are at a transformational moment in American culture as it relates to our expectations of men, our views on manhood, and our definitions of masculinity. This description of President Obama's "leadership style" bears some of those tensions out.
I'm fascinated that President Obama has been able to "project strength" in a way that is authentic to himself without having to imitate traditional "alpha male" models.
So, what do you think: Is the model of masculinity changing in America? Who do you think are some of the new masculine role models? And how are we defining masculinity differently today?
If you don't think there has been a cultural shift, what expectations do we still place on our male leaders and is President Obama living up to them?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

European Hair

By Melissa Colabella

When I was styling hair in Michigan, clients would frequently ask me, "what's the style like in NY?" In the suburbs of Detroit, there are polar opposites in race but a somewhat unvarying cultural demographic. Unlike the fairly small town of Royal Oak, hair styling in this melting pot of a city is multi-dimensional and multi-cultural. With the varying ethnicity's that live here, self expression comes slicked, textured, cropped, coiffed, colored, tousled, braided and buzzed.
I always wondered how homogeneous hairstyling could be in a country with virtually one ethnic group. On a recent trip to Europe, I checked out the styles in cities that weren't multi-cultural. Here's what came up.

Venice Italy:

Longish, slicked back and very traditionally European. This waiter was very proud of his hair and exhibited no hesitation when I asked to take his photo. In fact, he was curious to know why I didn't want to take more pictures.

Luzerne, Switzerland:

I was hard pressed to find a gentleman who agreed to having me photograph him, so I decided to capture these images the sneaky way... by sitting on the front steps of Deutsche Bank and photographing people secretly. There is a uniform aesthetic in Swiss men. Most gentleman in that city were tall, tanned, and noticeably athletic, even with their cigarette in hand. Most men wore their hair tightly cropped. 

Munich, Germany:

The young Germans love their highly textured, medium length, trendy styles. Most German men wore their hairstyles proudly, regardless of whether it was short, long, casual, or overdone. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

When Dandruff Shampoos Don't Work

By Melissa Colabella

No matter how amazing your haircut is, the noticeable flakes falling off of your scalp will unfortunately be the only thing that people notice. If you experience "the flakes", perhaps this post will help.

Dandruff is caused by a fungus called Tinea Versicolor, and most medicated shampoos, such as Head & Shoulders and Selsun Blue, are designed to treat this fungus. But what if you've used several "dandruff" shampoos and the flakes are still an issue? Perhaps it's not dandruff.

Scalp Psoriasis and Dermatitis of the Scalp are two very common skin conditions. Scalp Psoriasis is similar to psoriasis that would appear anywhere else on the skin although it's much more difficult to treat, seeing that you can't wear ointments and heavy creams on your scalp during the day. It can feel itchy or sore, appear white, crusty, or scaly, and can bleed when removed. Dermatitis of the Scalp is usually defined as red, greasy skin covered by white or yellow scales.

Treatments to these conditions are similar. Over the counter medicated shampoos, such as T-Gel or Nizoral, may relieve some of the inflammation. Look for products containing ketoconazole, tar, or salicylic acid. Also, your physician can prescribe an oral medication or steroids if needed.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bridget Brennan's Mencyclopedia

Post by Melissa Colabella

Blame it on society, hormones, or the way we utilize the left-hand corner of our hippocampus. Whatever science or theory lies behind the reasoning, one thing is for certain - men and women think differently and it is often a struggle trying to decode the opposite gender.

Bridget Brennan is the CEO of Female Factor and author of "Why She Buys", the book from where I took this excerpt. She has pioneered business strategies that appeal to women consumers and worked with many of the world's largest companies to put those strategies into practice. She has put together a  glossary of terms in her "Mencyclopedia" to help men in corporate America decode women's speech. It helps serve as a translation guide in "how to speak female". After countless conversations with male clients I thought sharing a few may be relevant, if not entertaining.

Black Pants: The perfect pair is always elusive, but once found, it can magically make hundreds of outfits out of whatever else is hanging in our closet. Our lives are incomplete without the right pair. These magic pants can take us from day to evening, make us look sleek with a tailored jacket, and are always slimming enough to attract compliments that we will modestly deflect.

Breast Implants: We women can usually tell who's got them. Upon spotting fake breasts, we typically feel one or more of the following contradictory emotions: fascination, fury, jealousy, admiration, disgust, love, and hate for our own flawed but natural scoops of flesh.

Chardonnay: This is the default drink for any social occasion, serving several purposes for females: first, ordering it sounds feminine (men are rarely overheard ordering chardonnay); second, it keeps your teeth from turning gray like the tastier reds do; and finally, no one can accuse you of being a sleazy alcoholic if all you're drinking is chardonnay.

Empowered: A word men don't often find occasion to use. Women tend to use it quite a bit, especially in business and almost always in reference to decision-making power. Not to be confused with empanada, which is a very tasty Mexican pastry

Investment Purchase: Women will often use this term to justify an exorbitant fashion purchase. But an investment is something that increases in value. When was the last time you went to a consignment store and saw something that's more expensive now than it was originally? (If you're a man, you've probably never been to a consignment store.) The answer is never. It's just a phrase that helps justify an expensive purchase.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Yale University Uncovers the 'Self-Esteem' Impact of a Bad Hair Day

By Melissa Colabella

Yale University did a study sponsored by Physique, a hair care line from Proctor and Gamble, about the impact on our self-esteem if we have a "bad hair day." Both men and women felt similar insecurities.

The three take-aways from the study were:

1) Bad hair lowers self-esteem regarding performance. "The perception of bad hair leads to a reduced sense of performance self-esteem. Just the thought of a bad hair day caused both men and women to feel that they are not as smart as others. Surprisingly, the impact was more pronounced among men.

2) Bad hair increases social insecurity.  "Women tend to feel more disgraced, embarrassed, ashamed or self-conscious.  Men feel more nervous, less confident, and are inclined to be less social."

3) Bad hair intensifies self-criticism. "Evidence shows that bad hair causes one to be more negative about oneself."

From PostSecret.com

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Miraculous Non-Makeup For The Morning After

Posted by Melissa Colabella

There have been "mornings-after" when I have had to generously apply my under-eye makeup in order to conceal the prior night's sleep deprivation and have often thought, perhaps because I work on solely men, of the horror that would ensue if I were ever to show my naked, make-up barren face if, by ways of cosmic mix-up, I happened to be a guy. When I came across this non-Truman's product, I thought L'Oreal's marketing team are beyond genius for filling this men's product void.

The Men's Expert Hydra-Energetic Ice Cold Eye Roller was designed as a "refreshing wake-up call" for men who want to "dissolve signs of fatigue like dark under-eye circles and puffiness."

"Action 1: Anti-dark circles. Oil - Free Peptide-Complex with vitamin C and caffeine to help reduce the look of dark circles. 
Action 2: Anti-bags. A cooling, massaging effect provides de-puffing action for under-eye bags. 

Visible Results: Reduced bags and dark circles for a wide awake look, day after day. Ophthalmologist tested for safety. With the Active Defense System, this powerful, soothing formula helps strengthen your skin's natural defense against daily aggressions."

I just wish I had thought of it first.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

AM New York features Truman's Gentleman's Groomers

Posted by Melissa Colabella

We are proud to have participated in AM New York's recently published article discussing "Wedding Prep for Grooms". 

To read the full article:

How to Avoid Ingrown Hairs While Shaving by the GiltManual

To read the full article:
How to Avoid Ingrown Hairs While Shaving by the GiltMANual

Here's a new article by writer Hamish Anderson. He forgot to consult us for our expert opinion but we'll let this one slide since the article is still on point.

Monday, January 31, 2011

How To Apply Product - A Tutorial From Aveda

Posted by Melissa Colabella

Have you had a hard time recreating the hair style that you left the salon with? Aveda came out with a great tutorial offering application tips to make your mornings less stressful. 

We don't offer Aveda products at our salon, but we do have a wide array of products for all hair types and textures. Be sure you consult with your stylist during your next visit. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Patrick Bateman Looks Like Jesus

By Melissa Colabella

The original title of this blog post was going to be "Make Up or Make Under?" but I didn't think it would catch your attention as much as the winning title did. This post isn't exactly about Christian Bale, although his look qualifies for the 'make under' category these days. He has come a long way from his infamous leading role as Pat Bateman in American Psycho; a character whose hair-style has become iconic, and one I still get requests for.

Despite those requests, the un-kept look is still winning over the trendsters these days - in NY at least. Was it the recession that caused men's grooming trends to go from metro-sexual to retro-sexual? Or were men just fed up of trying to live up to the stereo-type? 

Men's fashion has become a bit more glamorous with an increasing desire for tailoring and accessories (see the Gilt MANual's suggestion for essential hosiery) while men's grooming has become a bit more lax. 

Please comment on this post and give us your feedback on why turning down an eye-brow trim, or any other subjectively required 'manscaping' is considered over-styling.

Truman's Demonstrates at PROJECT in Soho

Truman's demonstrates at PROJECT in Soho this year. The show featured a mix of contemporary menswear emerging brands including apparel, accessories and footwear.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year, New Hairstyle

By Melissa Colabella

Happy New Year! January is a great time to give yourself motivation to start fresh. We all set goals for ourselves, whether personal or professional, and sometimes these goals are image related. It's no surprise that gyms are packed in January, proving that improving one's self image still makes the resolution list.

If you're have considered changing more than your physique, or are just bored with your look and ready for a change, here are a few ideas for updating your hairstyle in 2011.

If you wear your hair long all over,

consider wearing it long with layers.

If you wear is classic, and parted to the side a la Don Draper,

consider cropping the sides shorter than usual for a more metropolitan look.

If you have been wearing the faux-hawk,

the style can easily convert to a messy and tousled look by switching product and squaring off the length on top:

If you have been wearing your hair gelled and spiky,

try messing it up with texture cream instead for an entirely different look.

If you're more of a "bridge and tunnel" kind of guy,

we suggest keeping it low maintenance.

And if you've been seeing the same incompetent barber for years, consider making an appointment at Truman's :)