SUMMER SUN: WHY YOU NEED A SPF THAT WILL PROTECT YOU DURING THE DOG DAYS SUMMER

A “beach bod” and a killer tan is the key to owning  summer months, no matter where you are or what you are doing. However, does anyone really know what is happening to our bodies, specifically our skin, when we are exposed to UVA /UVB rays?  Sarah Healy, a licensed esthetician and the manager at Baxter Finley Barber & Shop, breaks down what sun exposure does to the skin and how our SPF 15 Oil Free Moisturizer is the key to protect your skin against harmful rays wherever you are vacationing this summer.

What does sun exposure do to your skin?

SH: The sun is the number 1 aging factor for men’s skin and appearance.  It can dehydrate the skin, which keeps it in an unhealthy state of constant repair mode. If you were born with less melanin, known as skins natural SPF, you are at a higher risk for sun-damaged skin.  The sun actually damages fibers in the skin causing it to become thinner, which makes it stretch easier without returning to its smooth state as fast.

What are common symptoms of sun damages skin?

SH: Freckles, brown spots, broken capillaries, and a rough leathery texture and look to the skin. Overtime, after years of exposure, you skin can damage so severely that you will look older. However, most of this is preventable if you actually take your skin care routine seriously.

What are UVA / UVB rays and what do they do to your skin?

SH: UVA rays are the “aging” rays.  They penetrate deep into the dermis and cause damage below the skins surface.  These rays can penetrate deeply and damage the skin without us even knowing they are present.  UVB rays are the “burning” rays.  They don’t penetrate the skin as deep, but they do cause the production of melanin (tan) and cause more surface damage to the skin.  They are the rays responsible for the sunburns we get from too much time at the beach.

What does SPF do for the skin?

SH: SPF can be a physical or chemical barrier that protects the skin from harmful rays depending on which ingredients are used.  It begins working the second it’s applied to the skin and works by deflecting or blocking the sun’s rays.  Think of surfers with white cream on their noses.   Chemical sunscreens are what most daily sunscreens are made up of.   They work by absorbing the sun’s harmful rays.   They have a thinner consistency, making the easier to apply and less noticeable but they need to be applied at least 15 minutes prior to sun exposure so they have enough time to work.

What makes the SPF 15 Oil Free Moisturizer such a great product?

SH: It’s lightweight, easy to apply and doesn’t leave the skin looking or feeling greasy.  It absorbs into the skin and won’t make the skin break out. Not to mention it provides all the nutrients and vitamins that our Oil Free Moisturizer does with the additional benefit of the SPF that protects from UVA/UVB rays.

How to work the SPF 15 into your skin care routine?

SH: As I mentioned before in a previous interview, for those with dryer skin, it’s best used AFTER a moisturizer is applied.  Normal to oily skin, it’s best used as your moisturizer.  It will always be the LAST product applied in any skincare routine so that you can lock all moisture in your skin. I would suggest using the SPF 15 Oil Free Moisturizer if you are going to be outside at various parts throughout the day, or as a base if you intend on being outside for most of the day for work or pleasure.

For more grooming tips, visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com in addition to following us @baxterofca.

EDUCATING MEN ON “ANTI-AGING” YOUR SKIN

The importance of anti-aging creams and a robust, daily skin care routine is stressed upon and utilized by many women, simply because they have been educated on it. They know the best anti-aging creams, and use them not preventatively but proactively. However, the same cannot be said for the skin care routine of most men because they have not been made aware the importance and healthy value in taking care of their skin with a daily routine. Sarah Healy, a licensed esthetician and the manager at Baxter Finley Barber & Shop, along with Ananda Tunez, the Baxter Finley’s primary esthetician, have seen it all when it comes to bad men’s skin care routine and we sat down with them to finally bring education for men’s skin care, straight from the pros.

What types of skin aging signs are men prone too?

SH: Crow’s feet and wrinkled foreheads are the biggest issues I see with men.  Of course, they too get the dark spots, but the rough skin from years of neglect and the crow’s feet around the eyes are always the first, and most common aging signs that I see.

What are the causes?

SH: Most men lack the knowledge of basic skincare. For women, it is much easier.  We have hundreds of eye creams and moisturizers along with even make-up foundations that include sunscreen, men do not. Men have not been taught to use sunscreen, a moisturizer, or eye cream on a daily basis.

AT: Easy answer: the sun. UVA and UVB rays from the sun penetrate the outer and inner layers of the skin, damaging and destroying skin cells.   A tan, while considered ‘healthy looking’ is actually a sign that your skin cells have been damaged. This will cause signs of aging (i.e. crow’s feet, leathery skin texture, brown spots) and in some more serious instances the risk of melanoma.

When do these typically start in men?

AT: Usually late 20s and up.   You can compare two 30-something year old men; one who tans/gets sun exposure and one who doesn’t, and the latter would most likely look around 5 years younger.

How does the role of a skin care routine help combat these typical aging symptoms?

SH: Teaching men to start taking care of their skin at an earlier age would definitely help.  A revamped skincare routine, anti-aging creams, moisturizers, SPF moisturizers, etc. will not have much impact on already deeply wrinkled skin, from years on not taking care of it. Even if you have naturally perfect skin now, you need to understand that without a healthy, DAILY skincare (toners, face washes, facial scrubs) it will not last forever!

AT: It is all about getting into good habits with good products. When you use cleanse and moisturize daily, you are feeding your skin with nutrients that build healthy cells.  The ingredients (Coconut oil, Vitamins A/C/E, AHA/BHA, Green Tea) that are in face washes and moisturizers, not only make the skin look and feel younger but they fight free radicals (damaging effects of the environment, including the sun).

What daily/weekly routine would you suggest to guys?

SH: It can be different for everyone, depending on your skin type, but I would suggest the following:

  • A FACE wash (not soap) that does not strip the skin of all its natural oils.
  • A Toner to restore the skins natural barrier for protection.
  • A facial cleanser at least once a week.
  • A good eye cream to reduce puffiness and wrinkles around the eyes.
  • A moisturizer for the day that, depending on your lifestyle, can have SPF in it.
  • A repairing or anti-aging moisturizer at night.

AT: Wash 2x a day, moisturize 2x a day (SPF in the morning, anti-aging at night), exfoliate up to 3x a week (exfoliation removes dead skin cells exposing fresh, new healthy cells. That way, when you moisturize, you are not wasting on dead skin cells), eye cream 2x a day, lip balm throughout the day when needed and toner can be added after washing 2x a day as an additional way to keep skin balanced.

What do you love about the Super Shape Skin Recharge Cream, our anti-aging moisturizer?      

SH: I love that it is free of aroma, lightweight, and doesn’t leave the skin feeling greasy.  And last but not least, I love that it has real anti-aging ingredients (Apricot Oil, Caffeine, Vigna Extract, Soy Protein) that help keep men looking younger.

What role does it play in helping combat anti-aging signs?

SH: The glycerin in the formula helps to hydrate the skin which plumps fine lines and leaves a slight “glow” to the skin that makes the skin look and feel healthy.

What are some key ingredients and what do they do for the skin? 

SH: Caffeine is great to reduce puffiness, especially after a night of little sleep or a dinner of Chinese food!

AT: Vitamins A, E and green tea fight free radicals and promote healthy skin cell growth.

What are some other products that you can use that help with aging symptoms?

SH: Eye cream for sure, which helps with the crow’s feet and puffiness around the eyes. Herbal Mint Toner and Facial Scrub to get rid of the dead skin cells that dull the look and feel of skin. Finally, for the daytime hours, the SPF 15 Oil Free Moisturizer provides hydration and protection.

AT: The area around the eyes tend to show first signs of aging because the skin is thin and is damaged in a shorter amount of time Skin there, without proper care, loses elasticity (sagging), develops brown spots (sun damage), and wrinkles. The best eye creams will help fight all of these common issues.

For more grooming tips, visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com in addition to following us @baxterofca.

How to Get a Barbershop Quality Shave at Home

There is nothing quite like a barbershop shave – it is a great way to relax, and having your mug scraped by a professional barber can yield smooth, long lasting results.  But, did you know you can create a barbershop quality shave at home?  It’s easier than you think with our three-step process.  Here’s how:

STEP 1: PREP

This is the area where most of us guys skimp, but properly preparing the skin is the most important step in getting a smooth, irritation-free shave.  I recommend shaving at the end of a shower as the hot water will soften the beard, cleans the skin, and open the pores.  If you are shaving at the gym or don’t have time for a shower, apply a warm, wet towel to the face for a few minutes beforehand (a few spritzes of Shave Tonic on a wet towel, or on the face with eyes close, will help open the pores and wake you up).

David Alexander, Baxter Finley Barber & Shop expert barber

After your shower or hot towel treatment, apply Super Close Shave Formula, which provides excellent lubrication and will prevent razor drag.  Shaving cream is best applied with a shaving brush, which will help soften and lift the beard and lightly exfoliate the skin.  Place a pea-sized amount of shaving cream deep in the center of your brush and give it a light squeeze to set the cream in the brush.  Wet the brush with hot water and apply shaving cream to your face in a circular motion.

For those trying to save a couple minutes in the morning, use our new gel, the Beard Line-Up Shave Gel. Great for a full shave, doing a beard clean up, or trying to touchup their side burns / neckline, it provides excellent lubrication and its clear formula will allow you to see where you are shaving.

STEP 2: SHAVE

Always use a clean, fresh blade when you shave.   For this task, we recommend the traditional Baxter of California Safety Razor, which includes Derby Extra Sharp Stainless Steel Blades.  This double-edge razor gives a super smooth shave with less irritation.  Most cartridge razors are designed for the everyday shave that save time, but the double-edge razor is perfect for getting a close shave with less irritation, but remember to take your time with it and enjoy the ritual!

Start by holding the skin taut with your free hand and shaving in the direction the hair grows.  Use a light pressure and short strokes, rinsing the blades often.  One common mistake most of us guys make is using too much pressure, so go lightly and let the weight of the razor do the work.  If you require a closer shave, re-lather and shave very lightly against the grain.

After shaving, rinse your face with cool water to close the pores and cool the skin (a cool towel with a few sprays of Shave Tonic works wonders here).  If you nick yourself, apply a moist alum block to the area to stop any bleeding.

Be sure rinse your razor and brush well and hang your brush with the bristles facing downward (this will allow the brush to dry properly and preserve the life of your brush).

TIP: For those with less time in the morning, use our new Cartridge Razors. Available in Three and Five Blades, these razors feature a light weight high-grade black resin handle and skin guarded blades that stretch and prep skin for a close, smooth shave. They are great for a full shave or quick face, neck and scalp touchups.

STEP 3: PROTECT AND FINISH

Properly protecting the skin after shaving is important to reduce irritation, restore moisture, and keep that mug of yours looking young!  After shaving, apply After Shave Balm, which will cool and soothe the skin, and keep razor burn at bay.  Before you leave home, we recommend a light application of Oil Free Moisturizer to restore moisture and keep your skin looking healthy. If your day will be spent outside, switch it up and use the SPF 15 Oil Free Moisturizer to protect your skin from harmful UVA / UVB rays.

Many guys see shaving as a chore, but at Baxter we see shaving as a ritual that should be embraced and enjoyed.  This is your time!  A quiet time to be left alone with your thoughts and prepare mentally for the day.  Use it to your advantage.  Those quite moments are few and far between these days, so we can’t think of a better way to start a day than by taking a few moments to enjoy a barbershop quality shave at home.

For more grooming tips, visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com in addition to following us @baxterofca.

The Instinctual Process of Creation – The Artist Subculture of LA

For Natural Born Artists, There’s Only One Sustainable Option—A Life Lived True

If you visualize life as an inspired canvas, you can paint in any strokes you see fit, be it free-forming color, shades of gray or splashed brilliance. When you hold the brush with confidence and bravely let it speak from the heart, the inevitable creation of your own personal truths will surface.

“I definitely feel like I can be more of an individual here, which I haven’t felt in New York or Boston or anywhere else really,” says Rebecca, an artist who’s found home inside Los Angeles’ unique and flourishing creative community. “It’s really big, but there’s a lot of space to be filled.”

Perhaps that’s because diversity is a way of life in the City of Angels. What sets you apart is not a source of shame, but something to be embraced, nurtured and explored. The members of this artistic collective are categorically unable to be anybody but themselves, which is a beautiful thing. Their brand of self-possessed conviction makes LA a mecca for these resilient and resourceful dreamers. For humans, like Rebecca, who can’t help but be artistic.

Don’t mistake their cerebral demeanor for timidity, these risk takers are forces to be reckoned with, inevitably drawn to their creative craft, and capable of expressing meaning with every step they take. By trusting the passion of their inner voices, artists in this supportive community often give their souls articulation through a variety of mediums.

Think Miranda July, an award-winning filmmaker, author, musician and actor. Her participatory art speaks volumes in a multitude of imaginative languages.  And by refusing to put boundaries on her freedom of expression, her creative voice becomes filled with insight inaccessible through ordinary means.

The same can be said of creative vortex Andy Warhol, who infused everything he put his mind to with wonder, and whose art invited a shift of perspective for an entire generation. By unabashedly being true to himself, he continues to inspire others in the artistic subculture to pursue that which fills their lives with meaning.

“Be yourself,” Rebecca explains. “I think people really appreciate individualism, and it’s rare, but if you are your authentic self, then no one can ever copy that.”

This frame of reference seeps into their external manifestations of selfcare, be it in their sense of style, which is singular, often an extension of their art, and can include a “signature” look. Whether it’s how they wear their hair, an accessory, or if they cover their skin with ink, their appearance is a direct reflection of their sensibilities. It’s thoughtfully thoughtless, as cutting-edge barber Julius “Julius Cesar” Arriola aptly surmises: “Today’s visual artists deliver a confident look. They choose to be different without forcing it too heavy.”

Whether hosting art shows in downtown lofts near Little Tokyo or browsing the collections at LACMA, MOCA or the Getty Center, this community folds into the fabric of Los Angeles seamlessly. And with free admission and an avant-garde program of films, music and dance that includes conversations between artists of differing specialties, the Broad Museum is helping to curate this next generation of creatives.

Meanwhile, for those who prefer to head outdoors for their inspiration, they need look no further than Echo Park Lake and its blossoming fountains and lotus flowers. The revived boathouse, now home to locally-sourced and sustainable Beacon Café, provides nourishment, like green eggs and spam, that is as inventive and out of the box as the community it feeds.

“Everybody here has their own unique style, which I love,” says Rebecca. “I think people in LA are more open to new ideas, the kinds of ideas that eventually migrate to other cities.”

To join us on this exploration of LA’s subcultures, visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com in addition to following us @baxterofca.

Idiosyncrasies Give Rise to the Individual – The Indie Subculture of LA

Shift Your Focus and Discover LA’s Inimitable Indie Subculture

When the destination is a Life Lived True, what’s important isn’t how you choose to get there, because the ends will create the means. A distinct path will emerge, one in which being yourself is the only option. For native Angeleno Alex, how he expresses himself can vary from day to day—his individuality defies rules of gender, race and age. As an embodiment of the city’s indie spirit, he’s driven by a constant influx of inspiration and a down-for-whatever attitude that promises to keep things interesting.

He finds his true north by trusting his gut—and like other members of his Los Angeles subculture, he’s learned to lean into instinct and let it guide his path of creative righteousness. Forget the past, don’t worry about the future, be present in the here and now and listen to what your heart is telling you is authentic.

“Be true to yourself,” he explains of his life’s philosophy. “Really know the space that you cut out in the universe, and build and define what that is, and yourself.”

By refusing to wear a mask like all the world’s a stage, those who find respite inside this community embody an imaginative totality that finds expression through myriad channels, be it the written word, musicality or even modeling. Trends fall to the periphery, which is often where you’ll find these individuals most comfortably relaxing—on the fringe, outside the mainstream.

Like David Bowie, these modern bohemians are artistic chameleons, accessing whatever form of expression best represents their current state of mind. For the experimental glam rocker, this flowed from music to art to design and theatre. The same holds true for Twiggy, who genderlessly  transitioned between modeling, acting and singing. Without pretense, they let their individuality reign supreme, unafraid of the should’ve, would’ve and could’ve.

Their external also avoids conformity, erring towards what is sleek, dimensional and clean. There is no right or wrong way to look, there is only what feels genuine, regardless of categories like male or female. The way they take care of their body, skin and hair echoes these sentiments—make up for men, cropped bobs for women—traditional dictates of sex need not apply.

“The resurgence of longer hairstyles for men have been quite evident, and feeling like a rockstar has always held its place in prevalence in this subculture,” says Julius “Julius Caesar” Arriola, an artistic leader in the barbering industry. “The Manchester Shag immediately yells out leather jackets and indie shows. This amazing cut is meant to look free of worry, but with ideal attention to minuscule detail.”

After fueling up on coffee and inventive fare at Silver Lake’s hipster café Sqirl, or perhaps Venice’s modern deli Gjusta, these twenty-first century hippies may pass by a local weed dispensary on their way to venues like the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. With a calendar as eclectic as their interests, the multipurpose location features music shows, readings and conversations between established artists, with chill, people-watching poolside hangs available in between the inspiration.

Possessing the wherewithal and confidence to be yourself is always a flattering look, and by opening themselves up to the infinite, those who find themselves inside this “outside” Los Angeles subculture know no bounds. Others may not always be able to understand or relate to what drives those of the indie community to act, feel and be, but their actions will always push upwards from a bedrock of pure, beautiful individuality.

To join us on this exploration of LA’s subcultures, visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com in addition to following us @baxterofca.

Expressions of a Life Lived True – The Music Subculture of LA

The Rhythm of LA’s Music Community Beats Strong

We believe in originality, and we believe that when you are the truest version of yourself you will be unquestionably authentic. But we also believe in looking to our predecessors for inspiration and as a means to better understand the trajectory of human nature. Such is the plight of the musician, writing novelty and keeping it fresh, while also giving a nod to their peers who are walking alongside them, and to the powerful icons who have already made their way down this path less traveled.

With a language all their own, that others can hear but not necessarily speak, music artists form an extraordinary Los Angeles subculture. They give voice to their generation, to our shared humanity, and create the priceless soundtrack to our existence. They bring the sound, light and energy of our insides to our outsides, and in doing so bear an often overlooked burden of our world—expression.

“You have to have an open mind and just dive in,” says Rodney, who’s been making tunes since he was 16 years old. He grew up around the country, but at heart he’s a family man, with his throwback style a hat tip to his grandfather, and his fondest memories harkening back to family reunions in Oklahoma.

While the personalities to be found within his community—from rock and pop to rap and country—couldn’t be more diverse, what brings them together is a shared understanding of, and respect for, each of their genres’ histories. They may be creating sounds and poetry about their own personal experiences, heartbreaks and triumphs, but not without the acknowledgement of those who came before them.

And not without the confidence to look to one another for inspiration. “Moving around, moving out here, was scary, but there’s a sense of people encouraging you on,” Rodney recounts. “There’s always going to be someone to help you, and that’s a beautiful thing about California.”

Rodney calls the city of Los Angeles the “big leagues,” and that’s because it’s home to landmark venues like the Henry Fonda Theatre, the Troubadour, the Roxy, the Hollywood Bowl, the Palladium and the Greek Theatre. The list goes on and on, with each location embodying an oral history fluent in the dynamics of this subculture.

Some artists, like Beyoncé, harness their lyrics to create a shame-free, hear-me-roar space within which to articulate what is habitually left unsaid—the struggles of motherhood, infidelity and gender. Others, like Jimi Hendrix, become masters of their instruments. His innate talent coupled with unerring dedication allowed him to create a new and richer vocabulary for the electric guitar, one which empowered him to give voice to the zeitgeist of the 60s.

Like the microphones they hold, musicians are conduits for feelings, creating, connecting and reflecting the popular culture. Their appearance is a part of their sound, a part of their performance, and feeds into this powerful demonstration of emotion. The manner by which they groom and the care they take with their appearance helps create a persona they don as a means of expression. As 16-year barbering innovator Julius “Julius Caesar” Arriola puts it, “As a musician, it’s important to find inspiration from the legendary forefathers of the game, and innovate new waves for today’s era. This pertains not only through developing sounds, but custom-tailored imagery as well, even with the choice of hairstyle.”

To join us on this exploration of LA’s subcultures, visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com in addition to following us @baxterofca.

Virtuosity of Persistence – The Skate Subculture of LA

Skateboarding Is About Taking a Deep Breath and Exhaling Into Your True Self

If the spirit of Southern California were to be distilled into an object, it’s not hard to imagine it being a skateboard. The pastime was born and bred on the streets of Los Angeles, and is as indigenous to the region as the state flower’s bright orange poppies that spring up between cracks in the sidewalk.

For Los Angelenos, skateboarding is more than a sport, more than a pastime and much more than a means of getting from point A to B. It’s an entire culture, populated by youthfully-spirited humans chasing the essence of freedom while trying to land their next trick.

Whether determinedly pounding the pavement to master a new skill, or cheering on friends from the sidelines, skateboarders like Alex are all about comradery. He understands the talent, drive and persistence required in a way that outsiders simply can’t fathom. And this city’s good vibes and positive energy have given him the opportunity to pursue his passion in an unprecedented fashion.

“Skating has just become such an important part of my life that I don’t think I could live without it,” he explains. “It’s like a lens that once you look through, you can’t see the world any other way.”

He’s learned that heart, authenticity and intuition are key to thriving and earning the respect of his fellow skateboarders. This resilient yet laid-back subculture has an everything goes mentality. The focus required to execute and land a challenging trick keeps practitioners in the here and now—it’s all about the present moment.

Eric Koston, for his innovation and clean style; LA native Paul Rodriguez, whose turned this city into a personal playground; and Tommy Guerrero, for his easy-to-watch rhythm that is an extension of the jazzy and free-forming music he writes, are a few of the abundant skateboarding icons of this community. With personalities as divergent as their approach, what brings these visionaries together is their fearlessness and their ability to take a fall, get back up and keep on going.

“You have to be down to eat shit and you have to be down to fail,” Alex echoes.

For the skateboarding community, their outward appearance is a direction reflection of their inner workings. There isn’t right or wrong way to groom, there is only being true to yourself, whether that translates into a shaved head or long dreadlocks. It’s about ease, going with the flow and being comfortable in your own skin.

With Venice as its birthplace and constant companion, the streets are the ultimate home of skateboarders, who visualize and use the terrain like no one else. They see potential where others see a bench; they see obstacles to manipulate where others see a wall. When it’s time to take a break, you can find them spinning their wheels at Swingers Diner near Fairfax Boulevard and iconic skate store Supreme, or at Pizzanista in downtown LA, where legends like Steve Berra, Rob Dyrdek and Keith Hufnagel originally set up shop.

“It’s like we are worried about this outside appearance and putting up this wall of who we have to be to be accepted,” said Austin, a local skater descendant from an original Z-Boy. “It’s BS. Just be true to yourself and not try to be someone else, because it’s just a waste of a life.”

To join us on this exploration of LA’s subcultures, visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com in addition to following us @baxterofca.

 

Boldly Conceding to Friction – The Surf Culture of LA

Surfing’s State of Flow Sets the Tone for a Life Lived True

There’s an inescapable ebb and flow to life, and for some humans, the pull of this current is so strong it becomes a part of the very essence of their soul. They find themselves drawn to the sea, where nature’s pulse beats strongest and the cyclical orbit of our existence is most evident.

A surfer by any other name, these salt-water explorers innately understand the yin and yang of our earth, internalizing this philosophy within their character. While simultaneously thirsting to discover the next wave, what matters isn’t how they get there, but that the ride be a worthwhile adventure. Their respect for nature and fellow surfers translates into a sense of peace with themselves and their environment. It’s an open-ended frame of reference that enables this community to find a Zen-like balance between harnessing and liberating the ocean’s power.

The pursuit of surfing is often compared to meditation—by helping to center the brain, it brings riders to a place where they can tap into the primal absolution of the present moment. It’s also a creative pursuit, with a variety of styles and approaches, and the diversity of Los Angeles’ beaches give members of this local subculture plenty of room to explore.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice testing the traditional waters of Venice Beach, an expert shredding up El Porto’s consistency, or a long boarder cruising Malibu’s Surfrider Beach, each time a surfer paddles out they’re conquering an intrinsic fear and embracing a life lived true. The freedom and release that comes with being at one with nature is unlike any experience on this planet.

“Life lived true means truly being fulfilled by what you do with your time,” says Todd, who spends his days teaching others how to ride the salty seas of Los Angeles. “Whether you’re someone who works a lot and has lots of responsibilities, or is always going hard and living carefree, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Your time is precious, don’t regret what you do with it.”

For Todd, surfing is a transformative expression of his self. Thanks to predecessors like Kelly Slater—perhaps the most well-known professional as the youngest and oldest man to ever win the World Surf League Championships—and Herbie Fletcher—the original LA surfing rockstar—chasing waves as a way of life is more than just a pipe dream.

It’s a simple existence, one governed by all that is low-maintenance, comfortable and functional. Their selfcare is without materialism, lending their effortless look an intangible air of casual cool. Flip flops and boardshorts are key, ensuring they’re ready to hit the waves when a swell comes in. It’s all about a laid-back grooming routine that is natural and goes with the flow of their life.

As Baxter of California Lead Stylist and NAHA 2017 Men’s Hairstylist of the Year Whitney VerMeer can attest, there’s a beauty and raw element to surf styling that has the ability to turn heads with its understated ethos.

“It was easy to appreciate the fresh approach and styling of this Baxter of California shoot since it’s very much in line with what I do,” she explains. “I work with a lot of career models, but my favorite projects are the ones where I cast people from Instagram or someone I pass on the street who has an interesting or intriguing look.”

Just as the ocean resists structural definition, so too does this Los Angeles subculture. Freedom of expression, freedom from judgement and freedom from rules of gender, race and religion—these are the universal truths of surfing.

To join us on this exploration of LA’s subcultures, visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com in addition to following us @baxterofca.

 

Authenticity Is a Universal Truth – The Exploration of LA’s Subcultures

Los Angeles’ Inspired Subcultures Create a ‘Life Lived True’ Fabric for the City’s Millennials

The city of Los Angeles defies definition. It refuses to be hemmed in by boundaries of gender, race, language or image. Forget any stereotypes—to truly understand this place is to know that there is no one Los Angeles. There is but a multitude of plenty, which gives the humans who call this city home limitless possibilities to live the truest versions of their selves both inside and out.

Above all else, Los Angeles is a beacon of authenticity—welcoming creative individuals into its fold, where together they form a diverse collective of unique, region-specific subcultures. Baxter of California’s origin story is one that could only have taken root and flourished in such an environment. From the skate and music scene, to surfing, art and indie to name a few, our philosophy of grooming as an act of self-expression goes hand in hand with the ethos of these lifestyles. To groom is to take care of one’s hair, skin and body; to be an individual within one of these larger communities is to take care of one’s genuine identity.

But it is not to be an island. Members of LA’s subcultures are certainly intent on standing out from the crowd but they’re also thrilled to be part of a community, giving and receiving inspiration in clothing, hairstyles, music and art, as well as giving a helping hand and a real smile when it matters most. There’s a yin and yang to being a Los Angeleno—while the influencers of today, spearheaded by millennials, hold hard and true to their distinct spirits, a sense of belonging and togetherness is as important to their identities and creative mojos.

Within these communities, members are drawn to each other not with the goal to mirror each other, but rather become a complementary reflection of what it looks like to lead differing versions of a “Life Lived True.” For each of the subcultures featured in Baxter of California’s “Life Lived True” campaign, fearlessness, persistence, expression, individuality and creation reign supreme. A willingness to look at the haters and rejection in the face, and to invite them into your life in order to learn and grow is a uniting feature. While their creative focus, inspirations, ideologies and aesthetic may vary, the chase of a singular dream remains the same.

Los Angeles may defy categorization, but that doesn’t mean it is without foundation. The city’s spirit is rooted in its niche subcultures, where transplants and locals alike find their version of home, which need not be a tangible place. Because what matters is what you’ll find at the core of each of these modern versions of community—a desire to be authentic and Live Life True.

To join us on this exploration of LA’s subcultures, visit www.baxterofcalifornia.com in addition to following us @baxterofca.

Father’s Day Doesn’t Have to be Boring

I (Kinda) Love You, Dad

This year, we’ve created a series of fun, cheeky greeting cards for the Dad in your life.

Our Father’s Day cards were printed with the heritage of Los Angeles in mind; we partnered with Aardvark Letterpress as the family-owned shop embarks on its 50th anniversary this year. Aardvark is known for producing the highest quality letterpress printing which offers an expression of personal style and identity.

These complimentary cards can be found on baxterofcalifornia.com, Baxter Finley Barber & Shop, or at your local Baxter of California retailer. And to keep things interesting, one of three available card designs will be randomly selected and included with each purchase while supplies last—which mischievous messages will you get?

Watch how they’re made: