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How To Cocktail Pomades

Image: Bethany Catherine @bethcath

We sat down with our Baxter stylist Whitney Vermeer (@whitneyvermeer) for a tutorial on pomade cocktailing – what it is, why you need to know it, and most importantly, how to do it yourself. Read on below for Pomade Cocktailing 101.

Q:  What is cocktailing?

Cock-tail-ing (v)

A treatment regimen that includes a combination of several styling products, so that their combined effect is more potent than that of any of the products used individually. No one has perfect hair. Therefore, there is no “one size fits all” solution. At Baxter of California we provide you with the essentials. Giving you the opportunity to play chemist and develop an ideal solution specific to your hair type and texture.

Q: When/why should I cocktail?

To achieve the same result as you receive in the salon. Rarely does your stylist use just one product in your hair.

Q: What are the steps to cocktail?

  1. Analyze hair
  2. Identify desired result
  3. Emulsify driest product first
  4. Add second product (make sure products are completely broken down between your palms)
  5. Distribute evenly throughout hair

Q: How do I choose the products to mix?

Identify the desired hold (firm, medium, light) then choose the finish (shine, natural, matte)

Q: Any tips on cocktailing for specific hair types? Straight, wavy, curly etc.

Some of my favorite formulas:

–For that thick hair that needs to be cemented into place:  FhSf = CP + HwP

Firmest Hold/Shine Finish= Clay Pomade + Hard Water Pomade

 

–For longer, textured hair or curly hair: MhNf = HcP + SwP

Medium Hold/Natural Finish = Hard Cream Pomade +  Soft Water Pomade

** The Soft Water Pomade added into the Hard Cream Pomade will dilute the hold to a medium hold.

 

–For a controlled pompadour,  FhMf = CP + HcP

Firm Hold/Matte Finish = Clay Pomade + Hard Cream Pomade

** The Hard Cream Pomade helps to break down the beeswax in the Clay Pomade without loosening its hold. This dynamic duo leaves a firm hold without demising volume. I especially love using this formula in towel dried hair and finishing this style out with a blow dryer and denman brush to achieve a controlled, voluminous pompadour.

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Q&A With Baxter Stylist, Whitney

We caught up with Baxter star stylist, Whitney Vermeer a fellow Minnesotan from an award-winning salon to gain some knowledge of men’s hair from a woman’s perspective. This girl wields clippers like a boss – she’ll force you to consider the ladies next time you’re freshening your fade.

Baxter: Hi Whitney! Let’s start with the basics. Where are you from, where do you live now and what do you like to do?

Whitney: I grew up in a small touristy lake town in Iowa. I currently live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As cliché as it sounds—I love to work! I love working on editorial projects and getting involved in any creative process, really. There is something electric about working on a project with a variety of individuals from different backgrounds and creating something together. Aside from that—I’m a family girl! I love being at the lake with my family, my partner and our little dog, Toby.

Baxter: How did you get into hair?

Whitney: My grandma actually talked me into it! I went to school originally for Business and Marketing. After completing my first year, I had told her I wasn’t enjoying school and she had suggested I try out hair school. I fell in love instantly.

I worked as a generalist for 5 years prior to moving to Minneapolis. I had the incredible honor of being mentored under world-renowned Kurt Kueffner, and was able to develop a unique skill-set of cutting freehand based off of bone structure and the nuances of each individual’s head shape.

Since then, I have been exclusively cutting men’s hair and now work as the Men’s Director for an award-winning salon, while also being a Baxter of California Educator, Hattori Hanzo Guest Artist and a session stylist for fashion shows and editorial photo shoots.

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Model: Kyle Lieberman, Photographer: Jay Kelly

Baxter: Wow, that sounds like a full plate! We know that you’re also a photographer and have amassed quite the following on Instagram. How has the platform impacted your professional life? And who are your favorite people to follow on social?

Whitney: Instagram has taken my career to the next level. Social media has not only given me incredible opportunities, but I would say 95% of my client base has been built off of Instagram and referrals. If you’re in a visual industry and you’re not on social media—you’re not in the game.

Also, I believe it is crucial to provide men with a sort of look-book to present them with ideas/inspiration for hairstyles they may want to achieve. Instagram has provided a great platform for me to share ideas with clients.

As a creative, I find myself more inspired by architecture, fashion, music, people, different cultures. Some of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow are: @Humans.Of.New.York, @Patternity, @DarkAtticSix and @MonochromeMavens.

Baxter: Part of being in this space is knowing about the next big thing. What are some trends you see in the men’s space?

Whitney: Currently I am seeing a lot of what I would call a Textured Crewcut. Aggressively short on the sides and top with a lot of textured movement to create a no-fuss look. I also am still seeing a lot of different variations of the undercut.

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Model: Wes Schrock, Photographer: Bethany Schrock

I love to get creative with the levels of connection/disconnection on the fade portion of this haircut. I find that my clients love that they are getting a unique, tailored version of this haircut unlike all of their other friends who maybe have a regular undercut. For me this has been a huge point of difference.

Not only are guys today loving a more tailored haircut, I have noticed more men taking that approach with their clothing as well. Nothing looks better than a bespoke suit. Why wouldn’t you want something made just for you? I also have a denim tailor and dress shirt designer that work closely with my clients to make sure they are always on their game.

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Baxter: Make sense—you have a great sense of style yourself. What are some designers or brands you’re digging currently?

Whitney: Thank you! I am currently really into monochromatic street style. My closet is mostly black, white, and gray. I would say my style is a mix of feminine/tomboy. Most days you can find me in black leather boots, a men’s shirt of some sort (probably white) and a black leather jacket—finished, of course, with a bright lipstick. Lipstick is always my pop of color. :)

Designers I am currently loving include Alexander Wang, Rick Owens, McQueen, Helmut Lang. I also love to support small homegrown companies. My closet is a mixture of everything as far as labels go.

Baxter: Describe your energy/spirit in 3 words.

Whitney: Authentic, Determined, Resilient

Baxter: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Whitney: That’s a tough question! I’d probably have to say London or New York.

Baxter: Thanks for hangin’ out, Whitney! Until next time.

Whitney: Yea! Anytime.