Karim Juma has been cutting hair since he was 12. At least, that’s how long he’s been cutting his own. Since then, he’s become a leader in the highly competitive industry, the top barber at Toronto’s Salon Kreative, and a man who lives and breathes hairstyling. “When I die, bury me with my clippers and scissors,” he says. Which makes him the perfect person to answer all of our most pressing hair questions. Because come on: we know you’ve been wondering, too.
What trends are you seeing right now?
The latest is a short, textured crop cut with a mid-fade, or a pompadour with a longer, well-kept beard. If you’re looking for inspiration, try David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Drake, or Kanye.
What are some common grooming mistakes, and how do you fix them?
Grooming mistakes occur when you’re not using the right tools. I use the magnetic motor clipper from the Barber Shop Pro Series by Conair, which gives a smooth, even cut. Another mistake I see in my chair is too much product. When used correctly, product will keep your haircut looking its best, but the right kind and amount differs by hairstyle — so ask your barber!
What should every man know about his hair that maybe he doesn’t?
Your hair texture changes every four years. Proper care will prevent further hair loss and replenish nutrients.
What are some pro tips or tricks for grooming at home?
Use the taper lever on your clipper for a smooth transition from the hair to the beard; keep it clean, keep it simple. And for shaving: be sure you stretch the skin to avoid nicks and irritation.
Should you try this at home: A) shaving the back of your neck? B) shaving your whole head?
Most men are capable of it if they’ve had a lot of practice, but it’s always a good idea to get this cleaned up by a barber.
Give us a primer on the right cut or beard for different head shapes.
It all comes down to the shape of your face. For oval shapes, a haircut with faded sides and a sculpted beard that hugs the jawline looks best. For round shapes, a longer beard with a high fade balances the look.
How far in advance should you get a haircut before a big event? How long does it really take to grow in?
Ideally, one or two days prior to a big event would be the best time to get your haircut. The fade, beard, and defined lines are still fresh. For people with sensitive skin, it allows the skin to settle and look its best the next day.
What should you talk about in the barber’s chair?
For me, it’s all about building relationships. Being there to listen and give advice adds to the overall experience. Once you’ve gained trust and respect, you never know what connections you can make. As a barber with 20-plus years of experience, I’ve heard it all!
BEARD TRIMMING 101
It used to be you had two options: shaven or non. But if you’re looking to beard it like Beckham (or Chris Pine or Drake or really any of your style heroes right now) with something in-between, here’s what you need to do.
STEP 1: Grow your beard out for about a week.
STEP 2: Wash it. And use conditioner, which will make the hair soft and easier to trim.
STEP 3: Trimmer time. We like the Barber Shop Pro Series by Conair Beard & Moustache Trimmer, which is powerful and easy to use. Don’t go too close — you’re aiming to mimic three or four days’ growth.
STEP 4: Clean up. Shave stray hairs above the line on your cheeks and dismantle the neckbeard.
STEP 5: Beard oil. Smoothness, after all, is next to godliness.