The Master Barbers of Imperial Barber Products Talk Shop
Master Barbers, Scott Serrata and Pedro Zermeno set out to evolve the craft of men’s grooming when they created Imperial Barber Products. After years of working the chair, they never found that one grooming product that worked perfectly. Pomades, gels and waxes were too weak, too greasy and waxy, or too fragrant, while shaving products often fell victim to an onslaught of hype. For two years they tested their own, custom products on their own clientele at their shop, Razorbacks, until they perfected the formula. Their mission is simple. Create superior men’s grooming products that are made by barbers and made to work.
On being a master barber:
It takes a special kind of person to be a master barber. You’re on your feet all day long, you’re listening to your clientele’s life all day long – the good and bad. It’s all part of job. Barbers don’t get paid vacation or sick days off. If you’re not behind the chair you’re not making any money.
A master barber has the skills, the proficiency and the background to take on just about any type of styling project and complete the tasks necessary to the satisfaction of the customer. This level of proficiency often comes with experience, as the barber works with different types of hair and begins to get an idea of what type of cuts and styles are the most appropriate for different customers.
On personal style:
SS: When I see someone just passing by or across the way, I always look at hair and shoes first. If they are both kept up I feel like that person has their life together or their priorities straight.
PZ: I agree with Tom Ford when he said, “style is a personal thing. It is what defines you.”
On the relationship between a man and his barber:
SS: You won’t find another relationship like you will with your barber. You become not only a client but a friend for life. I have clients from all over the spectrum from US Marshall to hustlers. The barbershop is a neutral ground for everyone to talk with one another.
PZ: The relationship a barber has with his client is like going to a psychologist. A barber will never reveal the personal details discussed between the chair and the blade.
On men’s grooming products created by barbers:
PZ: A key difference between Imperial Barber Products and other ‘like’ brands is that we are actually barbers and run a barber shop based in Long Beach, CA. At Razorbacks, we have a team of dedicated barbers and clients that test each round of product development to ensure our products are exactly what men want. We don’t launch new products to the market until we’re 100% satisfied with the function and performance of each one.
SS: There was nothing on the market that worked the way we wanted it to work. Pedro and I created Imperial Barber Products to change that.
Photography by: Maggie Davis