There are a handful of things a girl needs in her life -- a good hairstylist is one of them.
A really good hairstylist, is entirely another.
In comes Linh Phan, the one-man operator and owner of Be Scene Hair Studio. For his more than 5,000 (and growing) fans and followers on Facebook and Instagram, however, the man is something more than just a ridiculously cool, ridiculously talented hair artist.
He's also just ridiculously easy to talk to and fun to hang out with, as I quickly found out during my own five-hour hair-session-turned-interview on a not-so-lazy-Sunday morning.
Some might call it luck, others might call it fate, but Linh made his way into the hair industry by accident -- randomly, and unexpectedly.
A college dropout in his early twenties, Linh was starting to make a name for himself in the DC bartending scene. His drink-slinging skills and unique personal style soon made him the resident bartender for a high-end hairsalon in the city's historically posh Georgetown neighborhood.
Seeing potential in him, the salon sponsored him and fully footed his $20,000-some bill to cosmetology school -- a timely and tremendous opportunity, he said, considering he was looking to get out of bartending at the time.
And, like many good stories, everything changed from there.
Since parting ways with his former mentor a few years ago, Linh has built a rock-solid, game-changing brand that extends from the DC metro area all the way to Australia and Asia -- mostly straight out of his basement, all without compromising his vision and what he believes in.
A sucker for puns, I asked him how he came up with the quick-witted "Be Scene" name.
"It just came to me," he said, humbly adding that a friend helped bring the logo design to life, as he continues shampooing my hair without skipping a beat.
While many things and people may have "just come to him" in his relatively young career thus far -- such as his brand-new Bethesda, MD studio space located inside Symmetry Salon, for example, and his upcoming spokesperson gig for Gatsby, a wildly popular Japan-based men's hair grooming products' line -- it's pretty clear what makes Linh a top industry influencer, with plans of opening up a second studio location in Virginia soon.
... his different approach to hairstyling: he texts back and forth with clients, building a rapport and discussing ideas of what they want to do to their hair long before personally emailing them an appointment date and time confirmation.
... his work ethic: he works ten hours a day, seven days a week, currently manning two stylist chairs all by himself -- occasionally moonlighting as his own assistant -- and yet still manages to find time to work out.
... his distinct creative style and aesthetic: he dresses the way he wants to dress (like donning a seriously badass leather butcher's apron before doing your hair), always has house music loudly pulsating through the speakers while he works, and takes inspiration from his clients who quickly become family and friends.
... and, of course, his bevy of loyal (and beautiful) #BeSceneBunnies: his ever-expanding portfolio profiling past and current female clients whom he personally photographs with their new cut and/or color posing in front of his massive Be Scene logo, before posting them to his social media accounts for further fawning and feedback (but mostly just fawning).
But it's not just about the ladies: half of Linh's clients are males, too.
"No one wanted to see pictures of guys, though, even with their shirts off," Linh laughed again, trimming my hair before he cuts another client's, all while two clients are already waiting for their haircolor to set in, with a fifth one walking through the door with a friend.
"She's getting ombre, too, just like you," he told me. "Not sure why other salons charge like $400 to $500 for it," he muttered, shaking his head as he shakes out my hair and preps me for my own final, infamous Be Scene photo.
Ultimately, that's what makes Linh Phan, well, "The Man". He's not in this business because he wants to charge you a ridiculous amount of money to make you look (and feel) ridiculously good.
He's in this business simply because he just wants you to "Be Scene".
Also, did I mention I freakin' love my new hair?
To make an appointment with Linh, text him at 202-716-6484.