It’s probably not an accident that the “Poetic Justice” character Chicago (played by Joe Torry) was constantly brushing his hair. Chicago men love their waves, and M&M products like Easy Wave™ promise just that.
Will Williams, a 30-year master barber and master colorist, is the Director of Education and New Product Development for M&M Products. A championship winning barber with awards like the Bronner Brothers Men's Total Fashion and Men's Haircutting for three years, he got his first barber license in 1967 and first cosmetologist license in 1974. Williams took time to speak with the Chicago Black Hair & Health Examiner before his upcoming weekend visit to Chicago.
Shamontiel: With your Sofn'free products, those products include milk, protein and olive oil. It seems like your products focus on dry hair or eliminating dry hair. With your Easy Wave products, you use products like tea tree oil, carrot oil and pomade. What made you decide to go with those products in particular?
Will Williams: These products have a very long history and heritage not only in our company but just in the men's grooming market in general. We had just one variation originally. It was called Easy Wave pomade, and then we added the two variations to give the line a little breath. These products are designed especially and particularly for guys who have shorter haircuts like a Caesar. It holds the waves intact.
S: The carrot oil and the tea tree oil are both dry hair products. So what would make someone choose one over the other?
WW: When you see anything that has carrot oil, it's basically speaking to strengthening the hair. The tea tree [oil] will give you the same thing as hydrating the hair and keeping your scalp nice, but it's going to have even more focus on people who have a higher propensity towards scalp dehydration or towards flakes.
S: And the pomade, what is the specialty for that one?
WW: The pomade is the original product. The pomade was designed to help hold the waves intact when the guy has a short haircut, the Ceasar waves that you brush out, or if you put a texturizer in it [for] natural curls in their head. Those [curls] that you see a lot of times that guys tie a stocking cap on their head to promote the wave formation.
S: What is usually the biggest mistake you see men make when trying to start up getting waves?
WW: The biggest mistake with men that I see is not shampooing enough.
S: How often should they shampoo?
WW: Every other day or three times a week at least. The beautiful thing about having a Caesar is that you could shampoo your hair everyday if you want. When I say shampoo, I say that in a very generalized term. What I mean is you should wash your hair, and you can wash your hair with conditioner or you can wash it with shampoo. If it's that short, you should have some water to that scalp everyday.
S: Is this just as important with women with short cuts?
WW: Just as important with women with short cuts as it is for men. There is some biology and some physiology that drives my statement. The way that your hair is made, there is a hair follicle. That's that hole that your hair comes out of on your scalp. Some people call it a hair pore, but it's actually the hair follicle. On one wall of the follicle is a sudoriferous gland that secretes sweat. On the other wall is a sebaceous gland that secretes oil. Usually at night—I don't know why but at night—most times that's when people do have the majority of secretions that come on the scalp. When they come out on the scalp, they settle on the scalp, and sometimes if a person has an overactive sebaceous gland it will look like they have dry scalp. These are things that should be rinsed or washed off of the scalp at night. Having a short haircut affords you the opportunity to do that on a daily, or if not daily two or three times a week.
S: For men who can't get waves just by putting oil in it and brushing it, what are they doing wrong?
WW: They're not doing anything wrong at all. When we're talking about people who have predominantly Afro-structured hair, we have to take into consideration that our hair comes in many different textures. Someone who has really tight coiled [hair], almost like springs on the hair, that's maybe dry, that person could brush as hard as he wants to for as long as he wants to. That hair is not going to flatten out. What that individual needs to do is just take a little texturizer and put it in the hair. Run the texturizer in the hair for a little bit, and what it's going to do is rebuild some of the protein in the hair that will allow it to be texturized enough so that he can brush it.
Will Williams will be visiting Cain Barber College located at 365 E. 51st St., on Chicago's south side this Sunday, Sept. 26.
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