Category Archives: S.O. He Says

The Real Thing: Dieci Uomo Salon for Men

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17MihalikDieciUomoExt_1363by Weusi

NY’s “fake it til’ you make it” mentality has spread like a virus all the way through my beloved NJ. Now, in NJ’s everyday culture, there are a lot of things that I would call flashy, overkill, extreme, or extravagant. Cars, hairstyles, accessories, celebrations, parties, relationships, explanations, restaurants, etc. So, when Shelli forwarded me an email about this new “upscale salon catering to men” in Livingston, NJ, that also claimed to be environmentally conscious, I was skeptical. After a few e-mails, I set up a tour and an interview with a manager. They are kind enough to fit me in for a manicure too. The day arrives. I try to stay in journalist mode. I’ve done a little research on the owners and their other spot, but I’m still a little worried because part of the magic of the internet is that it can make any place and everyone look good. I pull up and it looks just like the picture. The building stands out among its surroundings but with its clean lines it looks  … square. I take a lap around the back of the building before I park. I don’t see any AC units. Why is this important? Because they promote a space for a rooftop lounge. If they put some patio furniture next to the massive, noisy AC units … that’s not a lounge … it’s just patio furniture on the roof! So now, I’m super suspect. But then I walk in … I’m impressed. The place is clean. Not just regular clean. This spot is like fresh out the box clean. And instead of the loud frantic energy that accompanies many men’s salons, there is a masculine serenity about the space. The clean design of the outside matches the modernist design of the space. The subtle mix of line and curve in the furnishing combined with cool, interactive colors make the glow of the sunshine the first “Welcome” as you enter. Then, I was greeted with what felt like a sincere, “Hello, how can we help you,” accompanied with an honest smile. I lowered my wall.

diecouomofrontlobby

One of the hostesses took my jacket and offered a beverage (coffee, expresso, tea, water … or wine). Another introduced me to Maria. Maria was my manicurist. Now, I like manicures. I can be kinda critical about them. I’ve had a few. Maybe more than a few. Some good. Some average. An occasional great one. As I’m soaking my cuticles, I strike up some conversation and find out that Maria has been doing manicures for 8 years and us obviously a professional. She pulls out the freshly sterilized gear and then … then she proceeds to give me the best manicure that I’ve ever had. Now, I’ve had manicures in 9 different states and overseas … so what made this one so good? There was no mental or physical discomfort. She not only took the time to look at my hands, view the shape of my fingers and nails, but she also invested a few seconds to touch them before she started and it made a difference. Then, after the manicure, the exfoliating hand massage was exceptional. It wasn’t just rubbing my hands and forearm with some goop. It was a real massage. I watched her eyes as she focused on my hands and responded accordingly to my points of tension. Not only did she really know what she was doing, she was invested in making my experience a pleasurable one. AND … she didn’t ask me if I wanted some damn clear polish! Over the next week, I found myself looking at my hands. They looked and felt great!

diecouomomanipedi

After the manicure, the owner Paul Gaglioti was kind enough to give me a tour of the space. He explains to me that he started sweeping up salons at 19. Now, 4 decades later, with Dieci Uomo, he and his partner (his wife Marie), have jumped ahead of the trend to create an incredible space for gentleman to reward themselves.

Photo of Marie and Paul Scratch Surface 2009

The world class salon has a spa on site, with semi-private manicure rooms and private pedicure and waxing rooms. Their state of the art massage rooms house independently controlled sound systems to customize your experience on the upper level. Also on this level is the “Outdoor Lounge.” Paul and I walk outside and stroll past a few guys kicked back on lounge chairs, sipping on some scotch while they enjoy the day’s mild weather. He opens a discrete door and shows me the AC units that I was looking for earlier. Now I get it. Not only are they hidden behind 4 walls, but he explains that the space which houses them is designed to isolate and disperse the noise created by the whirling units, so as not to disrupt patrons’ lounge experience. With plans to add a full bar, (possibly a humidor?), as well as additional seating and shading, I’ll definitely be back to partake in the rooftop festivities! *(They are starting weekly events on the rooftop as the weather gets nice!)

diecouomorooftop

Oh, and the environmental aspect of the building isn’t a vanity item. This is the real thing! The intent to create a clean look and parallel it with a clean building was successful. A LEED energy certification makes this more than official. This may be the only LEED certified men’s salon in the state. A variety of high tech components infused within its infrastructure that assist with water circulation and energy efficiency truly enhance the experience. In addition to the recycled materials used in the buildings structure, low tech components such as super fresh sinks created from cement and broken bottles are one of the many highlights of the space. My green side got really geeky in our interview and I have a bunch of info about it, but you can check out their Environmental Commitment Brochure here. The other component that makes a man spa experience special is the hospitality of the staff. As we spoke, Paul made it clear that the Dieci Uomo experience was far superior to having a haircut in a swanky salon with a few big screens and staff dressed like waitress from Hooters. There were some big screens, and there were both make and female staff members. Paul stated that he considers his employees his professional family. He hires staff that are committed to the work of serving people, not just stylist, technicians or masseuse that are looking for a gig. He has been determined to create a team who is interested in learning how to best serve others. They are educated locally and internationally on the latest techniques and technology in hair and spa services. What I find interesting is that even with the international diversity in the staffing that mirrors the United Nations, there is still a very old school Jersey feel to the place. No … not Tony Soprano gangster like Jersey. More mom and pops store, show respect to everyone, speak to your neighbors not only because you know them but also because you know that their being safe means you and yours are safe too! Tactfulness, professional knowledge, a sense of community, progressive visioning, environmental consciousness and great customer service …  this leads to a spa treatment that I am sure is amazing. Yes … This is really the real thing. SO … if you live near Livingston, NJ and have a Significant Other that would appreciate the comforts of a spa experience … Or a man in your life that deserves a little something special … or are a dude that gets tired of the regular barbershop experience and wants a nice spot to get a fresh cut or shave  … OR are a groom that wants a spot to get all your dudes together and get fresh & clean for your wedding … check it out! I’m going back in about a week to get a cut and a shave! (*They also have these 6 and 12 month membership program that allow for UNLIMITED haircuts, express manicures, shoe shines and discounts on retail products! They have an entire line of men’s grooming products that I will expound upon in another post!) I’m reminded that sometimes there is a thin line between something that is cool and something that catches your eye because of a flashy presentation. Oftentimes the difference is intent. The Gaglioti’s have matched intent with both form and function. Dieci Uomo is the real thing, a full service salon and spa designed for men. It really is a cool spot! Swing by to check it out … or set up an appointment …

www.DieciUomo.com

48 West Northfield Rd
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 535-1400
info@dieciuomo.com

or their sister spa (Shelli said that it’s really nice!)

www.DieciSpa.com

90 West Mt. Pleasant Ave
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 716-0101
info@diecispa.com

So, yeah … in the end, Dieci Uomo (and New Jersey) restored my hope in the goodness, honesty, and beauty of people wanting to help other people. I walked out feeling so good that I forgot my coat! So, I went back in and grabbed my jacket, then headed to the car. As I walked, I thought … “Yeah, I’ll be back.” But wait, there’s more …  AND … because this is my new favorite song … and it matches the sharing and giving sentiment of this post … straight from the Muppets Most Wanted

I’ll Get You What You Want (Cockatoo In Malibu) by Brett McKenzie

 *yes … Even Kermit knows what natural  hair lovers want … at 1:20 he says “You want a satin pillow? I’ll give it to you!”

  SHiNE,

Weusi

About these ads

Shine Shantrelle!

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181922_1847487628641_4791108_nby Weusi

I woke up Sunday morning to work on a post, but checked my personal Facebook page first. I’ll get to the other post at a later date. But first, I wanted to share this post from my sister Shantrelle Patrice Lewis (@APshantology) who, as a curator of national and international art exhibits, is viewed as a defining voice for Black culture.  It kinda moved me, so I wanted to share it with you.

Focused on the Positive

I will do most anything to avoid catching the bus in Philadelphia for multiple reasons. Pretty much hate it actually but had no choice today. An elder gentleman sits next to me and says “that purse is genuine leather isn’t it?” I tell him yes and say that I got it in Egypt. His eyes opened wide and he said “wow! What was that like?! They say traveling broadens your mind.” I replied that it absolutely does and that I’ve been all over – Nigeria, Ghana, Brasil…” He said, ” you’ve been to the motherland?! That’s incredible! That’s my one wish before I die, to go the motherland.” He then tells me that he’s originally from South Carolina and that he traced his family back to Mali. We got off the bus and I asked if I could take his picture.

shantrelle's philly elderMr. Columbus, Germantown, Philadelphia ca. 2014.

I then told him that I was on my way to [the] UN office in Geneva. He says “You’re going over to do what Malcolm did?! And tell them about what our people have been through?” I paused and said, “yes, I will do my best.” I almost forgot about Brother Malcolm’s appeal. In the presence of my elders I’m always reminded of the path that I travel. He goes on to tell me to keep up the good work and that he liked my hair. It looks strong and healthy and I didn’t have all of those chemicals in my head. Blessed. And Focused.
shantrelle big hair
There is no doubt in my mind that Shantrelle will represent Malcolm, Black people, our angels and ancestors, Mr. Columbus, and the natural hair community and its supporters proudly!
shantrelle to geneva
Do what you do …
Shine Shantrelle! 

News Anchor Reveals Natural Hair

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newsanchorby Weusi

This is a salute to natural hair and to the strength of the human spirit. A quick reminder that being natural isn’t just about vanity for everyone, but it is a gift for those who choose to embrace it!

Please check out this 4 minute story …

SHiNE

Thank You … See You in 2014 …

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IAN_0355by Weusi

I have at least 5 notes and/or drafts of post to share with you all on the wedding and honeymoon and about life in general. The outpouring of love and support for Shelli/Hairscapades and our marriage has been beautiful and inspiring. Honestly, it’s a bit overwhelming. So let me simply say this to you all … THANK YOU.

Holler at you in 2014!

SHiNE,
Weusi

To Tiana …

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tiana_parkerby Weusi

Some of you have heard about the young lady that transferred schools because her locs became an issue at her prior school.

Honestly, after hearing about the story, my testosterone kicked in. I wanted to challenge the school’s board and their views of what an acceptable hairstyle is. I got into the language of the school’s policy. I wanted to reach out and dap up Tiana’s father for protecting his daughter. I wanted to start a conversation that would make people uncomfortable and agitate change. Then it hit me. What can I do for Tiana?

Then, like a ray of light, comes Dr. Yaba Blay …

A Care Package for Tiana: Locs of Love

A digital book for Tiana, with messages and pictures from dozens of sisters affirming the beauty, strength and wisdom of her natural hair.

A_Care_Package_for_Tiana(Give it a few secs to load after clicking the image.)

Check out the homie, Dr. Yaba Blay, she’s at the top of her game!

SALUTE TO YOU ALL!

SHiNE!

The Doc Didn’t Want His Wife to Be Natural

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by Weusi

As you may, or may not, know there is a growing trend to hear the voices of brothers that are involved with sisters with natural hair. I kinda dig that. An interest in our perspective is cool and empowering for us as men in many ways. Yes, our club is growing!

I am just being hipped to this article by Dr. Corey Guyton, of Durham, NC (thank you Toussaint). I know the title is deceptive, but he’s really on your side. Not only is this brother a reformed “NatHaHa” or “NHH” (Natural Hair Hater … can we add this to the Lexicon?), he has a FREE e-book, Supporting Your Queen on Her Journey of Returning to Being Naturalto help guys who might need advice on supporting natural sisters. YES … FREE!

Here he speaks on a few of the reasons some S.O.’s are resistant to embracing natural hair.

The Reasons I Did Not Want My Wife to Be Natural

by DR. COREY GUYTON

When I met my wife, she was everything I wanted in a woman. She was educated, Black, took great care of herself, and had long flowy hair. As a youngster, I was always encouraged by older men, my peers, and even some women to find a woman who had “good hair.” Equipped with this advice, my wife’s hair was the icing on the cake to complement her other wonderful qualities.

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After dating for a while, my world got turned upside down as my wife uttered these dreadful words … ”I am thinking about going natural”. At this point I thought, what is a man to do when his wife is thinking about getting rid of the icing on the cake? Now, I had seen tons of women who were natural and I admired their look (one of those women being my mother), but for some reason I did not feel natural was for my woman.

As the days went by, I progressively started researching as much as I could about the entire natural process to figure out what in the heck my wife was about to do to herself. As I learned more and more about the process, my mind started playing tricks on me. The questions in my mind began to transform from being about why my wife would want to be natural to why did I want to keep her from being natural. This is the point I started evaluating myself instead of my wife.

So the million dollar question is why did I want to keep my wife from embracing her natural hair?

Insecure

The truth is that I was insecure. I was insecure in the fact that my wife had to cut her hair. I was insecure in the fact that she would have a TWA (Tiny Weeny Afro).  And I was insecure in the fact that she could possibly look different. The underlying issue was that I was not comfortable in my own manhood, because subconsciously, I felt I would be less of a man if my wife did not have long flowy hair. It was not about her, it was about me and my insecurities.

Blinded

I was blinded by so many things including Eurocentric values, the media, and my own people.

Growing up in a country where the standards are based on Eurocentric values, I fell into the trap of thinking that my definition of beauty was supposed to be the same as their definition of beauty. This false sense of understanding lead to me having the spirit of oppression towards my beautiful Black sistas, including my wife. Sadly, I tried to place those Eurocentric values on my Afrocentric queens.

I was also blinded by the numerous images of “beauty” that were portrayed in the media. Anytime I would see a Black woman who was in movies, music videos, pageants, or on any day time television, she had long flowy hair. This played into my psyche and caused me to think that these women were the definition of beauty.

Finally, I was blinded by my own people (including myself) who constantly displayed self-hate. The men constantly spoke about how women with short hair or non-straight hair were nappy headed and sistas put tons of weave in their head for the purposes of “increasing their beauty”. We created the thought that we were not beautiful the way God created us.

The Reality

I am blessed to have a wife who challenged me by not giving in to my insecurities. Her journey of rediscovering herself was a pivotal point in my life because I also discovered myself through the process. I broke free of oppression and am now one of the biggest advocates for my beautiful sistas returning to their natural roots. Since the blinders are off, I would not want my wife to be any way other than natural.

Moral of the article is brothers support our beautiful natural queens and sistas embrace your natural beauty!

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Thanks Dr Guyot … please check him out at www.TheGenuineScholar.com

and click here to see how his wife responded!

BULL CITY … NCCU … HORNS UP

THAT’S ALL.

SHiNE

Look Who’s on TransitioningMovement.com Now!!

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Weusi_naturalsalon

That’s right!! It’s Weusi’s turn!! LOL!! When Carol’s Daughter was seeking pitches for TransitioningMovement.com, they were interested in male perspectives too. So, of course I had to put Wei on it!! Now … see, what had happened was … he wrote this post for me last summer … and I just never got around to editing it for the blog!! #boohiss. LOL!! But now it finally gets to see the light of day!! Read the full article here: My Hair Cut by a Natural Hair Stylist. Hope that you guys will check it out and comment ;)!!!

Summer Sexy 2013

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by Weusi

HELLO SUMMER 2013!

I am really excited that summer is here.

I LOVE the summer. I love it when it’s hot. Some of you may remember my post from around this time last year when I talked about ways to beat the heat.

While I know that you are really looking for protective styles, you need to go here to find that info.

This is the S.O. corner … and I didn’t really expound upon much in the other post, but I feel like now is the time …

There is a misconception that naked women are sexy to men. Naked women are sexy to boys. Men recognize that a woman can make almost anything sexy! On this note … I would like tell you a few things that I think are SUMMER SEXY.

SO … in no particular order … (but in one sexy package)

Sun Dresses, Shoulder Blades, Ankle Bones, Nice Hands and Feet, Shoulders, Legs, Collar Bones

Jada-Pinkett-Smith legs

and my favorite,

AUTHENTIC SMILES

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Independently, these things aren’t necessarily  considered SUMMER SEXY. The key is to figure out how to make it look kinda natural … but special at the same time. I refer to it as the, “made you look” style, but not the “Look at me … LOOK AT ME!” style. You know what I mean here. It’s like the difference between … say … Niki Minaj’s “look at me” style versus the “I know you see me” style of Janelle Monae … or Kanye v. Common … Rick Ross v. Heavy D … Diddy v. Jay Z …  Donald Trump v. Russell Simmons … you get the point.

Just be you … know yourself enough to know what you are comfortable with rocking … when you do you and shine your light for the world to see, it’s SO much more attractive than someone who flaunts their assets … but it’s still ok to be different. so yeah, this summer, do what you do …

And ok … some women are sexy naked … like … Taraji posing in an anti fur ad. Part of the reason she’s sexy is that the nudity isn’t really about her. BUT … a larger part is because she’s just a cutie that’s naked! That was the kid coming out in the man! (I’ll explain the multiple personality traits most dudes try to balance in a future post!)

OH … and since we are talking about celebrating your inner and outer beauty … I’m gonna hit you with this …

Treasure by Bruno Mars

(This is the live version from The Voice finale)

AND …

because y’all were basically threatening me on here and on Facebook a few weeks ago … I figured that I’d be wise to slide this quick dedication to my ONLY ONE, Shelli.

Only One by PJ Morton

(Stevie Wonder is featured on the harmonica solo.) 

Don’t let of him being on Lil Wayne’s label, Young Money, scare you. This is one for the family cookout … HHMMMM, it might even be good at a wedding reception!

SHiNE

 

 

 

 

 

Oooooppps … I Forgot to Pick a Winner

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weusi jumping ropeby Weusi

I had this LOOONNNNG post about why I forgot to pick a winner for my Workout Giveaway and blamed it on my work schedule, technology and my selective memory.

But, for real … in the end … I JUST FOR FORGOT!

So, with no further ado … (drumroll) … the winner is …

APRIL WELLS

E-mail your address to hairscapades@gmail.com and you’ll have a jump rope coming your way!

And just for the record, I expect that there will be a report of some kind that comes out in the next year or two that says jumping rope is one of the top 5, easiest, economical, most effective, and efficient exercises EVER! When it comes out, remember where you heard it first!

Stay safe and eat healthy over the hoildays …
PATRIOTIC_food
(Click the picture to see more!)
HAPPY JUMPING APRIL!!!
SHiNE

Blowout & Workout

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weusi jumping rope
by Weusi

You all know Shelli has been on the fitness GRIND!!! She has worked out 120 consecutive days as of Monday!

AND … I think that you all know … I LOVE me some SHELLI. I love her alot-alot-alot.

While she has been working out consistently, I have been sporadic in my exercise “routine.” But the reminder that she shared with me kicks in every now and then. I’m paraphrasing, but she told me … “this isn’t about vanity. This is about being able to live happy and healthy lives together … forever.” CAN YOU SAY, “MOTIVATION?”

So … now I’m sitting here thinking about just HOW MUCH I LOVE HER.

I love her so much
There really aren’t any words
that explain how much

#onthespothaiku

(That just came to me! I love it when I surprise myself like that!)

And then, I remembered that I asked Shelli to send me this …

A blowout class for S.O.’s …

via ABCNews.go.com

Do I love her enough to take this class for her? Yes, I do … BUT … WILL I? NOPE! Why?

The idea was that we LIVE a long, happy and healthy life together. NOT that she KILL me because I messed up her hair trying to blow it out! So … NAH MAN!!!

INSTEAD … in celebration of SHELLI’S 120 days straight of fitness I am asking that you join her. Exercise for 10 minutes. Even if this is the only day in your life that you do it. Go exercise! She’s done it for 120 days, we can do it 1 day!

I can’t think of anything greater to wish for someone. So, I wish that you all take a step to doing so, if you haven’t already.

So, I’m sending a JUMP ROPE to (1) special friend of HAIRSCAPADES that publicly posts a commitment to exercise at least 3 days a week on the HAIRSCAPADES FACEBOOK PAGE by Friday. We’ll announce the SPECIAL WINNER on SATURDAY.

AND NO … I know it’s not much, but it’s the sentiment … and the joy of winning something!

START POSTING!

SHiNE