"They gave me my money back and I started cutting my own hair."

Name: Jesse Ortiz

From: Pacoima, California

Barbershop of Residence: Oscar's Barbershop in Burbank, CA

  • So how long have you been in the business? Tell us your path to becoming a barber! I pretty much knew it when I got kicked out of a barbershop for not liking the haircut I got. They gave me my money back and I started cutting my own hair. Did that all the way through high school and college. Found myself in barber school and have been cutting hair for about 5 years now.
  • With all the great conversations you’ve had with people in the chair, which one stands out the most to you? Why? - Some people like to open up. One time this guy walked in with a black eye. I didn't ask what happened. That one sticks out.
  • What kind of hair styles were popular when you were getting started? Which ones are most popular now? Back in the day, it was mostly shorter hair styles. Bald fades, line ups, stuff like that. Now people grow their hair longer on top. This is so they can style it more. Pompadours, combovers, and texturing are popular.

  • What’s a hairstyle you miss or wish was more popular? There's not really one. Pompadours are a good one to cut. It takes a lot of technique to get it done well.
  • What’s the most haircuts you’ve done in one day? Probably 25 - Saturdays can be a lot of cuts, and so can the holidays too. Especially before Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Challenger at the Barber Shop

  • What's your most memorable day cutting hair? My first day working at the shop at Oscar's. This also meant going from a sitting job to standing everyday job, which took some getting used to.
  • What’s the grossest hair you’ve ever had to touch? - Some people that come in super sweaty. That's tough. Dandruff is whatever, but when someone comes in super sweaty like they ran all the way to get there, and the clippings stick to their scalp, and the smock sticks to them. That's when I turn the fan on them! Better for them to show up a few minutes late, than all sweaty.

Amazon.com has long been a leader in e-commerce. From the companies roots in a small office in Seattle in the middle of the 1990's selling books on the internet, it has since grown to the behemoth that we know today.

Nowadays, Amazon has just about everything you could ever need to run your life, from inflatable kayaks to paper towels and disco balls (and everything in between and beyond)!

Challenger Blue Good Gift Mens Holiday Gift Hair

One of the excellent and very well regarded products available on Amazon is our very own Challenger Blue Matte Styling Cream. We won't pump our own product on our own blog too hard (that would be ridiculous), but we're very proud of it and want to put a link here just in case you'd like to learn more or read some of the excellent reviews on there ;)

With Amazon's Prime Membership service offering Free 2-day shipping on all prime eligible orders, as well as their impressive catalog of products from all walks of life (electronics, personal care, carpentry, and more), we're proud to share our appreciation for something they have done to make the world and even better place.

Amazon Smile is a fantastic program that allows Amazon customers to donate a percentage of every purchase they make through Amazon to the charity of their choice (as long as it's set up on their system). Here's how to take advantage of the program. 

Here's how to take advantage of the program:

Step 1: Go to www.Amazon.com just like you would for any purchase on the Amazon platform.

Step 2: Once at Amazon's homepage, type "Smile.Amazon.com" into the web address bar and press enter. You'll be re-directed to the Amazon Smile homepage to continue shopping.

(Note: You may need to designate your charity of choice the first time you visit the Amazon Smile homepage)

Step 3: Shop as you normally would! Whether you're buying a life jacket, life savers, or the quality style and consistency of Challenger Blue Matte Styling Cream, you'll have a percentage of your total purchase price donated to charity. In our first purchase, we donated to

In our first purchase using the Amazon Smile program, we donated to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital (please follow the link to donate or learn more about St. Jude's). There are thousands of wonderful charities you could support. Please take the time to research and select one that matches your values and does positive work you support.

Challenger Hair Care Blue Holiday Gift For Man Brother Son

With more and more people making Amazon a larger and larger part of their lives (especially with the mobile app that allows you to complete a purchase while sitting at a red light (drive safely!!)), we see a great deal of good coming from the Amazon Smile Program as long as we build the habit of moving from Amazon.com to Smile.Amazon.com when we start shopping.

So if you're ordering Challenger Blue from Amazon, please make the most of the charitable giving opportunity of Amazon Smile.

Pretty good program to help bring a smile to your face. Kudos to Amazon for this excellent and straightforward way to give back!

Men's Hair Styling Cream: What Should It Do

Just as there are many different names for the various items you can use to style short to medium length hair, there are many different performance factors for a hair styling cream. We’ll have other articles to go over the common traits of a clay, paste, putty, gel, pomade, serum, but for this fine segment, our best hair product guest of honor is the hair cream.

            Different types of hair cream

Challenger Blue Matte Hair Styling Cream Medium Firm Hold

There are two real different types of men’s hair styling cream. One’s that come in puck style jars, like Challenger Blue, and the other kind that come in squeeze bottles similar to suntan lotion.

From what the research has shown us, the hair creams sold in the squeeze bottle type of containers are generally more for a female demographic, and feature a product that can often have restorative or rehydrating effects. The best hair styling cream for damaged hair would probably come in this size of container and contain anywhere from 3 ounces of product for a high end hair cream and 8 or 10 ounces for one designed to get more coverage for the price.

Now let’s talk about the hair styling cream that’s a hair styling cream and comes in a hair styling puck. We like this one.

The biggest determining factor is the consistency of the cream when it comes to what it’s called. If it’s too dry, you wind up in the clay arena, and if it’s too wet it will be a hard to use product and be too liquidy. Neither of those extremes is ideal, so the texture of a hair styling product is very important.

A professional hair styling product should have a professional feel, and to us that means that it’s easy to scoop out of the jar as well as being easy to spread in your hands. There’s little we hate more than having to rub our hands together to cause enough friction to light the sun, just so the hard to manage products can be used. That’s no fun. A high quality hair styling cream can be spread between the hands and fingers with ease. It should feel like a butter substance that screams luxury and quality.

That feeling is what we strive for in every single jar of Challenger.

There are 3 states in which you can apply hair styling cream to your hair. They’re with wet hair that you’ll blow dry, with wet hair when you let it air dry, and with dry hair that you’ll let air/blow dry. (note: we’re combining both air and blow dry conditions for already dry hair because the real element that changes performance is the wetness of the hair and it’s ability to bond using the styling cream as it dries).

Hair styling cream for wet hair and blow dryer –

We recommend this approach if you have longer hair or the strands you’ll be styling are a bit tougher to work with. Stuff like slightly curly hair, really thick hair, or some kind of hair that has a mind of it’s own beyond your usual cowlick.

If you need a pompadour hair styling cream, you’d get the longest lasting and most voluminous hold applying a hair styling cream to your damp or towel dry hair and then using the blow dryer to style it from there.

For short to medium length hair, this is certainly a viable route, especially if you’re going for a windswept look , an updo, or want to be more certain that your hair will stay up and/or in place for as long as possible until the inevitable forces of gravity, moisture, and air cause some forces that make your hair go down.

More often, though, if you need a hair styling cream for short hair, you’ll want to go ahead and take option 2.

Style damp or towel dry hair with hair styling cream and let it air dry.

This is likely the route to be used by most people that would make the most of a high quality hair styling cream. It’s how we envision people using Challenger Blue most effectively.

If you’re a professional and need a hair styling approach for your best and most important looks, go this route. And because you should be looking your best every day, you should do this every day.

The instructions for styling your hair in this way are as follows:

  1. Have damp hair
  2. Take a finger full of product and spread it through your hands for best application. If this means fingertips and not full palms, then do that. If you want some full hand sculpting action, get it spread all over the place as if we’re trying to get a lather going.
  3. Style your hair from the root out to the tip and turning or directing your hair product in the direction you’d like it to go. If you want to hit up the natural part in your hair and go from there, we like that route a lot. It’s a timeless style, and a lot of the best hair styling cream for parting hair are used for parted hair.
  4. Let your hair dry in the air and go about your business. You can certainly run your hands over your head or do the good old pat pat check up top to make sure all the cadets are in line. It part of your hair is being fussy, you can certainly add some more product as needed to get it working perfectly.
  5. Enjoy the knowledge that your hair is looking all kinds of good and go out to conquer the day knowing you’ve brought your best to the party. That’s what we like!

The prospect of styling your hair when it’s dry should not be intimidating. It’s very doable and some of the best hair styling products for short and medium length hair are put to excellent use this way.

(Note)- if your hair is over 2 inches long, there’s a chance a quality hair styling cream may be too fast drying to work effectively at styling the root and whole hair strand in the right direction. Don’t say we never told ya so ;)

We see the dry hair approach being most used by people with hair under 1.5 or at most 2 inches. This is for the “I’m going to work and need to look solid” or “I’m about to run out the door for a date and want that suave James Dean hairstyle look.” Challenger Blue could have been James Deans hair styler. We like that too.

So the process for using a hair styling cream on dry hair, especially to style it, is that you’ll take a finger full from the jar (hopefully it has that butter consistency we mentioned above), spread it through your fingertips, and then apply it to the first 100 or so rows of hair at the front of your head to get that flow moving in the right direction. Be sure to style quickly if you’re doing so with dry hair.

One other thing that could come into play, especially with a hair styling cream that has good hold, is that you might pull up a few loose hairs that are ready to come out anyway, but that you may see in your hand and go “hello, there’s some hold right there!”

Having that happen a couple of times makes you really prefer using a hair styling cream for wet or damp hair so you can keep all the pups chilling in your mop for as long as possible for maximum coverage possible.

Which takes us into our recap and our ranking of the best styling approaches for a hair styling cream that comes in a jar and is meant to be used as a styler.

Our favorite medium-firm hold hair styling cream happens to be a matte finish hair styling cream. It’s got a subtle scent and is also water soluble, meaning it rinses out easily. It’s also travel friendly, meaning you can take it in your carry on for maximum styling goodness on the go.

Okay, we already mentioned it a few times in the article, but it’s our first article so we’re hitting it hard. Challenger Blue is fantastic!! There, out of our system!

The best approach that we’ve found for styling short to medium length hair is by applying the hair styling cream to wet hair, and then letting it air dry to perfection.

If you have longer hair, are going for a more voluminous look, or want to get your pompadour hair style on, our best advice would be to use a hair styling cream as a pre-styler and then bust out the blow dryer to give you the lift and lightness that usually goes along with well groomed hair. We’ll be admiring you from a far.

The other option isn’t the best one, so if you want to read about it, scroll up a few paragraphs. We want to finish with our best advice for hair styling.

Use a hair styling cream like Challenger Blue to make the most of your hair and style it damp to let the hold and look you’re going for set in.

And keep challenging yourself every day to be your best version.