We the North!

I don’t usually touch on sports, or at least I haven’t done it in a while. But I must say although it might be a little premature the Raptors are legit! Most professionals and experts will tell you the benchmark in which you judge a team is 20 games. That is 25% into the season. Right now the Raptors are sitting with the best record in the NBA tied with Memphis; a team which they have already beat. In my opinion that makes them the best team in the NBA.

Now I know we shouldn’t get excited because we’ve been here before with the Raptors getting us all hyped up and then letting us down. But we have never been the best team in the NBA and in a few short games we will have reached that 20 game mark. The whole league is talking about the Raptors even in the barber shop and when we hit that mark we’ll see if we’re are still number 1 in the league or even number 2. It is a big glimpse into what the end of the season will look like.

I also want to mention a few highlights, that Brazilian kid that we drafted he is the truth! You’re not going to see it yet but you will never see a 7-footer move so fluidly and smoothly with and without the ball. In 3 years maybe 2, that kid is going to be a big problem. And with the attitude that the Raptors have along with the fact that these guys legitimately like one another their chemistry is unmatched.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not are Raptors fan but I must acknowledge when a team is performing at a high level. They’re doing all the things that good team’s do fighting their way back, winning 4th quarters, hitting end of quarter shots and all. This is exciting! In such a short amount of time guys have already fitted into their rules and other teams are still trying to catch up. The Raptors are right now the best and they’re only going to get better this young team is the future!

Peace and hair grease

Remembrance Day Upgrade

 

Lest we Forget

Lest we Forget

 

Does this year’s Remembrance Day feel different to you? There’s something in the air that says this year is more important than others. Possibly we have more to remember or be grateful for? I want all of you to really think about this. Next year, Remembrance Day will probably be a holiday. Do you think it is worthy? Or should we  recognized it in the same way we always have?

 

I know I’m hitting you with a lot of questions right out the gate but I want to acknowledge that this year’s Remembrance Day is different. A lot of people feel that because of the tragedies with present day soldiers on Canadian soil, that it has heightened the feeling of the season and the significance of the poppy. For the first time since I’ve been alive people have been wearing the poppy earlier then ever; in October even!

I wonder if our veterans feel slighted in some way. Because it hasn’t been a holiday all these years, does that mean we didn’t really recognize what they’ve done? Is it more significant because armed forces died on Canadian soil in 2014 and not grandpa’s old roommate? Nevertheless in my opinion it should have always been a holiday. A soldier lost is a soldier lost whether it’s 1914 or 2014. And recognition on that day, November the 11th, is about not just the lives lost but the monumental imprint that war has put in our memories and hearts.

Peace and hair grease!

Thanksgiving Enlightenment

We had a discussion in the shop the other day and found out that very few people. including myself, don’t know the origins of Thanksgiving in Canada. So I have two questions for all of you.

  1. How did Thanksgiving come about in Canada?
  2. What does Thanksgiving mean to you?

The first question I will not answer for you; you have to do your own research on that one. The second question is pretty common I even saw a reporter asking people on the street the same question. They were giving the same dry old answers; my family, my children my job, my health, so on and so on. I kind of feel like people just give the same generic answers because it sounds nice. But let’s be honest when Thanksgiving rolls around, what are you thinking about? I’m pretty sure it’s not “thanks for your job”. It’s more like “thanks for the long weekend away from my job” or how much pumpkin pie, apple crisp or turkey and stuffing you’re going to eat.

We came to the conclusion that the whole idea behind Thanksgiving is reflection. We all need to reflect, and that’s why I’m writing this blog. I too forgot what Thanksgiving was about and I’m glad I was enlightened. We all need to slow down, take some time to reflect and be thankful for not just the things that are at the forefront but the things that we often forget. Like, we are breathing, we have water to drink, there aren’t bombs exploding outside our bedroom windows. We should especially be thankful for being welcomed and living in the greatest country in the world (uncontested). Take this time to reflect on the path you or your parents or grandparents took to ensure that you could be here and we’ll see you on Tuesday!

Peace and hair grease.

Special Occasions

As back-to-school approaches, I started thinking what other occasions do people need a proper haircut.? I realized that there are many monumental times throughout the year and your life when you need a haircut, not to mention those unexpected occasions when you have to look your best. Having open communication with your barber is essential at these times more than ever.

Many people don’t realize how important it is to let your barber know why you’re getting this haircut. For example you come in on a busy Tuesday and you’re getting married on Wednesday. This is an important haircut possibly the most important haircut of your life. Therefore you need to tell your barber “I’m getting married tomorrow this haircut has to be flawless”. I guarantee that you’ll see the barber give you a little extra special treatment to make sure your cut is in fact flawless. You come away with great wedding pictures and the barber feels good about being an integral part of your day. The same goes for birthdays, funerals, job interview, that special  date, and meeting the parents for the first time.

As a barber I can often tell if a customer needs the haircut for something special, the giveaway is if I haven’t seen him or her in a long time. They usually say…..” I didn’t have time to come down here” or “I know I haven’t seen you in awhile but I need that onyx cut, that’s why I’m back.” That’s when my hand starts tingling and I know it’s magic time. You want the best experience for your special occasion, so make sure communication is a big part of your cut once you sit in the chair.

Peace and hair grease

Grooming our city one kid at a time

Free cuts for kids 12 years of age and under every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday until Monday, September 29th, 2014. We didn’t cut as many kids in Toronto as we wanted to so we are extending it to the entire month of September! 

With the up coming school year, Onyx Barbers is on a mission. Now before I get into the details, I’ll have you know that the following information will be shocking to all of you but has always been apart of our business. The idea is free. Not the idea itself but the movement. To give something for nothing.

Free has been apart of Onyx Barbers for a long time. Free gift bags and cheers for new customers. Free cuts on your birthday. Free cuts on customer appreciation days. Free Sundays back in the summer of 2003, and now our biggest gift of all. Are you ready for this? Free cuts for kids 12 year of age and under every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday & Thursday in September. 

Free back to school kid's cuts at Onyx Barbers

Free back to school kid’s cuts at Onyx Barbers every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday & Thursday throughout September

That’s right! We want to make you smile right in time for back to school. Back in 2001 we cut for charity in a Brampton recreation centre and I’ll never forget the feeling of appreciation we received. Since then we’ve been addicted to giving and it’s time we scratch that itch in a big way! We know that a difference can be made in our city if we could cut every kid’s hair for free. Just imagine an entire generation of kids with a higher sense of self, self esteem and pride in grooming with that financial burden lifted off of the family. We are venturing to start this trend as of Monday August 18th and Wednesday, August 20th. Bring your kids in and send them to school feeling and looking fresh, the cost is on us! We need to take care of the youth. Let’s groom our city one kid at a time.

Proper government issued id (birth certificate) must be presented before the cut for each child. Each child must be accompanied by an adult. 

Peace and hair grease.

Amy Winehouse circa 2003

Wednesday July 23rd will mark the third anniversary of the day the world lost the talented Amy Winehouse. Let’s take you back to circa 2003.

Back in the summer 2003 a then little known jazz artist from London-town came to Toronto to do her first Canadian interview. Fitting her personality, oddly enough, she wanted it done in a barbershop and we were happy to oblige. Here at Onyx we thought it would be interesting to dig deep in the archives and let all of you see this video.

Living Off the Wall Tour

For the past few weeks in June and now going into July we at Onyx Barbers have teamed up with Vans and Footlocker to provide a very unique service and experience. Barbershops have been popping up every Wednesday in Footlocker stores at different malls across the city. We have been sending one to two barbers to these shops to cut the hair of the public for free. Yes that’s right for free!

Now I know your smiling because it’s a very original idea and you can’t wait to find out where we will be next. It’s very easy; just check our Facebook page for updates. We have two more dates scheduled. Our second last date is July 16th at Bramalea City Centre and our last date is July 23rd the Queen Street West Footlocker. Come and see, as well as feel, the magic when Onyx Barbers reaches the masses. Once again it’s for free and for limited hours, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

When first asked about this opportunity I didn’t quite see the special effect it would have on the public. I just thought” so what! We cut hair inside a store” that doesn’t sound very special. At best will get some publicity! How wrong I was. Read More

World Cup Fever

The greatest tournament in the world  is almost over and the tension is starting to build for each country. Everyone has a country’s team picked to win by now, weather you are an expert soccer fan, a casual soccer watcher or you have no idea what an ‘off-side’ is, you are sure your team will win the 2014 World Cup. That’s the magic of the world cup it brings everyone together, soccer lover or not and you just want to be a part of what’s happening.

Especially in T.Dot, the most multicultural city in the world. It’s amazing to see all the cars with flags from different countries (sometimes on the vehicle), everyone showing who they are representing. And it’s no different in the shop. A world cup soccer match is one of the few things we can keep on the television all day long and everyone is magnetized to it. I’m curious why we love the world cup so much? What about the greatest game on earth attracts you even if you don’t understand the game? It’s a question we should all ask ourselves.

I think I know the answer but I would love some feedback from all of you. Is it the 4 year wait we all have to go through to taste it? Is it the story of the underdog? Is it the fact that a third world country can compete on the same level as a ‘rich’ nation.? Maybe it’s all of the above! Most of us have come to Canada from another country. I think watching our former homes fight for glory is in some way connecting us to our roots. When and if they win, then we win! Nevertheless it’s magical to walk through the mall and see hundreds of people packed in front of the big screen not shopping but cheering for their team and their country.

Peace and hair grease

My Child’s First Time

Congratulations! You’ve just had a bouncing baby boy and you’re full of joy and high expectations. But please don’t call us in a month asking if he’s too young to get a haircut! This is something I have yet to be specific about, but every parent needs to know when a child ready for their first haircut. For more than two decades I’ve been answering this question. So I’ve decided to put the info in print for those of you who want to know but never ask. Before your child begins school the Board of Education sends a letter outlining what needs to be done at home first to ensure that the transition is smooth for your child and they are not traumatized. Same thing here! These are some steps to follow to ensure the transition is smooth.

  1. Nothing is to be done in the first year. The child’s head is far too delicate and sensitive to have shavers touching them. An exception can be made if the child’s hair is unusually long. In this case mom and dad needs to use scissors (nothing electric) to clip the unmanageable parts. Read More

12 Years of Barbering

Thursday, April 3rd is the 12 year anniversary for ONYX Barbers. I think it’s a good sign that after being in business for 12 years everyday still feels new and fresh. When I speak about the shop in my mind I tend to want to say it’s a new business. I suppose that’s because we are continually striving to grow and change. We have also been blessed enough to have customers that have been willing to take this 12 year ride with us.

The most asked question that I receive is “How have you been able to be successful for 12 years?” The answer is easy, it’s the customers. The superstars that patronize our business from week to week make it easy to keep going, growing and getting better. My fondest experience in barbering is looking at a young man coming in to get a haircut and remembering the growth that he has gone through. I remember when he was a child coming with his mother. Then a teenager coming in with his friends. And now he’s a young man coming in on his own. That is the growth that I love to see and that is what  keeps ONYX Barbers going. In the future I look forward to seeing that young man bring his son into the shop for his first haircut.

Being a part of that cycle is the best feeling in the world. And I want to once again thank all of our customers for helping ONYX Barbers make it this far. The future is bright bring on lucky 13.

Peace and hair grease