Jacob Khan: How The Fancy Man Approaches Self-InnovationFeb 07, 2021
If you are stuck in just one phase of your life as an entrepreneur, you are doing it all wrong. Self-innovation at all levels is one attitude every business owner must possess, which allows them to pivot when things go against their plans and stretch when opportunities unfold. Sharing his own story of personal and professional growth with Ryan Weeden is Jacob Khan, the Co-founder of Fancy Hairdressers. He talks about how he continuously pursues to improve his hairdressing techniques by keeping an eye on the current trends, as well as his transition to virtual instruction for aspiring hairdressers who want to jump into the profession. Jacob also bares his thoughts about the pandemic that severely hit the hairdressing industry, his desire to start a podcast, and his plans as a soon-to-be husband.
Listen to the podcast here:
Jacob Khan: How The Fancy Man Approaches Self-Innovation
I've got an awesome guest. Somebody I'm excited to talk to. His name is Jacob Khan. You know him. He's the man, the myth, the legend. He is the Owner and Creator of Fancy Hairdressers and Fancy Scissors. Those fancy looking gold scissors you see all over the internet and Instagram, those are his. He is a salon Owner of Jacob K Hair and Brand Ambassador to Goldwell. Please welcome, Jacob Khan.
What's up, Ryan?
Welcome to the show. I’m glad to have you here.
Thanks for having me.
Tell me about these gold scissors that I see everywhere. Why do I not have a pair yet?
I was curious about it. When you were saying that, you said you see them everywhere on the internet. Is that true that you see them all over the place?
I see you with them. I see my buddy Ray with them. They're hard to not see. Once you see it, you see it everywhere. It’s that cool.
From the inside looking out, you hope for that recognition.
I feel like I see it a lot.
That's good. I'm glad that you see it everywhere. Fancy Scissors is what they're called. The whole thing about fancy is we took issue with the industry, education, tools and stuff like that, we always feel like stuff gets puffed up a little bit. There's a lot of ego. A lot of times, if you're an educator, you're like, “I'm this fancy educator and I'm a professor. I think so much of myself.” Initially, it was a joke. We were like, “I'm a fancy hairdresser,” but then it played so well. You're a fancy hairdresser. You have a fancy haircut, fancy color, all this stuff.
The idea of it is we try to keep things simple, that it's not overly fancy. It’s the same thing with the scissor. I spent a lot of money on scissors in my career. I probably spent thousands of dollars on scissors throughout the time that I've been doing hair. You look on the back end of scissors and you realize, “I spent $1,000 for that.” It cost 1/10th of that to purchase it. The markup for scissors seems to be insane. We wanted to make a scissor that was affordable that you didn't have to go into a payment plan and debt. All of a sudden, people are coming to repossess your scissor if you miss your payment or whatever. Your wage is done.
That's how I got all my scissors early on in my hairdressing career when I couldn't afford anything. It's only $20 a month for 40 years.
I paid off my first pair here. That was totally the thing. We all did that. If you want quality and you didn't have the money which we didn't because we made minimum wage. I don’t know about you, but my first couple of years in the salon assisting and whatever, I made minimum wage. No guaranteed tips. None of that stuff. You should be happy to work here kind of thing. We wanted to make a scissor that was good and affordable. Not only that, people would see me do something or some good haircutter do something and say like, “What scissors are those?” I'm like, “Don't even worry about that because it's not the scissor that's making the hairdresser. It's the hairdresser that needs to make the scissor.”
Our scissors are $160. They are very affordable scissors. We did some comparison to other scissors that has similar metal and similar situation to these scissors, and it was $250 to $300. It’s what people were charging. We cut the markup to $160 so that we're still able to be open. We're not bankrupt or whatever, but we can give people something for under $200 that you can buy. You don't have to think about, “If I get this, do I need to get this or groceries? I need baby formula but I also need these scissors.” You shouldn't have to have that thought. That's why we made the scissor.
It's not the scissors that's makes the hairdresser. It's the hairdresser that needs to make the scissors.
I feel like everybody should have a pair of these if they're that affordable and good, even in cosmetology schools and kits.
I would love to see that in cosmetology schools. Depending on who got it. We'd have to be able to make enough and make them fast enough.
They are a little bit better than what you would say your mannequin scissors. It's not like they are low end. It's a 440C steel. It's a Japanese sourced molybdenum alloy. It's not like everyone says, “These are made in Japan. It’s Japanese steel.” Many things can be Japanese steel. It doesn't necessarily mean anything. We partnered up with another company, Kenchii, that does the production for us. They get sharpened locally in Georgia and then packaged and shipped out. The idea is you could go and get another scissor that's a better scissor. You could buy a Lamborghini or you could drive a Honda. I described it as reliable, it’s got to work, it doesn't break the bank, and it looks great.
With the right training and care, it's a scissor that will last you forever. If you decide I want to spend $800 and get a VG10 handmade, there's a dude with a hammer and sparks flying everywhere, making every little piece by hand, you can do that. You can definitely find a higher-end scissor but I don't think that you'll find a scissor that's this quality for this price. The original idea is we want to make the scissor available so people don't have to break the bank, but we also want to be imparting the idea that you need to be focusing on training. No gimmick, no tool, no swivel, no amount of teeth and texturizer is going to make you a good hairdresser. You’ve got to work to get there.
Has cutting always been your thing? Have you ever done color?
I do color now.
You do color but I see more videos with you cutting hair.
I didn't do color for the first four years. It was fourteen years or something that I've been doing hair. The first four years I didn't do any color. I just cut. After four years, I decided to take an educator program at a cosmetology school to get my educator license. When I was doing that, I was like, “Can I be departmentalized?” They're like, “No.” I threw myself into mannequins. I knew enough about color. It's only chemical.
You got the job done.
I wasn't completely unfamiliar. I had some foundation and then I needed to get into application, muscle memory, building up that dexterity. The same that I had for cutting. I'd say at this point, my competence level for cutting and color is the same. I feel good about doing both but I enjoy doing cutting more. I do everything for all my clients. I do cut and color, and I would prefer not to give up either one but if I was forced to give up one, I would be like, “I'll cut.” I'm impatient is what it is especially nowadays. Early on when I do partials where I'm going to put ten foil or whatever, the weaves. Now it's like this girl's hair looks like this, and then she wants it to look like this. You're like, “This is going to take twelve hours or something.”
I don't have the patience or I do because I do it. I don't have that built-in like, “I love that, I want to spend twelve hours changing this person's hair color.” I don't want to do that. I always say that I'm the King of the partial. A guy that works with me named Ben, he and I say that we're Kings of the partial where someone comes in and they want a full. We will talk you into a partial real quick. A couple of key areas is all we need to hit, but I do love it now. I'm a little bit of a control freak with that stuff where if someone else is doing it, I'm thinking about it hard. I'm not able to detach away from someone else doing it. In my salon, I've got a little better at that because I've trained everybody, we trained together, or we went to school together. Even I've mentored in some ways people that work there. I feel confident that they can do it but at the same time, something in the back of my mind is like, “I'm not over there.”
The Fancy Hairdressers, is that the education company? Is that with the online training as well, and then the scissors came out of that or was it like, “We got scissors first and then let's make this into a training as well?”
Fancy Hairdresser at first is a satirical idea. It was a joke that we would use as our brand. We started teaching and all this. I was with another company. I was with a salon outside of Atlanta. I was the creative director for a salon there, and I was doing education with them. It was all branded under their education for a while. I was doing the causal profiting at the same time for a little bit. When I went out on my own and I was no longer doing their stuff, I still wanted to do independent education along with what I was doing for brands. That's when Fancy became something tangible. I'd say it was in-person education, classes, and touring. You do the same thing, take your lessons on the road and everything because we weren't in bands even though we want it to be. That’s what it feels like. Each people cut on the road wish that they were playing guitar.
It's funny behind this pull-down screen here, it's white and blue with blue lights on it, but there's a bunch of guitars on the wall. Deep down, I want to be a rock star so I want to be around it and feel like I'm a rock star, but I'm just a hairdresser.
No matter how famous of a hairdresser you are, you're not that famous. I can go to Waffle House now and no one will say a word to me about anything. You can't go to Walmart if you're Brad Pitt or something, but I can go to Walmart right now and have somebody rude to me. We had the idea for the scissor so it became the Scissor, and then it started getting steadier footing. It became in-person education, The Scissor. March 1st, 2020, we launched FancyHairdressers.com which is our online education. That is a digital educations, full-length videos, and private lives. It creates this community so you get discount codes, access to tickets to classes before everybody else, but then you get videos added every single month, cutting, color, and style stuff being added. It's mostly cutting. Now, The Color Library will go live so they'll have color too. I have a lot of guest artists for that. I'm filming it.
What platform are you hosting it on?
It's integrated into our website.
Is it like a WordPress or is it all custom?
I guess it's WordPress. I have a company that does it. You were like, “What kind of computer are you using it out?” It's got fruit on it. I'm not super good at technology and stuff like that. I can edit a video to a social media level degree. I always say I was better at presenting, prep people, and talking. I have a business partner that was the real brainchild behind Fancy. He and I have been friends since we were teenagers. We lived together the whole time with the hair school. We all lived together with his wife. She and I went to hair school together. We've worked in every salon together. It all come up together. It made sense for us to go into business. Even though he doesn't do hair, he's drowning in hairdressers all the time. I don't know if it's the same way for you but for some reason, everybody in my life is a hairdresser, does hair, or involved with hair in some way. He came up with the idea for Fancy and he is the behind the scenes, all the digital stuff, paperwork. If there's something wrong with the website or whatever, he's the one who knows how to deal with that. I'm the one making typos doing twenty words a minute or whatever.
We're through the COVID year now. Of course, we're into another COVID years. We’re in the next phase of it in 2021. In Georgia at your salon, did you experience any shutdowns? The entire country had one shut down, right?
What we had was the original one.
Have you recovered from that?
Eight weeks, for two months we were shut down. The state only closed for five. It happened across the country, but we all collectively decided on March 15th, 2020 that we're going to close. Everybody was like, “We're going to close for two weeks. We'll see you guys, April 1st, 2020. Two weeks to slow the spread,” then here we are. We reopened in mid-May 2020. They opened us in April 24th, 2020 or something. They were like, “You can open.” All of us were like, “What? How can we open?” They said “You can open,” but they gave us this laundry list of stuff that we had to comply with in order to open. Most people in that moment started renovating. I was lucky I got the jump on it in March 2020. That was another thing we were lucky with the website too because we did that online education March 1st, 2020 not even thinking about a pandemic. We were like, “Let's do online education in addition to in-person.” We were so lucky. It saved us for the year.
I know a lot of people are going in that direction now because we all have to pivot. If you're living in California too. California hairdressers are getting crushed. It's a very sad thing. There's no real evidence that salons are super spreaders.
The contact tracing out at New York, I see Eric from Salon Republic sharing that all the time. It said salons are responsible for 0.14% of the spread which is insanely low. Target, Walmart, Home Depot, they are definitely spreading stuff more.
Strip clubs too, if you want to get a lap dance and a steak.
Atlanta is well known for its strip clubs. That's our prize jewel here.
In California now, they're open.
A female client of mine went to one and she posted a video, which I don't think you're supposed to post videos in a strip club. I've heard her getting a dance and the stripper was not wearing anything but a mask. The strippers are wearing a mask giving a dance. I'm almost 100% positive you can get it. Something is coming out of there.
You can get it from other places on your body that might have access to the inside of your body.
I'm like, “This is crazy.”
What is this year looking like for you now?
The guidelines that we have is to have 10 feet between every chair. We can only have one client per hairdresser in the salon at a time. Both of us in masks the whole time. Somebody like me, sometimes I was double booking or triple booking stuff. I had at least a few people that were doing that in the salon. It's busy for what we have available, but it's not what it used to be. I can't complain and we're open. Sometimes I think like, “I didn't double stack haircuts on all this color.” I think about people in California that are twiddling their thumbs waiting. Who knows? You're in San Diego. They're divvying out these shutdowns that is a week-long. At the end of the week, “We're going to do two more weeks,” and then, “We're going to do four more days. We're going to do another one.” They’re feeding you these little shutdowns as almost to pacify you slightly, "It's only this long.”
It's bizarre though because to some of us, it seems like we're in quarantine and we're laying very low with everything going on. The new statistic is 1 in 5 people in LA have COVID. I'm like, “We're going to stay indoors as much as possible in our own bubble here.”
What's the population of LA?
I don't know. I think there are 800,000 cases or something like that just in LA. That's a lot of cases.
That's one of the tightly packed population besides New York City.
Salons are closed. A lot of businesses are closed. People are eating outside in restaurants, but the beaches will be packed. The highways are packed with people going places. I'm like, “Where are you going? What is happening?” It's either close it all or open it all. It's so weird right now.
At least, open the things that you know aren't the problem. Don't be like, “Strip clubs can be open and department stores,” which I'm assuming because they have enough money to lobby the government to stay or whatever as being essential, even though it's any mom-and-pop place I'm sure could provide most of those services online. Some people would say open or whatever, and throw caution to the wind about this. People deserve the right to support themselves and try to work in a safe way especially when the numbers and the data are pointing to that. I say about the numbers and the data but I don't know what I'm talking about.
I think you're onto something. That is the most important thing to follow, science.
Whatever we're being told, that's what I know. They put out these numbers. Why are we not behaving in the way that these numbers are presented?
Depending on what news channel you watch or radio station you listen to, you're being told something else. Half the population is hearing one thing and the other half is hearing another thing.
People create these information vacuums for themselves. They're in a tunnel and it's not original thought anymore to even say this because of that Social Dilemma movie or whatever. That is literally the situation whether it's on the TV, in a newspaper, or whatever you've gone to. They've already made up their minds. They're trying to get as much advertising revenue as possible. Get the most amount of clicks and views. Stress everybody out to the max. It tore us apart. This has been super crazy. I can't even believe what we've seen in 2020, to be honest.
It's shocking. We never thought we would live to see a day like this or a year like this even, and here we are.
You didn't even conceive of it. I remember in February listening to the radio, listening to someone talk about China that, “Draconian efforts may need to be taken.” I was like, “That sounds serious.” I won't think another thing about that, but if you think about the seriousness of that now like the implications of draconian efforts. We're like, “It's not going to be like that.” You keep going on with your life. You would think the government or people in power would be paying slightly closer attention to that than I was in the car, but it was in the back of my mind. I knew it was happening but I was like, “It's not going to happen to us. We've got cable and whatever.”
We shield ourselves from it to protect ourselves until it hits home, and then you know somebody that gets sick or dies. Suddenly it's like, “Now it's real.” Until it does that, people don't respond the way they probably should. They make it very political. They make it about the wrong reasons.
People deserve the right to support themselves and the right to try to work safely.
The issue that I can see for people is that people feel that they're being selfless on both sides. When you think that you're doing something for the greater good of everybody, you're not going to be told anything different because of these information vacuums or whatever. As you said, people get certain information and they're going to be so steadfast. Each side thinks the other side is being selfish.
The plan is to make a lot of money, buy an island, and put a big wall around that island even.
There's a candidate that ran on something similar to that built a wall. We have a barber in the salon. Our salon is three big rooms. It has two big, long narrow rooms. The third one is our color bar storage. We added a barber area back there but it always looked a little unfinished so we built a wall to finish off the barber area. I’m here in the other room saying to one of our clients like, “This is the only wall that got finished this year.” That's what I love about my salon. We say that we are a non-censorship salon. You should be able to make jokes. If you can't joke about everything, you can't joke about anything.
You should be able to have conversations. It's a big stigma in the salon. People say, “You can't talk about politics. You don't talk about politics in the salon.” Previous years, sure. You don't talk about politics in the salon, but if you were not talking about something political, then you were hiding your head in the sand. What are we supposed to talk about? We can only talk about Joe exotic for so long. A few weeks of that and it's like, “Did you see what happened on the news?”
It comes down to making sure that you have empathy for the person in your chair and around you so that if you do start to piss somebody off, which can happen very quickly, it's like, “I'm not going to keep poking the bear.”
If you're following guidelines and your chairs should be ample distance from anybody.
You know those loud talking stylists. There's plenty. You probably have someone in your salon and you're one of them.
We do say that though. As you said, you need to be respectful. You need to be able to have these conversations without being offensive. We also say if you say something sexist, racist or homophobic and you're out the door. I don't think those things are left up to interpretation, but maybe some people do. You can have a conversation about actual politics without being sexist, racist, homophobic, or whatever. You don't have to be offensive to talk about something that's important. Do you know what’s crazy? I do talk about it so much. Every client sits down, I go, “Are you getting the vaccine?” I want to get a temperature. I'm taking a poll of Georgia. I would say it's 1/3 because 1/3 are saying they're getting it, 1/3 are saying, “I'm going to wait and see what happens,” and 1/3 are saying like, “Never, the 5G is coming or whatever. It's going to change my DNA.” I don't know. It could be. Who knows? Because I do that so much, my clients started saying like, “I get my updates from you.” I'm like, “Don't do that.”
You're creating another vacuum.
I can show you how to lighten up some weight.
“Where did you hear that? Jacob K Salon.”
It's like, “I heard that the numbers are this. Where did you get the numbers?” I'm looking for two seconds in the Google News before you sat down and talking to you about what I saw.
“Here's the January newsletter. Everybody get your newsletter here.” It's been a ride. Let's change gears a little bit here. I follow Shelby and you were engaged with her. I've met her. She's an amazing person. She looks like an amazing chef.
She is. In cooking world, there is maybe some controversy about who is allowed to call themselves a chef. Shelby has never been a chef in a kitchen. She refers to herself as a recipe developer which is what she does all day. All day, she’s putting together recipes and cookbook that's going to come out. We're getting married in April 2021 and we're hoping for the cookbook to come out. It’s all gluten-free because I have an allergy. She has saved my life, my digestion, in ways I didn't even know. All of a sudden, I’m eating things that I thought I could never eat again. She was making a joke that her uncle was like, “I need healthy advice for eating.” She's like, “I'm not about it being healthy. It's allergy-friendly.” It's mozzarella sticks. Not everything is mozzarella sticks but it's a lot of comfort food stuff.
If anyone out there is gluten-free, which I'm sure you are because it's very cool to be gluten-free. You know that a lot of the time, it doesn't taste good, it's bland, the bread is hard or whatever. You're giving into that like, “I'm gluten-free. I had to accept the fact that it's not going to be as good.” She is calling this cookbook Gluten-Free Flavor Full. It's the most honest title because she's proven to me that I can have all these things that I thought I would never have again. I was like, “I'll never have a pizza that's good again.” Think about that thought that you'll never have pizza again.
That's a terrible thought. I think everyone don't even want to go there.
She showed me that you can be gluten-free and have it all taste good, and adhere to the diet pretty easily. I didn't lose any weight but I've lost a pant size. You don't even realize how bloated you are eating all of this stuff. It causes all this inflammation or messes with your digestion. I've been completely gluten-free now for a year and a half. I went down a pant size from inflamed or something. It was like a hot air balloon.
When did you find out you're gluten-free and how did you find out?
I found out through the process of elimination. I haven't gone and got tested for celiacs. I don't get hospitalized or something if I have gluten, not like a peanut allergy. If I have something that has gluten in it, I had bad digestive problems. It's noticeable. I'm like, “I feel a little funny.” I know I must've had something that had gluten in it. I found that out because I thought I was lactose intolerant or something. I cut out all dairy and it's still happening. It didn't fix anything. I cut out dairy and gluten, and then I was better. I added the dairy back and I was still good. Everybody is a little bit lactose-intolerant as they say. Through that process of elimination, I realized I need to not have gluten in my diet or I'll feel normal.
I was listening to a podcast and I've been on a health kick my whole life pretty much. I've been working out consistently for about six months and it's been awesome. Now that I'm doing that consistently working out, I want to start to eat healthier. I've been reading books and doing the research on that. It's a cool journey to try to figure out what your individual body type requires. One of the things I was learning about from this podcast and these books that I've been reading is that the medical society or whoever said that these are calories and this is how you should judge, nutrition information is all wrong, how we see it.
Is that the pyramid or whatever?
Yes. How each of us individually create fat, digest fat, digest food. None of it makes sense.
I heard there's a DNA test or something that you can get that will tell you like, “Avoid this. These things will be better for you.” Have you heard about that?
I heard about that. I've also heard about that it advised to go, speak to a nutritionist, and get the allergy testing. You spend $500 to $1,000, whatever it is to get a full workup to find out exactly what your body likes and doesn't like, and how much different it will be when you start to adhere to what your body rejects.
You don't even know that you feel garbage right now.
How much better you'll feel and how much more energetic you'll feel if you give your body what it needs. I'll let you know how that goes.
Tell me if the nutritionist is worth it or if it's trying to sell you some snake oil or something.
I don't want to go to anybody for a while until I get that vaccine. I'll hold it out until then. I've survived this long.
I'm going to plug this computer in.
That happened to me when I first started doing my episode. One of the hardest things that I've come to learn is getting set up and making sure that you have your battery charged on everything, make sure the audio sounds great. There are so many working elements to it. Something always goes wrong almost with every single episode. Thankfully, it's on your end this time and not mine.
It's working. I got some stuff in mid-2019 to try and do a podcast. The sound was the problem. I got the mics and I got this little zoom or something like that. It has two XLR inputs. It records directly onto that. It's a little box. You can do it on the road or whatever. Whatever the mic got, I was getting so much of anything. It was picking up on both with the delay. I don't have the sound engineering skills to make that work after that already happened. Luckily now, a friend of mine whose name is Tom Hardy, which is hilarious, but it's not Tom Hardy, the actor. He has a service. I don’t know what that is, but it's something like that where if you are a podcaster, you send him your files. He'll make intro and outro.
It's Podetize. It's the name of this company.
You know that already.
That's what I use. He's a friend of yours?
He lives here in Atlanta. He's a friend of ours, Tom Hardy.
I talked to him. He helped me get set up if it's the same guy.
It's not the same guy. It's got to be a similar service. I'm excited to give it a try now.
Who do I have? It’s Tom Hazzard. That’s why I’m like, “This sounds so familiar.”
That's crazy. They need to have a legal battle with each other. There can be only one podcast helping Tom.
I'm using a service. It's called Podetize and it's very similar. It's awesome. I finished up with here and I sent it over to them. They put my intro on that we've already put together and they make it all sound great, cohesive, and take out any areas that say, uh, um, or anything repetitive. It's pretty cool. I listen to my own show sometimes when I'm working out. I'm like, “This sounds like something I could listen to.” I end up listening to it for an hour. I listened to myself for an hour.
There's someone else on there too. Do you do that alone as well?
I do about half and half. I've been doing a lot of interviews, which is great.
The alone stuff to me would be more difficult after a while. I listen to this dude named Tim Dillon who is a stand-up comedian. He's this outlandish, ridiculous stand-up comedian that says the most ridiculous stuff, a shocking off kind of comedian. I listened to him rant. How did you do that for two hours? Once a week for two hours. He says he does no preparation. He’s like, “I going to sit down and do this.” He rants and it’s so entertaining.
That's the gift of gab right there.
Podcasting is what makes me get through my workouts.
The same thing. I listen to podcasts.
If I listen to music or whatever, I'm still thinking about the workout. If I'm listening to a podcast, I'm thinking about the subject of the podcast and I won't even realize I've been doing this for 45 minutes already.
I'm taking notes. I've got my notebook. I work out in my garage where I've got this whole weight setup thing. It's pretty cool. I've got a whiteboard on the wall. I'm listening to my podcasts. I'm working out, I'm making notes. It's like Ryan time.
You're an organized guy.
I'm getting more organized. I'm a lot more organized. If you talked to me a year ago, I was a mess.
I'm you a year ago. I’ve met another girl that taught me a bunch named Chelsea. She helped me manage the stuff a lot. I'm like, “We'll do that at that date.” She’s like, “You can't do at that date. You already booked three things that day.” I'm like, “Okay, sorry.”
That's why I have Amanda, my assistant. She manages my calendar. I don't even know what I'm doing from day to day. I asked her, “Set this up, please.” I don't say it like that. I say it in a nicer way than that, “Set this up. Make it happen now. Go, please.”
Try the podcast. We're calling it This Is A Bad Idea.
It sounds like a great idea.
The reason I wanted that was because of the idea of the salon. The non-censorship salon idea where you can say real stuff. You can have these conversations. We’re like, “This is a bad idea because people can't handle conversation very much.” No side I feel is capable at least online. In real life, people are nice, rational, level-headed, introspective like what I see from day to day, but then online, you only see the loudest, craziest, ready to go to war kind of people. I'm sure that we're going to get some backlash of that. I stalled it down because of the technical difficulties, but also because I don't even know if we should do this because it's a bad idea.
The cool thing is initially, there's not going to be a lot of people listening so you can get some feedback from some people. Not that many hairstylists or people in general are podcast listeners yet. It's still a medium that more people are doing it and listening to them but it's still very early in its infancy, I guess you could say. There's still a lot of room for like, “Let's play around with it. Let's figure out and find our niche first. Hopefully, we'll get an audience around that.”
I don't even know what to expect in terms of an audience. If I base it off of my following that I'm going to be disappointed.
Even if you have a huge following, you might be disappointed initially. You’ve got to do it because you love doing it.
Moving people from one platform to another is hard to do. Even FancyHairdressers.com, we have almost about 1,000 people signed up for the site. I made a private Instagram for them where I can connect with them easily. I've only got 200 of them to go over there. I’m like, “Check your emails. Am I in your spam folder?”
Welcome to online education.
If you're out there, send your login.
They’ll get your email 4, 5, or 6 months later like, “How do you log in?”
Maybe because it's Mailchimp, we send out these mass emails. Maybe people are like, “I don't feel like it.”
People in general don't check email as much as I do or we do because we're an office in a business setting. We look at our email inbox every single day and we're inundated. We have to make sure that we're constantly on it, but somebody that's not in the email business, why check email? I never get anything.
You got spam or you got a bunch of things you signed up for. You're like, “I had to get this discount.” Express text me and be like, “Do this for this vest.” I don't even wear that vest.
There's another service I signed up for. It's called Community. It's a texting service where it's another way to get your followers to go there. You have your own private phone number there. It's not your cell phone number but it's an app. That goes to your app. You open it up and you can text people, or text everybody that follows you on that app. Nobody ever doesn't open a text message.
It gave you your Instagram followers phone.
It's not something creepy like that.
I was all excited.
That'd be amazing, and their addresses too. It's a way to do text marketing. If you're doing events and stuff, you can say like, “I'm going to go live today at 1:00. Make sure you check it out.” Text messaging is 99.9% open rate.
How's your success getting people on it?
It's harder because you’ve got to get people to take action and text you. You've got to give them a reason to do it. You have to find a reason to do it and get them in the right situation to make it worth their while.
It's going to be hard too because the amount of options that you have for digital is through the roof. Everybody had to pivot. We all had to do something. I'm still in the salon full-time. I do 30 hours a week, something like that in the salon. We did at least 25 weekends teaching a class at least. All the hair shows and all that stuff. It's was a huge part of the business. If we didn't pivot, at least for how we had things set up, we were going to be in some trouble. We had to make some education work. I'm feeling, you do the same. Are you still in the salon quite often?
I closed my salon. I haven't worked personally in the salon for two years.
You had a salon but your stylists are taking clients. You were running it and doing everything. This 2021, was the lease coming up or was it because of the pandemic?
The lease is coming up. We tried to get out early and it didn't work in our favor that our landlord was not budging. We got screwed. We're having to pay the rent. Thankfully, were we able to qualify for some more grants. We're slowly bleeding for another year but it still stresses off my back.
You wouldn't be able to do it. Even if you were open, you'd be closed. You should have been like, “I wish we could be open.”
Thankfully, because we are closed, we do get those days deducted at the end of our lease, which is great. That's good for us, but for everybody else that's not able to work, it's sucks.
Landlords are not helping out from what I can see. In leases too, that can be difficult. It’s usually tight.
It’s been a trip.
How's that been? You're doing a lot of dolls.
I've got my studio here in the back of my house, which is great. I never have to leave home all that much. I work about 50 yards away from my house, which is nice. I go back here. It's a pretty sizable studio here. I'm cranking out doll heads, lots of doll heads here and there.
I don't even mind doing dolls. I’ve done it the whole time. I've said it in class. I'm like, “Who's got a mannequin stand?” If you're doing a demo and you're like, “Who's got a mannequin stand?” Twenty percent of the audience puts their hand up. I'm like, “Who's doing hair when you’re not in the salon?” If you're a busy hairdresser, eventually you have the same clients. At least a large percentage of your clients are touch-ups and maybe occasionally, they're getting big changes or something. If you've been doing somebody's hair for months and years, you're getting into a little bit of monotony sometimes with them. Maybe a style change and hair changes, but you know what I mean.
You can only take an inch off so many times. Someone's got this bob forever. If I wanted to do things that were more creative, to challenge myself, or push myself. I've been doing this thing called a weird haircut of the week where I haircut on a doll. It's a hard haircut to do but a person will never ask you for it. It's hard, it's accurate, but it's ugly. It’s overtly creative. It’s too creative for the salon because you don't have the opportunity to do that. I always try to tell people in class like, “Get a doll. Get a stand. Do hair at home.” It's such a competitive thing that we do in order to truly be successful.
That's how trends are developed too, by doing stuff that's outside of the box. That might not make sense at the time, but it's technically difficult because it's going to help you in the future with everything else that you do. Trying something different and weird because that weird could be a reality in two years.
I've been asked by people like, “What do you think the new trend is going to be?” You're masters of volume. I feel stuff like that, natural blended stuff is never going to go out of style at this point.
I'm glad about that. That's some good business longevity right there. Keep that going. We’re going to keep pushing that.
I haven't locked a foil for God knows how long. It's low maintenance and it's easy. I’m not saying it’s easy to do, but easy for the customer. You can wear it longer and even grown out, it looks good. I don't see people making a shift to purposefully higher maintenance hair in general. This is one of the only times in history that low maintenance hair is a thing. Maybe the ‘60s or something where people are just blowing their hair long.
Since you're the King of the partials, that's going to be one of the most popular trends. Having a big impact, partial color, partial highlight. How to do less with more so you're in the salon less time and for less money.
How to do more with less.
What did we say? We said the opposite.
We also see blacky colors and bold stuff coming back if you're progressive and you're wearing funky stuff. The other thing I got asked about, and I came up with an answer for this, was I see the curtain bang growing out. Masks is why they're growing it out. If you’ve got bangs and then you've got a hat on or whatever. I see people still wanting this ponytail layer movement softness. It looks like you put your hair up and these pieces fall out. There wasn't a lot of intention but maybe less heavy in the front.
Masks are here to stay for a while for a lot of people. When I get on an airplane even in the future, I might even bring a mask with me depending on how I feel about who’s sitting next to me.
It is not impossible to start a conversation about politics without being racist or sexist.
If we've curbed it, if we're vaccinated, and we don't all turn into zombies because of the vaccine or whatever happens from that then it works, and then cases go down. I still think that it's an important thing to be exposed to germs. I looked at how many cases of the flu have been recorded first week of January 2021 compared to 2020. It was thousands within the first week of January.
2020 compared to 2021, it's hardly any.
It was less than 50. There are 1 of 2 things happening. It's either that we're conflating some of these cases with COVID, people are not getting tested for the flu because they're like, “I'm not going to go out because I have these symptoms. I have COVID, I'm not going to get tested.” Because we're masked and we're so separated, people aren't getting the flu. I'm a moron and I'm not a doctor, but what worries me about that is if you're not around it and you don't build up some immunity, and we're sanitized and covered, when we do get exposed to sicknesses with the regular cold, it’s going to hit you like a ton of bricks. We’ve got to be careful. I'll probably be licking the handrail at the airport as soon as I get my vaccine.
I see my daughter licking the dogs, the dogs are licking her, she's licking stuff off the carpet.
I heard people said that inside of a dog's mouth is cleaner. I don't think that's true. They're able to withstand the bacteria.
They can break down all of the bacteria and stuff so that they don't get sick from it. My dog eats shit. His own shit. I'm not getting near that dog's mouth.
I had twelve teeth pulled from one of my dog's mouth. He's getting old. I was like, “How many teeth do dogs have? It had three left.” It looks like he has a good bit in there but he had the worst breath ever because of it. Admittedly, people are going to say, “He's a bad dog owner.” I didn't do a whole lot for his teeth. I didn't think about it. I gave him some greenies. It's supposed to help his teeth. Apparently, you’ve got to brush them. Some vets are brushing them every day. He's better now.
Are you serious? You put gauze on your finger and rub it in there because we all have time for that.
We do, I guess now. There are all that 25 weekends. You're not on the road. You're brushing your dog's teeth.
We're too busy trying to brush our daughter's teeth right now. That’s a chore.
How old is your daughter?
She’s two years old. She's got a full mouth of teeth. She's had teeth for a while.
You'd be like, “You're getting married. You're going to have kids.” I'm like, “How many teeth are they supposed to have?”
You learn as you go. I didn't know any of this. I'm like, “When do they start driving? When do they start dating?”
Does she like getting her teeth brushed?
The toothpaste tastes like banana split. It was funny because I was tired in the morning and I was brushing my teeth. It was a good morning when I remember to brush my teeth. I'm going to have coffee so it's going to stink anyway.
This is a nightmare with the mask on.
I'm going to the backyard for a Zoom call but I grabbed the toothpaste thing. I was half asleep, I put it on my toothbrush, and I was brushing my teeth. I'm like, “This tastes like banana split.” It's my daughter's toothpaste.
Is there sugar in it?
I'm sure there is. It's not like sugar. It's like the bees stuff or something. It's supposed to be healthier. She can swallow it. It doesn't have fluoride or anything in it.
It's almost like you're teaching habits at the moment because those teeth are going to go.
She's at the stage right now where she mimics everything we do. It's so cute and funny. We’ve got to be careful of what we do and what we say because she's starting to repeat like a parrot.
They've got a mouth too. It's hard. We've got a friend and they’ve got a four-year-old son. They were in the grocery store and she was like, “Don't let us leave without onions,” to the four-year-old. She gives him a task, “Remind me of the onions before we go.” They forget the onions. They're checking out. He goes, “Mom, the fucking onions.” He's four years old. She's like, “I'm sorry, everybody.” It almost doesn't register to me that a four-year-old understands what I'm saying if I'm not talking directly to the four-year-old. I was like, “He's just aloof,” but he's cataloging.
We're talking about a two, which is baffling. She can't barely speak a word of English but she understands almost everything we say. We'll say like, “Go over there and grab this.” She'll go over and grab it, “Can you get my phone?”
I love that you said they shouldn't speak a word of English as if she speaks Mandarin Chinese only.
She speaks all the time. It sounds like Chinese. I don't have a lot of experience with the Chinese language but it sounds a lot like that, partial alien.
It’s a rare dialect from a very specific area.
She's very animated like hands flying around. She's explaining things and gets frustrated. Sometimes, we don't get it and she'll look at me.
I've said that you were animated before so that makes sense.
It's funny to see her so animated. I wonder where she gets that from.
For my birthday, they tried to get you to roast beef for my birthday. You were like, “Be nice to him, ladies.” He's so animated. He's a good character. That was hilarious. Did you ever do a thing called Cameo before? Do you know Cameo?
I've heard of it. What is it?
It's like if you have some semblance of celebrity, you can put yourself on this website and people can give $50 and you'll record a greeting or you'll record a message for them. Who did I see on there? They got a guy named Brian Posehn. Do you know who Brian Posehn is? He is a stand-up comedian. He was talking with Patton Oswalt and people like that on the comedians of comedy tour. I'm big into stand up. I liked stand up a lot. They got him to record me a message. I didn't know about Cameo when this was happening. This is how I discovered it. It's like you or it's people I know but all of a sudden, it's Brian Posehn. This guy is on Comedy Central, a big actor, and one of the biggest stand-up comedians. I was like, “What the hell? Why is this guy on there?”
You go on there. You find the person that’s on there, you pay $50, they take ten seconds, and do a quick video and upload it.
You can choose whatever you want. Let's say, if you decided to make one. You want me to make a Cameo for you. $50 gets you 30 seconds, $100 to get you a minute. You can decide what they purchase and how much it costs.
Shirt on or this much shirt off.
I'm sure they have that stuff. If you end up as a celebrity on there, you're either like, “Why don't I make a little bit of extra money?” or you're on the way out. Things aren't going great.
Before you go to Vegas, if you can have a Vegas career.
You got off from the Dancing with the Stars or something. Now you're on Cameo because you didn't win. No one cares. I’m rambling. I know that I do that. I talk 1,000 miles an hour and whatever. I hope it's not too much. I always think about that.
You mean for this show. This is fun. This is great. People want to hear people talking about real shit, and sometimes conversations go in 1,000 different directions. I feel like you can still learn a lot about the people even if it does go on seventeen different tangents.
That's an issue of mine. I don't sleep well because my mind is moving 1,000 miles an hour. I’ve got to lay down to sleep and it's not even productive. I'm thinking about stuff. I'm trying to sleep and I'm like, “When I was twelve, I said something embarrassing. Why am I doing that?” I don't even like calling myself creative. Maybe it's a creative thing.
You have a busy mind and I do too. It's also the mind of an entrepreneur. You're an entrepreneur. Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?
Yes, for sure.
It's part of our nature as an entrepreneur. We are always thinking what's next, what do we got to do, “I haven't done this. I've got to do this.” You then think about your childhood, “This is a good story I should tell that I can relate to. I should do a post about this.”
It will happen and I'll snap back into it like, “How long have you been thinking about this? You’re off on some ridiculous tangent and not doing what you're supposed to be doing.” Oftentimes, it’s supposed to be sleeping.
I've tried sleepy time tea and it doesn't work. That's the biggest waste of my time. Sometimes, I'll smoke some pot and then it will work. Sometimes, it won't. I’m like, “Great. Now, I’m super stoned for four hours.”
You're in California. If I say that, I might have the GBI bust through this window now.
Are you serious?
In the City of Atlanta it is decriminalized to the point that if you have it announced, it's a ticketable offense. I don't live in the city anymore. We wanted property and more space and whatever. Not because of COVID, but moving on with my life and being like, “I don't go to the club anymore. Why am I paying this much for rent?” I might as well go move. We want chickens. I want to throw an ax in my backyard and have my neighbor look at me like I'm crazy. That's not working. We have an acre and a half but one neighbor has a good view. I've only met him one time. It was because his dog got out. He's got a Husky, a big dog. He's like, “My dog got out.” As he comes out, I'm making a video where I've nailed a mannequin head to a target in my yard and I'm throwing axes at it. I'm literally hacking hatchets at this mannequin head. He comes over and he's like, “My dog got out.” I had to explain to him, “I do things on the internet.” He's like, “That's fine. I'll go.”
Mannequin heads freak people out that aren't hairdressers, and then you see somebody throwing an ax at one that's all set up nice and positioned perfectly. Your neighbor will be like, “I’ve got a bummer next door to me.”
That's what I love about our property in general. You can't see our house or our yard from the road. You have to go down the driveway. It’s a real long driveway.
That's how ours is too. I absolutely love it.
In San Diego?
We moved a little bit further out. We're about maybe 30 minutes from the nearest beach. It’s is not too far, which is great. We're in Escondido. We're in San Diego County but in Escondido.
That's like me saying I live in Atlanta but I live in Woodstock.
It keeps a lot of explaining out of the way.
No one knows where Woodstock, Georgia is. Do you guys have electricity? I say that we're in Atlanta and they get it.
We're a little bit further. We wanted a place with more land, more privacy, bigger house. You don't get much by the beach for what we wanted to. Even if we're willing to pay a lot of money, you're still not going to get a lot.
Media is now all about getting the highest revenue and most number of clicks possible.
Even with everything that's happening in California, is the housing market staying strong out there?
It is, where we are.
This is the year to buy out here. Rates were crazy low.
They are still low here and we got in at a good time. We bought it a year ago. That was a good time as well.
At least here, there's this talk of an exodus from California and New York City.
We're planning it. We're looking to go to Colorado in a couple of years. That's the goal at the moment right now. We love Colorado. We love the mountains. We live close to the beach but we never go. The beach is getting more crowded.
It's covered in hypodermic needles. Is it?
I've only been to San Diego one time. We went to a salon called Rinse there. I love it over there. I didn't get to fully experience San Diego all that much. We were in the Gaslamp.
San Diego is great but it's not where I want to live anymore with a family. I have kids now and I want them to have more freedom with outdoors and not be around many people.
That's something to think about. One of the only places I haven't been is Colorado. I've never been to Colorado. It would be a place that I would love.
You’ve got to check it out. If you go to fly into Denver or something like that, there are many cool places within an hour. They are in the mountains. You don't have to travel very far and you can still be close to a hub.
I used to snowboard and all that stuff back in the day as well. I never did anything good though because I was in the Northeast at the time when I was up in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, places like that. We were snowboarding but it was hills. It's not down like a mountain. I've always wanted to get out there and do something like that, but I got a bad knee now. I tore my ACL, my meniscus in my left leg. I used to rock climb all the time. I hyper-extended my leg bouldering, which is doing these short routes with no rope. I did this heel hook, put too much weight on it, and bent it. I have a donor ACL in this leg. I wake up in the middle of the night and I'll be playing soccer and I'm like, “What's happening? It’s the haunted ACL.” Most of my jokes are jokes for me.
That’s the way I am too. My wife looks at me and she rolls her eyes. Now, my daughter is doing it.
You get to make dad jokes now.
I can finally do that. I have freedom. It's amazing. It changed everything.
My jokes are called bad jokes. When you become a dad, you have that dad jokes and they have a purpose.
You are planning on having kids then.
I wasn't planning on having kids until being with Shelby. I’m truly finding the right person and being with the right person. Having that confidence in your relationship and knowing we're going to make it. In the past, even if I felt like I'm in a serious relationship, I was like, “I'll never have kids.” I never equated it to the relationship. I always thought it's a personal thing for me, but only now I realized that once you maybe find the right person, things can change.
It's wild being a dad and you have kids. You think you know what love is until you have your kids. Everything changes. Suddenly, it's all about them. You can't wait to see them. You might be sick of them at the end of the day. You’re at your wit's end from them not listening to you, but then they go to bed, you're pulling your phone, you're watching videos of them, and scrolling through pics of them. It's the craziest thing. You're wondering if they're going to die the whole time because you're afraid of everything. You look around the house. You're like, “That's sharp, that's dangerous. We’ve got to fix this.” Everything becomes a project.
There's a page on Instagram that you should follow that will maybe make it worse. It will make your worries worse. It's called Kids Getting Hurt. It's not like any kids are getting badly hurt but kids are clumsy. They fall weird and stuff. It's a bunch of things like kid walking, looking back at his mom, and then whacking his head on a table or something and falling over. The parents are laughing in the video. It's super entertaining. I do like it.
I'll check it out. We look at our kids like they are new cars. They get that first scratch or they get that first little bump, and it's like the end of the world. We’re like, “Are you okay?”
I'll have to see how I do. I’m already like that with the dogs a little bit. I feel that's got to be an offensive thing when you say to someone who's got kids. You're like, “My dogs are my kids.” You're like, “Shut up.”
That's one of my favorite things. I used to say that too before we had kids. I was one of those people that I'm like, “We have dogs so we're getting practice.” If you have kids, you are like, “The two are nothing at all the same.”
I could leave that dog in a cage for hours. I can't do that with a kid.
That dog is self-sufficient from day one. It might not know where to poop or know how to control it. It will feed itself, relieve itself, protect itself, and sleep fine. We should probably get wrapping up here. You and I can chat forever. I would love to do this again because this was fun.
Any time, just let me know. If I get the podcast working on our end as well, we'd love to have you on too.
That'd be a good idea to be on the Bad Idea Podcast.
It's a great idea for you to be on This Is A Bad Idea. Whenever you're able to travel again, when you guys did class at my first salon, we moved on 3 or 4 times that size now. Everybody had incredible things to say about it. I was very jealous. I wasn't there. Everybody was like, “He's such a good presenter.” I'm like, “I'm a good presenter. Who's running?”
“That was a few years ago. Wait until they see me now.”
I would love to have you back as well.
Not that I've been locked away in that little cubicle area.
Now that we haven't presented for a year, we're probably better at presenting. We’ll find out soon enough. When you get that shot, you come on through.
That sounds perfect. The same thing for you. I wish I could invite you to my salon, but we should definitely do something. We have some plans with mobs once we can have big events again and maybe we can get you up on stage.
You guys say the word, I'll be there.
Thank you so much for being here. How can people find you? I'm sure everybody reading already knows where they can find you, but let's talk about Fancy Hairdressers as well if they want to reach out and say hi.
You can find me on Instagram, @JacobHKhan. You can go to FancyHairdressers.com and sign up for a full and ever-growing library of step-by-step videos for only $10 a month. We call it Simple Education For Fancy Hairdressers. It’s an education that is going to be effortless and give you real-life haircuts, real-life hairstyles to bring you real-life salon success. Check that out. You can also go to @FancyScissors on Instagram if you want to pick up a pair of scissors.
You fancy. This is great. Thanks for being here.
I appreciate you having me.