We were fortunate enough to interview Daimon Johnson from Daimon Barber Hair Pomade, a barber from London.
Mr. Pomade: How far into the first pomade were there thoughts of making more or was that the idea?
Daimon: I remember having a coffee with Leo in Soho one day and we just randomly came up with the idea of making a hair pomade for some reason. At the time, that alone seemed like the ultimate challenge as we knew nothing about it to be honest, and we certainly didn’t realize that there was a whole global community of really passionate pomade users either! We began with the design process at first before even thinking about the actual goop, and our early stuff was just all over the place really. Once we began to formulate, we then got my friend Ewan on board to help with design and quickly it all started to come together. Our first ever sample was almost perfect, and the second… well that became No.1! We were unbelievably fortunate to hit the mark so easily but sometimes that’s the way it happens. I don’t think we ever took it seriously in the beginning at all, we got our first little batch of 500 done in the hope that we would sell some, and began spending long nights labeling and packaging everything ourselves. Humble beginnings have turned into proper business now it seems, and there is money, stress and deadlines involved. We have gone from one little pomade two years ago to launching a full-scale range of products this year to bring us up to over 20 lines and I can’t say we ever envisaged it happening like this at all that’s for sure.
Mr. Pomade: Where do you find the time to be a barber, pomade brewer and family man?
Daimon: By having absolutely zero time to myself basically… It’s been great this year though, as my missus went back to work after maternity leave, so I have been lucky enough to be a stay-at-home Dad for the last few months, and although it’s the toughest job on earth, it’s also the best time I’ve had in my life. Leo has also become a parent recently too, but he is now taking the business full-time. He is the chemist and “brewer” if you like, so he pretty much starts the processes of formulation which together we all refine and tune to perfection.
I will be going back to full-time work running a new barbershop in South London very soon (Cutthroat London), so anyone visiting London or living in the area should swing by for a cut and the full selection of TDB products of course!
Mr. Pomade: Will your line ever venture into anything other than pomade/ hair product/ combs?
Daimon: We are all very much into our fragrances so it’s only natural that we have begun working on several colognes and male fragrances which we are incredibly proud and excited about, so watch this space.
Mr. Pomade: With one of the classiest presentations of all, was this the initial look you wanted or was it trial and error?
Daimon: Firstly, thank you! I think we found a good balance between classic and niche in terms of design. We wanted to steer well clear of gimmicks and blatant iconography that is so typical in the barbering scene globally. We also wanted to make it appeal to the widest audience too and not alienate any particular group which isn’t easy. I think we are also one of the only true British players in a very American dominated market, which can work in our favour, but also prices us out in some ways too
I think as our range expands, we will refine and simplify our design further, so that eventually we have a really clear and defined product range that looks great as both a personal collection and a luxury shop installation.
Mr. Pomade: What are some new pomade brands that you have had the pleasure of enjoying?
Daimon: I am a huge geek and avid pomade collector myself, with probably a couple of hundred mainstream, home-grown and vintage pomades in my bathroom cabinet.
I am friends with many of the known brewers in the states and we share a mutual respect for our products. Steve Lockhart (Lockhart’s), Clayton Douds (O’Doud’s), Edwin Carson (PND) and Zachary (Shear Revival) are all awesome cats that I have a huge amount of respect and fondness for.
My favourite products of late have been O’doud’s light (a unique and incredible pomade) and Lockhart’s light (slick and shiny with a perfect scent). Otherwise I generally use the classic stuff the most actually. Nu-Nile, Black & White, Royal Crown, Sweet Georgia Brown and Dixie Peach are all daily go-to’s for me, and in my opinion you can’t knock the classics.
Mr. Pomade:. What advice do you have as a barber, for someone who is need of a proper cut?
Daimon: Hmmm my advice would be to take your head/face shape into account when getting a cut. Just because you like a certain cut, does not mean it’s going to work well for you and I think the best hair is usually the most effortlessly achieved. I don’t believe you should force your hair to do something it doesn’t want to do overall. Also, different hair types make for another huge factor, like for example - thinning out on top, would be best given some nice texture and a shorter back and sides to give the appearance of a thicker top section.
A lot of barbers will hate me for saying this but I actually can’t stand the whole “hard-part” thing personally, and I will always try to reason with my clients about having one put in. Same goes for patterns and all these “hair-tattoo” things, it just gives me the willies… Maybe I’m just too old-school…? However my whole thing is based around superb (typically old fashioned) English customer service and comfort, and I will always go the extra distance for my clients.
Stay tuned for the arrival of our No.4 and No.5 pomades in the coming months, followed by all the other little goodies we have in store for you!
Also please show Cutthroat London some love on social media as we need your help to build something truly amazing for the good people of South London!