It’s fair to say that the barbering industry has seen something of a renaissance in the last few years. Male grooming and styling is now a rapidly growing market, with an array of new products targeted towards men’s needs hitting shelves.
However, not everyone is new to this game! Baxter of California has actually been producing leading hair, skin and shaving essentials for men since 1965. With premium formulas and a brand that is still relevant today, we decided to find out more about how they developed a range that never goes out of style…
Tell us more about Baxter of California. How did it begin and what does it stand for?
Baxter of California was founded in 1965 by Baxter Finley. Mr. Finley was tired of his life working as an advertising executive in New York and so decided to have a sea-change and move to sunny California. Here, he immersed himself into the LA lifestyle, where there was a new wave of freedom and self-expression, with a keen interest in surf and skate. As the weather was quite different to New York, he felt his skin was not adjusting to the sun and sea breeze. This need led to him innovating his first product, the Super Shape Skin Recharge cream, which is still sold in an updated formula today.
How does Baxter of California stand out from competitors?
Through its ethos and message – Life Lived True. This is what we stand for and champion in every element of the Baxter lifestyle. The brand enables the consumer to live their life authentically and fosters the same freedom of expression that Baxter sought. Regarding product, the portfolio spans across Hair, Skin, Shave, Body and Lifestyle with a strong, simple and easy to use offering in each category. Everything is tried and tested in the Baxter Finley Barber & Shop, with the consumer at the heart of every innovation and development.
What has been the brand’s greatest success? Any innovations you are proud of or challenges the brand has overcome?
The men’s grooming market continues to grow every year and we are proud to be such a strong presence for the last 44 years. We have continued to innovate and listen to what people want, which has enabled our continued success. This year we launched two key innovations in skincare, using different acid ingredients. The Skin Concentrate BHA and Clay Mask AHA have been met with high-praise and are sure to become skincare staples of the Baxter of California range. They use acids that go deep within the skin to unclog pores, reduce blemishes and overall enhance smoothness and clarity in skin.
What are your best selling products? What do you think makes them so popular?
Our best selling products range over the different categories and are so popular because they work and are simple to use. In hair, our Clay Pomade is so highly rated because it provides a natural matte finish and strong hold, which is a common request for male grooming. Our Deodorant is alcohol and aluminium free, with the largely natural ingredient being generally appealing in body and skincare. The aforementioned Super Shape Skin Recharge cream continues to be a best-seller with its iconic packaging and age-defending properties.
Which of your products would you suggest all barber shops should stock up with?
With barber shops, we do recommend stocking the full hair and shave range. In hair, we have the Daily Fortifying Shampoo and Daily Fortifying Conditioner, through to a full range of styling pomades, cream and spray that are suitable for different looks. In shaving, we have a range of pre and post-shave solutions, with the favourite being the Shave Tonic Concentrate. The professional only formula mixes with water to create a soothing hot towel experience before using our Super Close Shave Formula and also adds a refreshing touch post-shave. As we see men engaging more with skincare, we also suggest our Oil-Free face moisturiser to finish any treatments. This continued trend has seen many barber shops creating skin-care routines and treatments, based on our key products.
What trends within male grooming have you noticed recently? How have you kept up with changing attitudes over the years?
Male grooming continues to grow and men in general are more aware of different products available and are starting to see more needs for their skin. A big part of this is education – explaining to men what products to use that can enhance their regime to achieve the best possible results. We also listen to our customer closely and see what types of products they are missing or want to see developed. Another big trend we are seeing is a move to multi-use products, across both women’s and men’s. As such, when developing a product we look to see the multitude of ways it can be used for various benefits.
What does the future hold for Baxter of California?
We are continually innovating and looking for new ways to engage with our customer. This October we launch our first fragrance, the gender-free Pacific Cannabis EDP. Inspired by two icons of California – the Pacific Ocean and Cannabis – the fragrance is a fresh, transeasonal scent. As a lifestyle brand, we thought it was important to capture the essence of the brand in a fragrance, which goes back to freedom of self-expression and living your life true. Our plans for expansion also are continuing, with a more dominant presence across the UK and EU in various channels.
Shop Baxter of California Online with Salons Direct
We stock a leading range of professional barbering supplies including Baxter of California and more. Take a look at our low prices with free delivery available.