Pro-tip, gents: Go to Robin Padilla's barber
"Para sa'kin, ang barbero ay parte ng manhood," says actor Robin Padilla. "Ang haircut kasi, kasama 'yan sa pagkalalake. Binibigyan ka ng character ng buhok."
The Bad Boy of Philippine Cinema recognizes the power of good hair as his cuts have become as iconic as his persona. Think of his skinhead style in Anak ni Baby Ama in 1990, or his shoulder-length tousle in Mistah four years later, or even the clean side-fade crop that he sported when he returned to show business (after a stint in prison and the subsequent presidential pardon) in 1998. At the turn of the new millennium, the cultural icon's hair evolved even more as he decided to heed the call of the salon.
"Ang haircut kasi, kasama 'yan sa pagkalalake. Binibigyan ka ng character ng buhok."
He resisted the idea at first, thinking that salons were exclusive to women, but his manager set him straight. "So pumunta ako sa salon ni Jing [Monis] sa Greenbelt," he says.
Robin became part of Jing's long list of celebrity clients, all of whom receive four-figure haircuts from the master who has spent over 20 years perfecting the looks of both men and women as a hairstylist and a makeup artist. "Ang maganda kasi kay Jing," says Robin, "para siyang painter. 'Di pa tapos, nakikita na niya."
But there was just one tiny problem about going to the salon: Robin Padilla gets a little distracted by the mere presence of beautiful women in there with him. "E ang idea kasi ng barbershop e relaxation. Wala dapat distraction,” Robin says now. “Nasabi ko kay Jing na ibalik natin ang barbero.”
With Robin's encouragement, Jing spent over a year learning the art of barbery in London, and, after three years training a new army of cutters, opened M Barbers at the poolside of B Hotel in Quezon City, a location that’s close to the studios of the actors he caters to.
The new barbershop is decidedly less plush than Monis’ salons: stark walls, tufted barber’s chairs, checkerboard floors. A place where any man would feel at home. Robin's preferred spot is the leather chair in a private corner, where he gets his messy, mid-length hair done and French beard trimmed.
But for Robin, more than appearance, it’s the experience that counts: "Ang barbero noon makwento e. Makakakuha ka ng aral sa kanila. Makakausap mo sila habang ginugupitan ka nila." At M Barbrs, you can experience all that again.
M Barbers, B Hotel, 14 Scout Rallos Street, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City.