It’s well known that any guy you seen on the red carpet has been primped to perfection just as much as the ladies they’re with (sometimes more so, since there’s more work to be done!). But since half the guys we know get $15 cuts from barbershops-slash-potential mob fronts, we had a hard time wrapping our heads around the fact that Kobe Bryant’s groomer may have rung up an $833 tab for the basketball superstar’s recent Nike commercial (according to TMZ).
How could that be? Is he getting six-hour scalp massages on his bald head? Extremely precise eyebrow trimming? Skin buffing with raw diamonds? We talked to a couple male grooming experts to get the run down on where that money is going.
“I am not surprised at all. Guys could spend so much more than that!” says Joanna Pensinger, who counts Leonardo DiCaprio and Drake among her clients and says in general, grooming services can range from $500 for a day of television to $4,000 for an A-list celebrity. But it’s much more than just a quick trim with scissors and a little moisturizer: she plays masseuse, stylist, facialist and more, and often the guys will take product home with them, which adds to the bill (sometimes to the tune of $1,200 for a shaving set).
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“I do the eye mask, then I do their hair, then I cleanse their face with Chanel’s Lotion Pureté,” she says. “After cleansing I do any shaving, any nose hairs, ear hairs … [and] a lot of times they’ll ask if they can keep the trimmer. After that I would do lotion and a lymphatic massage.” And that’s all before the tux goes on.
Says V76 creator Vaughn Acord, who’s worked with Bill Clinton and Daniel Day Lewis, “People put a price tag on this service, but what they don’t realize is that it’s all the little things. It’s not just the hair cut, these are hours of [an A-list groomer’s] day, who might charge $250 for a 45-minute cut in a salon.”
So what, exactly, does Kobe require that takes a couple hours and hundreds of dollars? “It’s not just about his bald head, it’s about making sure that his eyebrows are groomed, that he’s got no shine on his face … that Kobe feels confident going and doing a commercial or walking into a shoot,” Acord says. “As a bald guy, I would check to see, is there any hair that’s growing out of his scalp or beard, are we keeping any facial hair? … If he’s eating a hotdog [for an ad] about ballpark franks then you gotta look at his hands. If it’s about a T-shirt, it’s no chest hair or chest hair? Body sweating like he’s been at the gym? Body fresh like he just got out of the shower, patted dry?”
It makes much more sense now. We’d pass this article along to our $15 haircut-getting significant others, but we’re not quite ready to share our shelves in the bathroom quite yet.
What do you think of Bryant’s big spend? Does it pay off? Tell us our thoughts below!
–Alex Apatoff, reporting by Jackie Fields