stylist spotlight zenda

Introducing Zenda Barajas, 18/8 La Jolla’s newest barber and straight razor shave extraordinaire! Though she’s been at the salon as a stylist since December of 2015, the recent acquisition of her Barber’s License has earned Zenda a recent promotion to Lead Stylist. As a female in a predominantly male industry, and someone who is incredibly passionate about what she does, Zenda is thrilled to be taking her career to the next level. We got the chance to sit down and chat with Zenda about why she loves what she does, how she got started in the world of the straight razor shave, and where she sees herself in a few years.

Zenda was born in the city of Hermosillo, in the Mexican State of Sonora. She grew up cutting her brothers’ hair, and always kind of knew she had a passion for hair styling. She attended the prestigious Paul Mitchell School for Cosmetology right here in San Diego, and was immediately hooked. 1600 hours behind the chair later, she came away with a License in Cosmetology and a dedicated enthusiasm for all things hair.

She calls herself a detail-driven hair artist, which is why the custom 18/8 handcrafted haircut method is rewarding for her. And just recently, Zenda discovered a new passion: the art of barbering. After attending barber school and clocking in another 200+ hours of training, she officially received her Barber’s License this past March and was ready to go full-time as both a stylist and a barber at the salon.

188 la jolla mens salon

Precision & a Passion for the Craft

When asked what she loves most about her craft, Zenda replied easily: the precision. She appreciates the time, steady hand, and knowledge that being a barber requires; unlike other industries, it requires additional schooling and a constant eagerness to continue learning. Her penchant for perfection and a dedication to making every client look their absolute best has been a cornerstone of Zenda’s practice since day one – and it shows. Getting to know her clients and making them feel better than they walked in remains her number one goal.

Most men coming in for a straight razor shave for the first time are a bit apprehensive. Either they’ve never gotten one before, or they are just unfamiliar with the whole process. Zenda will make it a point to walk them through her process one step at time, as she does it; above all, she wants her clients to feel comfortable.

The straight razor shave process takes about 30-45 minutes. Here’s how it works:

The Straight Shave Process

  1. She starts with a hot, bayrum-scented towel placed over the face to open pores
  2. Next comes the beard oil (to moisturize) and then a thick shaving cream lather
  3. A hot towel goes over that; she lets it sit for 5 minutes
  4. The shave begins. She starts on one side and then moves over to the other
  5. She’ll make two passes with the razor, then use more beard oil to prevent any irritation or redness
  6. The finale – another hot towel placed over the face for 5 minutes
  7. If skin looks especially irritated, she’ll use some cooling lotion and then a high-quality aftershave

Every guy is different, so sometimes she’ll change up the routine depending on skin type, etc. The key to a great straight razor shave? Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Her favorite product is Griff’s After Shave Refresh, which contains their self-proclaimed “Witch Mint” and is a combination of tea tree oil and other essential oils. It really helps to close the pores and return skin to its natural elasticity after a shave.

She loves when someone comes in for a haircut and stays for a straight shave; doing both makes for a streamlined and more complete look, according to Zenda. Some of her favorite trending hairstyles right now are the Classic Pompadour or a short-on-the-sides cut with a Pompadour on top.

Don’t just take our word for it – come in and see Zenda for a haircut or a straight razor shave (or even a facial)! Make an appointment online or give the salon a call at (858) 216-4188 any day of the week.