Monday, April 4, 2011

Glee, Guys, and Great Hair

In an uncharacteristically (I'm hoping) selfish move, I've neglected mentioning one of Baltimore's gems since this blog's inception. Anyone who has met me knows that I typically change my hair color every couple years and have done so with the expert guidance (and sometimes against the expert advice) of one of Charm City's most talented colorists - Marcus Ficacci. Why the silence? Well, I didn't want all of you to make it impossible for me to get to see him! (Think about how great the world would be if Woodberry Kitchen had stayed a neighborhood secret - we'd all still be able to get a table and the food would be just as awesome as it is today... but I digress.)

Your hair is the only element of your physical appearance that you can change drastically without anesthesia. Great hair can make you look (and feel) like a rock star while bad hair (cut or color) can age you, ruin your mood, and cause those around you to question your sense of self-worth. (No, that's not an exaggeration - ever seen a great looking guy/girl with a bad haircut? I call it the "She's All That" affect.) When you're dealing with something that can affect your life in that way - you need to make sure you're in the hands of an expert. Allow me to give you a little history...

I was introduced to Marcus about 15 years ago. Desperate for better blond highlights (oh yes, I was augmenting my natural color even before that - it's amazing what lobbying your parents day and night can help you achieve), he was recommended to me by one of my mother's best friends who had been his devoted client for some years. After my first few appointments, I was hooked.

While he worked with my unusually thick mane, we chatted about everything from personal lives to theories on pop stars and I'm fairly confident that Marcus has a more complete history of my past relationships than anyone on the planet. I'm sure a lot of his clients could say the same - then again, I'd never really know because he's just not the type to cut and tell. Suffice it to say, time spent in his chair flies by - and at the end, you're not sure if you originally came for the entertainment or the cut and color. The only thing that's certain is that you're guaranteed to make an appearance somewhere in public because wasting the phenomenal hair day you're now having would be criminal.

Let's skip forward a few years. I now see Marcus at the salon he opened - Textur - on York Road in Lutherville. The whole thing was decorated to coordinate with a can of loose tea he loved - the result of which is a mix of browns, teals, and metals that are at once soothing and chic. And while I'm currently grateful for his mastery in bringing out my "natural red-head," I'm also awestruck with his continued devotion to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

CF is a genetic disorder that attacks a patients lungs and digestive system. When I first started volunteering for CF, the life-expectancy of a patient diagnosed with the disease was little more than 18. Today, the life expectancy is over 35. Hell of a lot of progress for 15 years, eh? It helps that Baltimore has one of the world's leading Cystic Fibrosis clinics at Johns Hopkins and of course, it helps even more that the FDA has just approved a drug that virtually eliminates the illness' symptoms in 20% of those affected. Motivated by that success, the volunteers who are passionate about finding a cure have stepped up their game - leading the charge this Monday? Marcus Ficacci and his longtime friend Woody Pitman of Textur!

When they could be enjoying a day off (the salon is closed on Monday), the guys (and gal) of Textur are "in the office" cutting hair and donating half of the day's proceeds to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In fact, the entire month of April has been themed "Give Glee Get Glee" and peppered with Glee-themed events designed to get people to contribute to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - and look better in the process. Why Glee? Why not! (Truth be told - I didn't actually ask them "Why Glee?" I just figured - as you should - it's because Glee is awesome and so is finding a cure for CF.)

As someone who's been a huge fan of these two guys in particular for years - and as someone who's (get ready for a serious understatement) somewhat picky about the look of their locks - I think this event is perfect for those of us who wouldn't mind a little kickback for doing the right thing. (Really you're there for the good haircut - but you can tell people it's because you're supporting a charity! Win! And no one knows which was your real motivations were! Bonus!)

SO... at the risk of letting the proverbial cat out of the bag about my favorite fix-you-up place... go see the guys of Textur today from 3-8 and GET YOUR GLEE ON. Oh, and call first, eh? I'm not the only fan of these guys!  (410) 561-0000 When you're all swanked-up, take a look in the mirror. You're welcome.

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