Comfort Zone (L.A.)

“I have another client dealing with that exact same thing.”

Woody Lovell of LA’s The Barbershop Club was thinking he should just loop himself saying that and have it ready to play.

Weekly. Daily. Hourly.

Barber Woody shaving Ian who is reclined in a barber chair with shaving cream on his face

For the last few years, he’d been listening to clients tell him how they were struggling with…well, everything. Modern life had taken some very unexpected turns and his clients (and men all over the globe) weren’t clear on what the future was supposed to look like. When a global pandemic hit, Woody felt like the problems his clients were facing had become more than he could handle.   

Luckily for Woody, one of his clients, Ian Howard, was also a therapist. Together, the two set out to bring innovation to a traditional space. They asked a simple question: What if you could get a shave, a haircut and a therapy session all in one place?

Woody and Ian looking in the mirror

Now, almost a year later, Proraso sat down with Woody and Ian to talk about finding comfort in troubled times, what it means to be a man and what’s next.

Woody and Ian chatting about "What's Next"

Here are some of the highlights:

Woody on the beginnings of friendship:

“We connected on everything. Fashion, sports, grooming, music, women. But mostly we connected when we talked about what we felt like a man should be. And it just kinda grew from there.”

Ian on their partnership:

“A barber is someone who listens to men’s difficulties. All their struggles. And as the pandemic was setting in, and having learned from #metoo,  men were asking themselves, ‘How do I be a man through all this stuff?’ Woody was like, ‘I don’t know how I’m gonna handle all this. This is too deep for me. I think they should come talk to you.’ ”

Woody talking about the concept for The Barbershop Club

Woody on unlocking a new model:

“I was like, ‘Yo, man. This is too good.’ We need to share this. We need to provide a platform, a space where men feel comfortable and they don’t feel like it’s taboo to talk about their feelings. Let’s make it cool to come get a haircut and a shave and a session with a therapist.”

Ian on finding comfort in honesty:

“You know, there aren’t a lot of places where you can share honestly about what you’re dealing with without a lot of judgment. Here we offer a space where you can kind of just let it go. And if it’s a little off. If you’re not seeing things the right way, we can help you shift that, and be honest with you.”

Woody on masculinity:

“You know what? Masculinity is not as complicated as we thought. It just starts with being a good human. Character is important. Be aware of actions. Hold men accountable for themselves.”

Barber Woody & therapist Ian talking about 'What's Next'

Ian on what’s next:

“Unhappiness is an experience, and a momentary one. What’s next is coming, and being ok with the moment to moment experience you’re having will bring you comfort.”

Woody on what’s next:

“I want to stay on course. I have a calling. That’s why I barber. I feel I have responsibility to be an example and to help men be better.”


Listen to Woody and Ian on their podcast, “The Barber and His Therapist” on Facebook @thebarbershopclub.


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