Men's Hair Forum is a site that includes a male grooming blog and popular online community where you can read about and/or discuss hairstyles, hair products, hair care - and even shaving and bread growing.
In this interview, Eric Davis - a Men's Hair Forum community administrator - shares the story about the community, gives insight into the popular topics that are discussed in the forum, and more.
Tell us the story behind Men's Hair Forums. What was the motivation behind starting it? And how long has it been around?
Eric: Men's Hair Forum was started some 2 years ago with the idea of providing a useful place on the Internet for the discussion of male grooming. Unfortunately, the Internet is currently filled with websites giving out bad advice on all men's grooming topics, but especially so on male hair. So our forum was kicked off by barbers who wanted to use their free time to provide something useful to the Internet and a place where both professionals and consumers could meet and interact.
From there on, the forum has grown fast, and we have barbers, hairdressers, image consultants, and grooming specialists from all over the world contributing and helping forum members as well as providing great discussions that can be useful to just about anyone.
Can you tell us more about the community? The size of the community, where its members are located, etc.
Eric: Our community is open to everyone, and we welcome anyone from actual barbers to those who join to ask for advice or feedback. We have a very strict policy against discrimination, and we like to provide a safe place for everyone to post, ask, discuss, and interact.
The community is nearing 3,000 forum members although the amount of "lurkers" (forum jargon for someone who reads the site but never joins) is several orders of magnitude higher than the actual number of forum members!
Why do you think people join the community?
Eric: There's a nice blend of people joining to ask for advice and people joining to give out advice as well as to contribute opinions and thoughts on the different ongoing discussions that we have.
We've worked hard to provide a place which people find useful so many people join because they know that we go the extra length to create an experience that is vastly different to your typical men's hair site.
What makes this community different than the other men's grooming-related forums out there?
Eric: We've put a lot of emphasis on attracting great male grooming professionals who give out advice and help others, and we're also very anti-myths/scams/bad advice, so anyone joining or reading our forum knows that they can trust the advice that they read or are given. This is something that, as I've mentioned earlier, isn't common in the field of men's hair or men's grooming.
What are the most popular topics of discussion among your members?
Eric: I would say that the mainstream hairstyles are among the most popular topics in the forum. We've created guides for practically all men's hairstyles and some of these guides are extremely popular, with them being several pages long and being read hundreds of times per day!
The topic of hair products is also popular as members are free to ask as many questions as they need before purchasing a product. Considering that we have guys who have been in the industry for decades, the answers that they (members asking about products) get to their questions are very helpful to them in their purchasing decisions.
Who are some of your most active members who contribute a lot of value? Feel free to give them a shout-out!
Eric: We have quite a few guys who are out there posting just about every day.
One of our admins, TheMensHairForum, is one whom you will see a lot in the forums as he is the most active in our admin team.
We also have a lot of professional barbers and hairdressers who post frequently and who would rather remain anonymous as they're usually barbershop owners or hair salon owners, and they would rather separate their business form their online posting.
Then we have popular Internet guys like Rogelio from Manly Curls and the group of barbers from the Arizona area who started the official undercut hairstyle website. These guys aren't as active anymore as they used to be but they helped the site to grow in the beginning as they brought their followers to the forum and helped to spark lots of interesting male grooming discussions.
For people reading this interview who may be good candidates to join your community, what are the main reasons they should join?
Eric: Anyone, really. As said, we welcome anyone regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, and anything else that could be grounds for discrimination.
So if you're a professional barber wanting to kill some time off and actually help the Internet, then you're absolutely welcome, but you will be just as welcome if you're simply joining to ask for feedback on a haircut that you'd like to get.
What's the most surprising thing about running a forum about men's grooming?
Eric: The amount of spam we get! And I'm not talking about necessarily 'pill spam', 'casino spam' and similar; I'm talking of product companies coming into the forum, posing as regular users and trying to disguise their advertising as actual posts.
Outside of our own internal auditing, our managing team does not allow the mentioning of which companies have been caught spamming our community but you would be very surprised as to who has tried it - and it's a long list too.
Step Up Your Grooming Game
Thanks to Eric for doing the interview. And if you have any questions on hair or grooming, then head on over to the Men's Hair Forum. You can also connect with them on Google Plus, Twitter, and Facebook as well.