The De-Bulker: The Next Big Thing in Hair Texturizing
Michael Baker is one cool dude. And from such a chill mind comes the hottest little texturizing trimmer guards in the hair game—The De-Bulker. According to Michael, the De-Bulker was “born out of necessity,” a simple idea for a simple problem.
But that being said, the road to actually creating the De-Bulker was anything but simple.
The De-Bulker is De-Born
It all started with an idea in the ’90’s. Michael was styling out in Los Angeles, cutting a lot of young actors’ hair—in the ’90’s that choppy George Clooney cut was hot in the business. With so many people asking for such a popular style, his clippers were getting a workout, so Michael had a new idea: “What if I stop some of the hair from reaching the blade?” So he fixed up his clippers with a bit of glue and got to trimming. The result was amazing. It created the desired sections in the hair, just like he’d imagined. Now, if he were to make one specifically for long hair, what kind of styles could he create?
The Next Step
Sometimes, greatness needs to marinate. The De-Bulker sat in Michael’s mind for 18 years—a great idea, but one he wasn’t quite ready to pursue yet. It needed a bit of time. And then about two years ago, Michael, founder of the Second Hand Scissor Project, was inspired by one of his friends to give it a shot. So he did what all reasonable people do when those big questions need an answer—he went to the Internet.
After finding a good place in the states to help manufacture the guards for the De-Bulker, it was all about finding the clippers. While searching for some private label clippers, Michael had a realization. Why not use a trimmer instead? Then it came down to finding the right trimmers, and somehow meshing the design between the guards and the trimmers, fitting them together to create one complete De-Bulker.
“There were so many challenges,” Michael says. “When something has a motor in it or a heating element, like a straightening iron or a blow-dryer, it gets real complicated. And with me not being an engineer, there were many times I just thought ‘Man, I don’t know if I can pull this off. You just can’t give up.'”
And he didn’t give up. He kept going until the De-Bulker was more than just an idea—until it was a physical reality. But what next?
The De-Bulker gets Behind the Chair…
“Mar, I got somethin’ real slick I want to show you.”
That’s how the De-Bulker got its BTC life started. Longtime friends with behindthechair.com Creative Director and Founder, Mary Rector-Gable, Michael ran into Mary at an industry show and told her about the De-Bulker. Mary, someone who knows greatness when she sees it, knew they had a hit on their hands.
… And Becomes The Next Big Thing
With everything in place, it was time to become The Next Big Thing. The De-Bulker premiered at Premiere Orlando Beauty Trade Show earlier this month, and the response among the stylists in attendance was unanimous—the De-Bulker was a sold-out hit. They crowded the booth, captivated by Michael’s De-Bulker demonstrations.
“I was nervous. We were at the show. And now we’re gonna find out—am I certifiably insane or just a little crazy? And the answer is I was a little crazy. Because everybody got it. As soon as they walked up and saw it, and I had explained what I’d done—that I’d just blocked some of the hair from reaching the blade—this look would come over their faces. It was like a lightbulb came on in their heads. Words came out like ‘Oh, that’s clever,’ and ‘Man, that’s really cool’.”
While Michael was going through the process of creating the De-Bulker, he had many friends there to support him—industry favorites and trusted friends. But there’s nothing quite as validating as reaching another stylist on product alone—Michael knows that more than anyone.
“I couldn’t help but giggle like a little kid every time one of the hairdressers would use it. I was laughing because I knew it. I knew it. It really did make a difference…There was excitement about doing it. One girl looked at the other and went, ‘This would be perfect for Brenda’s hair!’”
“It was everything I ever dreamt about,” says Michael.
For those looking for a place to start with their innovations and ideas, Baker says not to get discouraged. There’s a place for everyone. You have to do the footwork. You have to pay attention to details. And above all, keep going.
“Don’t give up.” Michael urges, “Every wall you hit is just a corner. Keep moving.”