Hey guys, my name is Dalton Cady and I am the creator of IX FOR MEN. This is the site’s first blog post and I figured it would be fitting to talk about how this all started. I’m pretty excited to write this because for the first time in my life I can write about anything I want, do it how I want, and talk how I want. I intend to write about things that guys want to read, I intend to interview interesting local people, I will eventually do some videos that demonstrate grooming products, and I will also have some of my friends write as contributors because in my few years on this earth I have met some awesome and talented people that I want more people to know and hear from. Enjoy, Dalton Cady IXFORMEN.
April 2015: Just a naïve college kid struggling through my second and final college semester (I would soon go on to dropout and not come back in the fall). I had been a barber for about nine months at the time (I started the week after I graduated high school) and I was really starting to realize that hair was my passion. At the time I had crazy long hair on the top of my head trying to emulate what Bryce Harper had at the time and let me tell you it was a pain in the ass to try and style that and get it to stay all day. All the products I was trying were tearing my hair up. In the shower I was noticing that I had a lot of hair getting broken off on top. I’m talking like 20-30 pieces every time I was washing the product out. So I took to the old Google and realized that a lot of hair products that are heavily commercialized are actually really bad for your hair. Then I did what was usually my solution to most of my problems: I decided that I would make my own. I did some research, got on Amazon ordered my ingredients I picked for my concoction and had it shipped to my parents’ house so I could work on it when I went home that weekend. Next was the dilemma of what to call it, I can’t just make it for me, I always have to go big with it (blessing and a curse I suppose). All week I sat in those boring ass classes doodling in my notebook trying to come up with a brand. Then it hit me… there was only one thing that I had branded myself with my whole life leading up to this moment and it was the number 9. My sports numbers, my personal Instagram handle, you name it, it had nine in it. After a little bit of tweaking and a quick Google search of roman numerals, IX FOR MEN (pronounced: nine for men) was born and ready to make the best pomade this world has ever seen.
That Weekend: I got home from work late that afternoon (I still cut hair in the barbershop whenever I could make it down since it was the next town over from college) and I went straight to the kitchen. Oh and there was a quick trip to Walmart for a kitchen scale on my way home. Real dirty looks from the cashier too… “Hmm college kid buying just a scale? Wonder what kind of business he is orchestrating…” Haha. Anyway, there I was in my parents’ kitchen getting ready to cook up this batch of pomade. Got everything all measured out and dropped in the pot. In a few minutes I had everything all melted and mixed and dumped into a plastic jar. While it was solidifying I quickly sketched out a label for the top and a wraparound label for directions, ingredients, etc. Shit, it even had a fake barcode I drew on there haha. Once everything solidified I cut the labels out with scissors and Mod Podged it all together. Then I had to test it. I went to softly take some out with my finger just like any other pomade I had ever used but it was hard as a rock. At first I was like oh no I can’t even get it out let alone try it. But it was nothing my sister’s hair dryer couldn’t soften up. I got some scraped out of there and put in my hair and I really liked it. It was good for my hair because it was all natural ingredients that each had their own benefits for hair and it held… a little too good that is but that was alright I just had to dial it back on the wax ratio but all around good, I was pumped. I made a few more jars and headed back to school Sunday night determined to sell them to all the people on campus that I cut and get my brand rolling.
My First Sale: Kory Zimmer, my dude... the man still uses it to this day. He was one of if not the first kid on campus that was ballsy enough to let me cut his hair. We were on the soccer team together at Alfred State in Alfred, NY. He texted me that week about getting a cut and I was like perfect, he had an undercut that we had been working on all year and it would be great for his haircut. During the cut I brought up that product and how it would be great for his cut. Shortly after he bought a jar and I had my first sale. That was huge because after that I had two people talking about it not just one and then it was like dominos, I sold out and kept making the product and tweaking the recipe and the rest is history. I read this somewhere and it always stuck in my head, pretty sure Mark Cuban said it and it’s so simple yet crazy powerful, “SALES CURE EVERY THING”. If that’s not the truth I don’t know what is.
Three years later IX FOR MEN has a BEARD BALM, BEARD OIL, SHAVING SOAP, and that same great POMADE under its grooming line. I never went back to college after that summer. I decided that being a barber was what I wanted to do with my life and I couldn’t have made a better choice. It gave me a platform for IXFORMEN to grow and prosper and it has brought a lot of success to my life and has allowed me to meet so many awesome people. Don’t be afraid to take chances and break the mold. The only thing in life that you can control is yourself, so ALWAYS bet on yourself.
Thanks for reading,
Dalton Cady IXFORMEN