Brandon Martinez is a man of contradictions. A showy hairstylist who asserts his heterosexuality. A proud father who boasts about his philanderings. A seemingly frenzied, at times Edward Scissorhands-esque approach that produces deliberately perfect, shampoo commercial-ready results. And, with that said, the chops to back up the blowhard bragging.
After famously being fired from Jonathan Salon on Bravo's Blow Out, Martinez still went prime-time by impressing big wigs Joel Warren and Edward Tricomi enough for the duo to entrust him with the reins to their LA outpost. Now, three years later, the Santa Monica native has seduced the upper echelon with his "paint on" highlighting technique (cotton strips in lieu of foils for more natural-looking, longer lasting color) and his rounded layers that sweep across the head with an effortlessness that would make Pantene girls envious.
Always in motion (whether it be surfing Malibu, picking out a new tattoo or "getting lucky" with the ladies), Martinez took a breather from the recent launch of his new product line, B the Product, to share his hometown favorites with LA.com--from sales at Barney's to date nights at A.O.C.
Plus, weigh in on the age-old question...blondes or brunettes?
1. Best place to get a drink?
"My favorite place to drink right now is SLS hotel. You can get an amazing cocktail, eat a little tapas in the bar area and get a little something sweet at the cool dessert bar they have going on. Girl's always love sweets. Straight hairdressers love desserts as well."
2. How does your wardrobe for work differ than your off-time wardrobe and where do you shop for your look(s)?
"My wardrobe at work is very different than when I'm out. Work is cool jeans, the skull belt buckle that I wear everyday of my life and a shirt that I like but won't flip out if I get color on. Billabong surf shirts always look good. I guess when I'm at work I dress young. Plus, I surf. I might show up in flip flops if the waves were good (that morning).
In New York, I have to at least wear black pants or I get shit from Edward Tricomi. 'It is the Plaza!!'
When I'm out I like Gucci slacks, sneakers and a really dope dress shirt wether it's Theory, Gucci, Hugo Boss or Ted Baker. English cuts always fit me better.
For shopping I go to Barney's. Barney's really has everything for a guy and the sales are kick ass. I like the Volcom store on La Brea. You can get a great pair of jeans for 70 bucks.
I also love American Apparel. How can you go wrong there?
My favorite piece is a $1,000 handmade skull belt buckle that was given to me by the late Johnny Ramone and his still living wife Linda Ramone, who won't talk to me anymore. Talk to me Linda!!!"
3. Where does a "bad boy" go when wanting to be bad?
"That's a secret that a 'bad boy' can't tell."
4. What about when wanting to be good?
"Dinner with my dad when I want to be the good son. I take him to Stone Fire Pizza on La Cienega, it's always a good spot."
5. Favorite burger joint?
"There are two spots. For atmosphere I go to 8 o.z. on Melrose. It's the old Table 8. Great burgers and truffle oil potato skins that are off the hook. Wash it all down with a couple glasses of Pinot and you're ready to go!
The other burger spot is by my house in WeHo called Hamburger Haven. I get a double turkey burger with one slice of cheese, no mayo and no onions. This serves as my dinner for most nights."
6. Best metaphorical meat markets?
"Meat markets--Teddy's, Kress, Whole Foods market on Fairfax, Equinox gym, pool parties in the hills, my client Sex Toy Dave's house parties. He has to know you. And my salon Warren-Tricomi L.A.
The best date spot is A.O.C. I get lucky every time. Even the valet has asked me, 'how you do it?'"
7. What area of LA have you noticed has the highest concentration of good hair? Or conversely, where is the worst hair in LA living?
"The best hair is in West Hollywood. Besides the salon I'm at, you have a whole bunch of hot salons in the area, from Sally H to Byron to Andy. Oh yeah can't forget Ken.
If there is a single spot where everyone has good hair it's on Robertson between Beverly and 3rd. Worst hair area...I'm afraid to say because I probably have salons there that carry my products. I plead the fifth."
8. As an expert in shaping hair, you obviously must appreciate other items that are well-shaped. And as a surfer, boards in particular. Where do you get your boards?
"My surfboards are very important to me. I think Al Merrick shapes are the best boards for me. They just opened a Channel Islands/Burton store right by my salon on Melrose. It kicks ass!! The manager's name is Martine. I've bought two so far.
Fortunately, I also have a friend high up at Billabong--my buddy Ron--who calls ahead for me and gets me industry pricing. For that, I'm stoked!!! Thanks Ron--love ya, man!!"
9. Do you still ride motorcycles? Where's the best place in LA to take your hog when it needs maintenance?
"I sold my Moto Guzzi when my son Dylan was born. If you ride a Guzzi or any other vintage bike the best Guzzi guy is actually in Huntington Beach his name is Mo and it's called Cycle Garden. There is another place in Culver City called the Garage Company.
10. Which brings us to helmet hair. Any tips on dealing with this dilemma?
"Helmet hair--find the nearest sink and re-wet it. If you're a woman…ponytail time."
11. Of all your tattoos, which is your favorite and who did it?
"My favorite tattoo is the banner that runs along my collar bone with my boy's names. Dylan Diego and Gabriel. Best tattoo shop is Mark Mahoney Shamrock Tattoo on Sunset. I've gone to Mark and Andrew. Paul, who did my foot, is no longer there."
12. In your experience, who has more fun--blondes or brunettes?
"In the past, I've usually dated more blondes than brunettes, never-the-less I've had some really fun evenings with brunettes. So I guess all the girls I meet want to have fun!!!"