How Marietta’s Aaron Marino made a career out of his savvy style advice for men

He recently opened a salon with with his longtime hair stylist, Stephen Posta

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Aaron Marino
Aaron Marino

Photograph by matt odom

When Aaron Marino was working as a personal trainer in 2006, one of his clients—a meteorologist at the Weather Channel—admitted he couldn’t decide what to wear on a first date. After Marino helped him shop for new clothes and prep for the outing, he realized he had stumbled onto a new business: image consulting for men.

“At the time, there was not much style and grooming advice for regular men, just a handful of high-fashion magazines like Esquire and GQ,” Marino says. “I realized there might be a market for my advice.”

With a fitness coach’s drive and intensity, Marino soon built a loyal clientele and started posting videos on YouTube—spicing up style, grooming, and fitness advice with hot tips like why sweat is sexy or that women love drummers. His Alpha M. channel boasts more than 6 million subscribers, and his line of grooming products—Pete & Pedro—was featured on Shark Tank.

His latest venture is Salon Posta, a partnership with his longtime hair stylist, Stephen Posta. When searching for a location, the pair discovered a vacant, circa 1848 building in Marietta that was originally a United Methodist church. After a year of renovation, which included building a mezzanine and installing indoor plumbing in the 5,000-square-foot space, the salon opened late last year.

Aaron Marino
For their new Marietta salon, Marino and Posta kept the historic building’s original tongue-and-groove ceiling and reproduced its arched windows but added luxuries like plush velvet seating and Carrara marble bathrooms.

Photograph by matt odom

The salon offers men’s haircuts, coloring, beard shaping, and grooming plus women’s haircuts, extensions, hand-painted color, and balayage.

Marino’s Styling Tips for Men

Don’t neglect skincare.
Washing your face morning and night and using a moisturizer with at least an SPF of 20 can greatly improve the health and look of your skin.

Schedule regular haircuts.
Marino recommends that men with medium-length hair schedule appointments every three weeks; those with shorter hair should opt for every two. Busy or forgetful? Set up a recurring appointment with your barber or stylist.

Experiment with facial hair.
If you think you can’t grow a beard, think again. “Most men who’ve always been clean-shaven think their beard hair will look worse than it actually does.” He suggests growing it out for a month, investing in a grooming kit, and trimming the edges regularly.

Maintain a simple grooming routine.
Clip fingernails and toenails, tweeze stray eyebrows, and regularly trim ear and nose hairs.

Invest in a great pair of jeans.
Overwhelmed by options? Head to a trusted retailer like J. Crew or Gap. Marino says that medium washes with a bit of stretch work well on all body types.

Opt for versatile footwear.
Marino’s two go-tos? A clean pair of white, minimalist leather sneakers and a simple, slip-on Chelsea boot, both of which work well with denim and business-casual attire.

Pete & Pedro Picks

Salt
Using a sea-salt spray as a prestyler adds texture and soft volume to hair without having to use a lot of product.

Putty
This high-hold, low-shine styling product is a versatile option for short- and medium-length hair and provides hold without making hair look wet or greasy.

Control
Using a dandruff shampoo with the active ingredient coal tar is the best way to fight flakes, says Marino.

Clay
If you’re looking for a light hold and the “no product” look, Marino says this clay is a helpful addition to your hair-styling routine.

This article appears in our March 2021 issue.

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