With the arrival of the NFL season Thursday night, national attention shifts back to the gridiron, where New York Giants wide receiver and Pro Bowler Victor Cruz does some of his best work. Another place he excels: at the sink. Off the field, the style-conscious Cruz is a shave-and-haircut buff who doesn't go a week without a trip to the barbershop. Men’s Fitness chatted with Cruz–who nursed a heel injury during the NFL preseason, but plans to play opening day against the Dallas Cowboys–about his grooming rituals, his vote for the best-dressed guys in the NFL, and who'll win Super Bowl XLVIII.
MEN’S FITNESS: Tell us a little bit about what you’re doing with Gillette.
Victor Cruz: I got involved with Gillette by promoting their Gillette Fusion Pro-Glide razor, which trims hair really close but also helps with sensitive skin, which 70% of men have.
MF: The Pro-Glide blades are thin but very sharp. What kind of force do you use?
VC: I shave very slowly, very gently. With this razor, one stroke takes the hair off immediately without having to put a lot of pressure on it. You don’t even feel the hair come off, which is the crazy part.
MF: You grew up in Patterson, NJ, where there are tons of barbershops. How old were you when you started shaving?
VC: I was in college. I was the guy who always went to the barbershop to get it done.
MF: How hard was it to find a barber at UMass?
VC: It was very difficult, especially as a freshman. I didn't have my hometown barber there, and I didn't trust anyone with my hair or my face. You don’t know anyone but people on the football team. So, it took me about a year. Fortunately—ironically—sophomore year, my barber was my neighbor in my dorm room. I tried him out one day and he did a great job, and we've been friends ever since.
MF: Where do you get your hair cut now?
VC: I live in New Jersey, where I’ve had the same barber since I was about 14 years old. I still see him once a week to cut my hair. He’s not even a barber to me anymore; he’s like a friend who just happens to cut my hair.