The year: 1999. Place: Orange County, California. To most, it seemed the barbering trade was breathing its last breath. Nevertheless, Layrite’s passionate founder, Donnie Hawley, was still in hot pursuit of perfecting his client’s haircuts. His technique was being hindered by the traditional petroleum-based products his patrons wore that wouldn’t rinse out. Never wanting to limit style, yet committed to an elevated standard of barbering; Donnie labored to find a solution. The end result was a water-soluble pomade formulated to hold like a wax and wash out like a gel.