Meet the Team

Visit the master barbers at Matter of Instinct in New York City.

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Founder and owner at MOI Barbershop, Ruben Aronov has been a master barber for over 15 years. After closing down his last shop, Freemans Barbershop, he has re-opened on the LES of Manhattan. Ruben has been featured in WWD, Mr. Porter and many other publications for his skill as a barber. He has been a mentor to many throughout his years as a barber and now has cultivated a shop that includes many of his former students. 

Ruben works Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday.



Joey has been working in the lower east side for over 12 years, and helped  establish Freemans sporting club Barbershop on Rivington street.  He has been featured in several publications including, GQ (U.S. & Japan), Details, Esquire, Birchbox, Valet mag.  Joey has also styled for Uomo, Oceans, Men's Non-no Japan and engineered Garments.  His approach to hair is simple and natural,  appears effortless with minimal styling needed, while still looking kept. Joey is also a passionate student of many philosophies and mythologies. He is certified as an Ayurvedic practitioner and nutritionist, and has started his own company @sacredgrounds_ , an evolving creative project. 

Joey works Tuesday through Thursday .

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Josh Livingston is a Master Barber and Doctoral Candidate in NYC. Josh’s love and skill for cutting a wide range of hair types and styles has earned him a diverse and loyal clientele. His press and editorial work include: Walker and Co. Bevel Classics; Esquire Magazine video series; Refinery 29; Freemans: Style Book, and; a guest barber role at Seagram’s barbershop pop-up at the Only You Hotel in Madrid, Spain. Josh’s teaching and doctoral study focus on social enterprise, innovation, and the power barbershop culture has in the lives of young people.

Josh works Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.



Mark is a native New Yorker and grew up on the beaches of Long Island. Growing up surfing, he's always drawn inspiration from the movement of the ocean. "I've always loved how the ocean naturally styles and texturizes the hair. I use this to inspire me when giving each client a personalized hair cut," says Mark. He has traveled nationally and internationally, working on fashion campaigns, and commercials. He follows his passion for his craft and develops a genuine rapport with all of his clients.

Mark works Tuesday through Saturday.



After cutting for over 12 years, he has learned how much a great haircut can change a person's life. As the haircut quality itself is a priority, Greg prides himself in customer service and connecting with his clients. "This is important for me because the more I get to know you- the easier it is to find the best suitable cut and style to match your lifestyle," says Greg. His professional career began at a small shop in his hometown of Sayville, Long Island where he cut for 7 years. Greg then looked to NYC to further his barbering career. He worked at Freemans and continued learning and being inspired by the people around him. Besides cutting hair you can find Greg biking around the city. While the winter takes him to the mountains to snowboard , in the summer you can find him enjoying the beaches. 

Greg works Sunday through Thursday.



During Marshall's 20+ years in the field he has provided grooming services for companies including Vh1, BET, New Line Productions, NBC, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Bevel and various print publications including Essence Magazine, Shop Talk and more. Serving as a Master Barber for various celebrities as well as his personal clients, Marshall has gained the experience of providing hair care to clients of all ethnicities and he's continuing on his journey of mastering hair of all styles and textures. As of 2015, Marshall has continued to expand his diverse resume by becoming a Barber Teacher at some of NYC's most esteemed barber schools.

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Boris grew up across the big pond, in Israel. He came to NYC at age 15, and landed in Forest Hills, Queens. Immediately after graduating high school, he was encouraged by family to focus on a skill set and develop a craft. He picked up barbering in his Queens neighborhood, and attended barber school at American Barber Institute. Boris continued cutting in Westbury, Long Island and Forest Hills. His calm and focused energy compliments his methodic approach in cutting hair, from start to finish. When he is not cutting hair, Boris dives into studying Physics. He lives by his motto "Mind stays sharp, hands stay busy".



A New York native, Thomas offers fifteen years of fashion and hair industry experience. Proud of his scissor work and meticulous attention to detail, he provides a customized experience for each of his clients. When you sit in his chair, you feel confident. Thomas’ approach reflects his time in this bustling city- always moving forward with clients to ensure that today’s trends evolve with the times.

Thomas works Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.