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Tony from Esquire Barbershop Talks Cuts and Clippers with Larry The Barber Man

Every barber finds themselves following a slightly different route into barbering, and for Tony of Esquire Barbershop, it all started when he saw a programme about hair shows on the TV. He was blown away by the skills of the Constantinou brothers from Cardiff, and watching them style the pompadours and classic cuts he knew that that was what he wanted to do. Although his school didn’t exactly encourage him into the profession, Tony took the initiative and found himself a hairdressing apprenticeship.

The transfer into barbering really started when his boss asked him to stay behind after work and cut his hair! This must have been terrifying, but Tony proved himself to be worthy of the job and started cutting men’s hair in the salon. Since then he’s specialised in the classic Gentleman’s haircut, offering almost anything that his clients could want – but steering clear of the ultra-modern techniques such as patterning. Although Tony tells me that he has nothing against these styles, he is aiming for a certain aesthetic with his shop and likes to see customers leaving his shop representing its values.

As well as his haircuts, Tony offers something which is becoming quite rare: the wet shave. I was especially interested to see him outline his technique, which includes the use of hot towels from the machine for extra comfort, and the finishing touch of a massage with the Oster Massager. Tony suggests shaving with the grain rather than against the grain to reduce irritation for clients who don’t usually get a wet shave.

When it comes to inspiration, Tony likes to follow both up and coming barbers and those who know the ropes, and he cites barbers such as Dale Ted Watkins and Cutthroat Pete as people that he likes to draw inspiration from. Like Cutthroat Pete, he has started to operate on an appointment only basis, which has helped his clients to feel like they are getting personal, private time with his full attention and no need to worry about holding up other customers. For Tony, the biggest moment of satisfaction comes as he lifts the mirror and gets that nod of approval from the client, although he adds that he also gets a lot of enjoyment simply from being part of the friendly and vibrant barbering community.

Tony is one of the British barbers to have jumped on the trend for US clippers, and he tells me that seeing other barbers use them online inspired him to check them out. Before he had a chance to use the Frequency60hz converter he had troubles with the noise and the vibration of the American clippers, but after joining Instagram he discovered that there was a converter out there to help. In Tony’s work, the US clippers have been especially useful for lining up the cuts – so now he rarely has to use a razor to clean up the edges of a cut.

His message is “if you want to get serious about your barbering then get some American clippers”. You simply can’t get the same result with the models that are available in the UK. With the Frequency60hz converter to power them you really can’t go wrong, and they’re a fantastic tool to help you up your barbering game.

Looking to the future, Tony is planning to continue in his work as an educator as it’s something which he finds especially rewarding – passing on knowledge gives him a great sense of fulfillment in his work. He also looks forward to the chance to do more stage and platform work. If you want to keep up to date with all the latest news about barbers like Tony then you can follow me, Larry the Barber Man, on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. Alternatively, to find out more about the Frequency60hz converter why not email me directly at info@larrythebarberman.com.

 

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Larry the Barber Man Interviews Scottish Barber Daryl Gillespie of Safehands barshop

It was as a barbershop customer that Daryl Gillespie first saw the potential of barbering as a career – a creative profession which would let him work with his hands.  Although he has had some professional training along the way, Daryl considers himself to be mainly self-taught… and he adds that he’s still learning every day! This is something that I hear frequently from the best professional barbers, as every day on the job is an opportunity to learn something new.

Daryl’s barbershop is Safe Hands, and I wanted to find out what he considers to be his speciality: what specific cuts would people make the trip to Safe Hands for. Although he gets a lot of enjoyment from cutting all shorter styles, and working with afro hair, Daryl’s number one speciality is beard work – giving facial hair style and shape.

I was also interested in the eclectic look that he’d chosen for his shop floor. Although there is no set theme he told me that he likes to focus on the local area, decorating with items that say something about Glasgow, or Scotland as a whole. There is also inspiration from the tattoo industry, and a preference for items that have been custom made. Ultimately though, if it looks good and it fits the atmosphere then it’s in! Daryl’s aspiration with his work is to help foster a community spirit, as he thinks it’s important for barbers to get together and spark up the friendships which enable barbers to learn from one and other.

So what about the clippers? Like a lot of other barbers, Daryl had found that UK barbers were of a weaker quality, with cables and wires breaking far too regularly. With the opportunity to use both he has been able to really feel the difference, and the Frequency60Hz converter has been essential for making this happen. He had huge expectations, and I’m pleased to say that the products have lived up to them!

This is his message to other barbers, when it comes to both the use of American clippers and the Frequency60Hz converter: “definitely try it. You need to invest in the right tools for doing great haircuts.” If you want to know more about Frequency60Hz then you can email me at info@larrythebarberman.com. Otherwise, why not head over to my Instagram, Facebook or YouTube profiles to see more fantastic interviews with some of the biggest names in barbering.

 

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Scottish barber Colin Petrie A.K.A Hard Grind conversation with Larry the Barber Man

Like so many of the best things in life, Colin Petrie’s journey into barbering was not exactly by the book! He started out as a touring musician, learning how to cut his bandmates’ hair purely by eye, and these self-taught skills were so impressive that they landed him a salon job purely on the basis of one of his DIY cuts. Initially Colin found that the salon life wasn’t really for him, but luckily for his customers he had a change of heart and decided to get back in the game.

He also decided that it was time to get a professional qualification, turning to his friends at SB barbering to get the seal of approval that would show his customers that he knew his stuff. With out of hours training Colin was quickly able to pick up techniques that he hadn’t discovered for himself and get the professional qualification to compliment his less formal training.

Colin’s brand is Hard Grind, and he has his business partner Richard to thank for the name – a concept which combines a nod to the skateboarding subculture with recognition of just how much work it takes to live the barbering life. They have been able to offer clothing and grooming products as well as, of course, the barbershop experience that it is all about. Talking about the style of Hard Grind, Colin suggests that it’s really an extension of his own space, with personal items such as a jukebox, records and his art collection. With a great aesthetic, a coffee bar and everything that clients need to keep them comfortable while they wait, Hard Grind is a whole experience rather than just a barbershop.

When it comes to the job itself, Colin tells me that he gets the most satisfaction from seeing customers who love what he does. People who show that they’re proud to be associated with the brand by posting photos on social media, or happily spend hours in the shop just to get their hair cut, help him to feel accomplished in his work – and it’s always a positive boost to see a good review from a happy customer.

Colin’s experience with American clippers is that the quality is far superior, whereas with UK tools there is often the frustration of cables breaking, or blades needing replacing too frequently. He decided to try them out, even choosing a custom set, but after experimenting with a bunch of converters he had to sell them – at a loss! Finally, after discovering the Frequency60hz converter, he has been able to use a full range of clippers. His message to other barbers is that although it always comes down to personal preference, he’s never seen anybody look back after making the switch to American clippers and Frequency60hz!

Watch out for more great stuff from Hard Grind in the near future – with a new shop opening up in Aberdeen and new products on the way they are certainly establishing themselves as a huge barbering brand! In the meantime, head over to my Instagram, Facebook and YouTube pages to stay up to date with all the latest information about big name barbers, and see their tips from inside the industry. If you’re interested in the Frequency60hz converter then please get in touch with me directly at info@larrythebarberman.com.

 

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Sid Sottung – Main Blog

I was very lucky to bump into the fantastic Sid Sottung at the British Barber Bash – and although he was in the middle of important preparations for his show, Sid was kind enough to get behind the camera and let me fire a few quick questions at him. First of all I wanted to know about his path into barbering – Sid started young, at just 14, as his Mum thought it would be a good alternative to roaming the streets and getting into trouble! He was able to benefit from both a formal education – in women’s hairdressing as well as barbering – and the on-the-job training which comes from dealing with other more experienced barbers and, of course, learning something from every mistake.
Sid started out working in an old school Italian barbershop, where the youngest barber was 60 years old! He tells me that he fell in love with both the job and the environment and was inspired to continue down the barbering path. He has a lot of projects on the go at the moment, including a new academy which is about to open, offering barbering education of the highest standard. Educating has been a big part of Sid’s career, and he already has 16 years of experience in passing on his incredible skills to the barbers of tomorrow. He also has his own product range coming, including products for wet shaving and hair care, as well as t-shirts and aprons which are primarily being used for his own students.
Educating other barbers is the most important thing for Sid, and he no longer offers private cuts at all – instead he puts all of his energy into bringing the best out of his students, travelling internationally to spread his knowledge and passion. What sets Sid’s teaching approach apart is his focus on why techniques are important as well as how they should be executed. His key focus is on absolute beginners, who can move through his intensive course and his refinement course, as well as other additional courses such as one which focusses on beard design. He loves to see his students grow to the point that they’re ready to cut their first customer’s hair, and adds that he will never give up on a student!
Sid is originally a New Yorker, and he finds that there’s nothing quite as good as a US clipper to get the job done, especially when working with African-American clients. He explains that American clippers are ‘smoother’, with teeth which are ‘smaller and finer’ – ‘if you want to do those really crisp, clean fades, use US clippers’. Ultimately, Sid finds that the American clippers are stronger and faster, although UK clippers like the Wahl Super Taper and can be great for longer styles. He also points out how important it is to look after your clippers if you want them to continue performing properly.
One way to do this is with the Frequency60hz Converter – for somebody like Sid who lives out of a suitcase and travels often it is absolutely crucial to have a converter which powers top quality American clippers anywhere across the globe. Talking about the Frequency60hz converter, Sid says: ‘You need this converter because you can’t use the US clippers anywhere else without it. They make a lot of noise… you sound like an unprofessional barber.’ In fact, Sid reckons that if you use the wrong converter you’ll end up ‘a laughing stock’, or worse – with clippers that have broken!
To find out more about the fantastic Frequency60hz Converter then feel free to email me at info@larrythebarberman.com. If you enjoyed this interview then head over to my Instagram, Facebook or YouTube pages to follow me and get instant access to more interviews with some of the world’s top barbers as well as free tips, tricks and advice!

 

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How to Quieten Noisy Clippers Out of the Box!

Recently I’ve been getting some feedback from customers who plug their new clipper into theFrequency60hz Converter and, because it still makes a loud noise, assume that the converter is either faulty or not up to the job… this isn’t the case! To get the smooth sound from your clipper you still need to make some adjustments to the tool itself – this would often be required even if you were operating the clipper straight out of the wall in America. In my latest tutorial, I’m showing you how to make the necessary adjustment to a Wahl Senior. This is a clipper which often needs some out of the box adjustments to make it work without a deafening, rattling noise – the Frequency60hz Converter can do a lot, but sadly it can’t handle a screwdriver for you!
It’s a simple matter of turning a single screw – the tension screw – but a lot of people make the mistake of turning the screw clockwise. This results in a quieter sound, but also stops the blade from operating which is no good to anyone. When people realise their mistake they typically turn the screw back to the starting position and come to the conclusion that the clipper simply isn’t running properly. What you actually need to do is keep turning that screw anti-clockwise; it may be a little stiff but ultimately it will reach the point of smooth sound and proper performance.
If you’re having difficulties or don’t know where to locate the tension screw then watch the video to see me walk you through the steps – be patient, keep turning the screw and believe in what you do. The Frequency60hz converter can allow you to use any American clipper anywhere in the world, however this only works if you know how to adjust your clipper correctly before use! I hope that this How To guide helps you get the most out of your clippers – if you need more advice you can always email me at info@larrythebarberman.com. If you want to see more from me, including other great free tips for getting maximum clipper performance, you can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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Barber Cut Throat Pete’s Interview with Larry The barber Man On The Frequency60hz Converter

Introducing Cutthroat Pete – the man behind Cuthroatpete the brand and Cutthroatpete the Liverpool City Centre barbershop. I headed up to Liverpool to find out everything I could about the man behind this top barbering brand. Pete actually started out as a professional shot-putter, but after heading to college to study sports science he begun to realise that barbering – something he’d grown to love through his own visits to the barbershops – would be far more suited to him. Initially he couldn’t get on with studying to be a barber at college, and instead focussed on building up on the job experience, with an apprenticeship and individual tuition. Although he ultimately went back to night school to get fully qualified, this early focus on on-the-job training gave him a lot of the crucial barbering skills he still makes use of.

Social media is a big part of the modern barber scene, and it’s also responsible for Pete’s catchy pseudonym – since he came up with it when he needed to decide on a twitter handle. Although he hadn’t expected it to stick, he found that people were actually remembering it, calling the shop he worked and ‘wanting to book in with Cutthroat Pete’. Since the name was sticking, he went with it and launched his brand – including the current barbershop, his own clothing ranges and a strong photography element – ‘all under the Cutthroat Pete umbrella’.

Pete has found that his one chair barbershop has been a huge success, and although he acknowledges that the appointment-only model he works off isn’t for everybody, the loyal base of customers that he has really like it, not only because it means that they don’t have to spend time waiting, but also because it means that they get his full attention while they’re in the shop. This one-to-one customer interaction is something that Pete really loves about the job, and he tells me that coming to work feels more like a social occasion than a conventional job, since he always knows who he’ll be seeing in advance and can look forward to spending time with each customer.

I asked Pete whether he felt like he had a trademark style, and he said that rather than specialising in one style he aims to do a good job with every cut – drawing on his background in both traditional techniques and the choppier, more textured contemporary techniques. To get his best cuts he currently works with a three clippers set-up: the Andis Outliners, Wahl Seniors and Cordless Super Tapers. The American clippers are powered by a Frequency60hz converter – and Pete tells me that without this he wouldn’t be able to run them at all. In fact, although he first discovered the extra power found behind US clippers in a trip to Indiana back in 2007, he knew they wouldn’t work properly. Since he’s been able to get in touch with me for a Frequency60hz and the clippers that he needed he feels that using his clippers has become much easier.

Pete’s message to other barbers is simple: “Every barber should buy a 60hzconverter… I’m saying that because I always wanted to use American Clippers: they do produce more power and are better quality.” If you’re interested in hearing more about the converter then please get in touch with me at info@larrythebarberman.com. You can also head to Instagram, where you’ll find both https://instagram.com/cutthroatpete/ and myself – I am also on Facebook and YouTube, and you can follow me for more fantastic free content including interviews, giveaways and much more!

 

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