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Larry the Barberman Interviews Steve at House Martin Barbers

This time around, I got to talk with Steve who runs House Martin Barbers in Glasgow. I wanted to get his story, advice to other barbers and thoughts on what I represent when I talk about American hair clippers. His insight was amazing.

When we talked about how he got started, Steve told me that he began barbering with his Dad at a young age and got inspired to follow in his footsteps. Using the resources at his disposal, Steve learned from everyone that he could while helping his father and starting cutting hair for his friends; he even started charging them, eventually! He worked hard at his field and taught himself the more he grew, determined to have his own shop someday.

House Martin Barbers would become that shop. It has a lovely, unique design to it that is very different towards most other barber shops. When asked what his thoughts were behind the aesthetic choices, Steve answered that he wanted his shop to feel more classy and comfortable so that customers got a better experience. Delving deeper about what he wants his clients to come away with, he stated that he wanted them to feel like they were welcome from beginning to end. He offers them coffee, water, even whiskey to drink, toiletries after the cut and makes certain they know they are in good hands during their appointment. He and his team use premium products and take the time to educate clients on what they’ve done to achieve the cut and the products used, even how they can use it at home if they like. “I want them to feel like their visit was a knowledgeable one,” Steve commented. It is clear that this barber considers the customer and the cut, even wanting to offer gifts to them after their service.

Walking in on the streets to House Martin Barbers might not be so easy. Due to how intricate and personable each session is, Steve comments that they will take walk-ins if there is room but it is very rare that they can be seen right away. Some might find themselves waiting for hours for a chair to open up, but it doesn’t bother Steve. He feels that it keeps up with the service they strive for and that they can focus more attention on giving the best instead of pushing customers in and out as fast as possible. He’s considering taking on more appointments to make the days more eventful.

Steve considers education important and feels that his own got him to one of his proudest moment, the opening of House Martin Barbers, in question. He’s not certain of the future when it comes to education but indicated that he would definitely like to get involved and pick up even more crafts to help expand his shop: more services for more clients.

Some shops have a style or service they are best known for or enjoy doing the most. When asked, Steve said that they often get requests for shaves, fades and slick-backed styles from gentlemen, though they can handle most of everything thrown at them. Broad requests are no trouble and Steve said that it is all different throughout the day, but they handle it. He sees a large request for classic haircuts, which does fit with the shop nicely.

To keep up with the various requests, I asked him what does he keep in his tool bag to handle each request. His hair clipper of choice is the Wahl Senior, a clipper he says keeps up and makes the job much easier for him. His scissors are a seven inch Kobe pair in black – he said they were quite daunting, initially, but are amazing now that he is used to it and use them all the time. Lastly, he keeps a razor on hand for shaves. His advice to other barbers is to experiment and try new things when it comes to equipment. The key is finding out what works best for them and their client.

I next asked him about his feelings towards the hype for American hair clippers in the UK. Steve answered that he felt it was great for expansion in the barbering community and certainly makes for an excellent conversation piece. He has his favorite in the Wahl Senior line, but encourages others to continue trying new equipment. If anything, he showed gratitude towards the Frequency60hz for helping barbers get more equipment working for them and providing access to Americn hair clippers stirring the barbering community to excitement.

We finished up by me asking what is next for House Martin Barbers. Steve laughed and said the first course of business was to hire on more barbers and make his shop a sort of “hub”. The idea of more customer interaction and future events was on his mind – so be keeping a look out on this classy Glasgow shop in the future!

For those interested in more information about using U.S hair clippers in foreign countries to achieve interesting new styles, check out the Frequency 60hz  here: http://www.larrythebarberman.com

Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for more, and head over to Larry’s https://instagram.com/larrythebarberman and http://www.facebook.com/larrythebarberman pages for other free barbering content. You can also email Larry at info@larrythebarberman.com

 

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 Larry the Barberman Interviews Benjamin and Mark of Benjamin’s Barber Shop

This time, I talked to two very interesting gentlemen that work at Benjamin’s Barber Shop in Edinburgh, Scotland. Mark and the namesake of the shop, Benjamin, come from two very different backgrounds but feel as though what they have in common is what ultimately brought them together.

When asked what got them started, Benjamin answered that he had been interested in barbering since a very young age and started cutting hair at thirteen. He followed a somewhat traditional path by getting a job at a local barbershop, cutting hair for both men and women, and working his way up towards owning his own which became the Benjamin’s Barber Shop of today. On the other hand, Mark had a very interesting story to tell. He began cutting hair in a little place known as Ironwood State Penitentiary and casually remarked on the grand theft auto and other crimes that got him there. Starting out in San Diego, CA, Argentina and Mexico, Mark eventually decided to come to first Dublin, then Manchester and finally Edinburgh where he met Benjamin. Mark states he has been cutting hair for twenty years and has thoroughly enjoyed his journey to where he is today. The two barbers may appear to be polar opposites, but Mark said they have much in common in the way of music, background and personality, despite the outward differences – opposites really do attract!

I asked them if there was a specific cut or style that their clientele came specifically to Benjamin’s for, trying to get a feel for their impression on the local culture. Benjamin remarked that they don’t focus on one thing but prefer to have a broad appeal and range in the services that they offer. Their clients range from younger kids who want extreme designs to an everyday man just wanting a nice, uniform haircut and even more elderly men who seem to appreciate Mark’s talent for traditional styles and cuts. They prefer that everyone feels welcome in their shop and that the clientele they have built appreciate more options than a specific niche or Benjamin and Mark trying to appeal to a specific audience alone.

The way they spoke about their clients really shows that the two have a great love for barbering. I asked where the satisfaction in their professions come from. Benjamin answered that, to them, they are extremely content with where they are now. “We aren’t trying to reinvent anything,” Benjamin laughed. Mark followed up by stating that with the atmosphere of the shop and some good music on, he doesn’t even feel like he’s working. To him, it’s more like he’s in his kitchen cutting his brother’s hair. To them, Benjamin’s Barber Shop is like their own little sanctuary.

The subject changed to what they thought of American hair clippers. Mark got a bit heated on the subject when it came to his opinion on plastic guides in shops – “That’s your sign to get the f*ck out!” Plastic guides clip on to the blade and measure the height of the cut.  His preferred clippers are the Oster and Wahl lines. He loves using Osters for fades due to the tight control and the speed. Benjamin has enjoyed experimenting with American hair clippers and states that he prefers them to equipment used in the UK and Mark agreed, stating that he wondered what the f*ck they were doing when he first saw the plastic guides being used in the UK.

Asked about their advice towards other barbers starting out and wondering about using American hair clippers outside of America, Benjamin and Mark both agreed that figuring out what works is the best approach. Mark’s advice was not to focus on what’s cool or trendy, but to try everything that they can and find out what works best for them and various styles. Benjamin agreed that finding out what works best by experimenting and learning on your own is a great approach. The equipment that works best for the barber is the equipment that they should stick with. Keep an open mind, they recommend.

As for what is next for these two unlikely partners, Benjamin stated that they really are quite happy where they are. They enjoy their clientele, love the shop and love what they do. Barbers starting out can aspire to that kind of satisfaction in the industry, and Benjamin’s Barber Shop is a great place to find inspiration, great life lessons and a profane American who loves his job.

For those interested in learning more about American hair clippers, check out my site: larrythebarberman.com and stay tuned for more of my interviews and news!

 

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Larry The Barberman Interviews Slicks Barbers Glasgow Scotland

Greg and Eric from Slicks Barber Shop recently shared their incredible story with me. Running the stylish, modern shop in Glasgow, Greg and Eric both had some great insight into barbering. Though Slicks Barber Shop was opened relatively recently, in 2013, the shop has proven quite popular. It has taken part in events like Menspire and aspire to be in Barber Connect and Scottland’s Barber Bash. Their plans to participate and grow their business are not anywhere close to finished either.

Asking how they started out, Greg and Eric stated that they had actually known each other for quite some time. Both had an interest in barbering from a young age after visiting a barber shop and state that they taught both themselves and each other a long the way. They worked for four years in the same shop before they eventually decided they wanted to go to Australia as a sort of personal journey. There, they met a barber that had seven shops who took them both under his wing. Greg laughed as he related how they started at the very bottom in the shops: sweeping up hair, fetching coffee, etc. They were each put on trucks to different shops where they eventually learned the craft.

Greg mentioned that the standard of education for barbers was not great at the time when he and Eric were looking to learn. The benefit of their experience in Australia gave them a chance to learn from multiple barbers and even hairdressers for women. The experience proved to be the most valuable in their careers and spurred them on towards opening Slicks. At present, they admitted that they aim to head to London soon to get their proper certifications in order. Eventually, they would like to get a teaching certificate so that they might provide the same experience of learning to others.

Upon looking back, both feel proud of what they have accomplished. They enjoy using each of their experiences as lessons both in barbering and their personal lives. They state that they are always seeking to improve and accomplish more. They will regularly post pictures of their cuts, styles and events to Instagram to inspire themselves to continue doing what they do best.

After asking if they had a preferred cut, or one that they were famous for, Greg and Eric talked about how their experience has led to the style of Slicks. They picked up quite a bit from their informal education in Australia and it has allowed them to tackle a broader request from clients for different cuts, styles and shaves. Fades, tapers and regular haircuts are the standard. They mentioned one of their favorite things to do is shaving, notably with an open razor. Because of their younger age, they explain that they enjoy this because they can relate to younger clientele that request it.

When it comes to their tools and materials, Greg and Eric expressed a desire to keep using natural products. They enjoy giving their customers a more natural looking result at the end of their session and feel that these products are much kinder to sensitive skin or children. Many reviews have praised how they handle children while they are in the shop and promise to come again; the natural approach seems to be working in their favor.

On the subject of hair clippers, both agreed that they preferred the Andis. The Andis line handles powerfully and offers great options for fades such as a measured lever. Overall, they prefer it for broad use to others. When asked about their feelings towards U.S hair clippers, they felt they considered it gave a different “performance” and an entertaining and new way style to their look. They are another pair that consider the U.S hair clippers the best in the world and utilize it to their advantage. I asked them if they were interested in their own eventual line of products and their answer was that they are working on it.

Whatever the future holds for these incredible barbers, Slicks is a true source of inspiration for others looking to get started in barbering. Check out their work on their instagram: http://ink361.com/app/users/ig-529747018/slicksbarbers/photos.

For those interested in more information about using U.S hair clippers in foreign countries to achieve interesting new styles, check out the Frequency 60hz  here: http://www.larrythebarberman.com or http://www.frequency60hz.com

Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for more, and head over to Larry’s https://instagram.com/larrythebarberman and http://www.facebook.com/larrythebarberman pages for other free barbering content. You can also email Larry at info@larrythebarberman.com

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A thank you to my beginnings and to Barber NV

36_BarberNV_A4_Issue01_new-page-001

I very recently got to write an article for the UK based Barber NV publication about Joth Davies, a big source of inspiration for me. I’ve talked about him and my interview with him on my blog already, but being able to see a published column is truly amazing.

When I first started out, I was a regular traveler to the states. I grew an interest in American hair clippers when I first discovered their excellent quality in comparison to the ones I used in the UK. Each trip allowed me the chance to learn about and purchase new clippers to experiment with, which is when I discovered the issue that barbers world-wide had trying to use American clippers outside of the states – the difference in frequencies and how normal converters meant that barbers were missing out on these quality products. I made use of my National Certificate in Electronics to develop my signature product, the Frequency60hz, to help barbers have access to these superior clippers. Thus, Larry the Barberman was born.

My passion for sharing, networking and being a part of the barbering community is one of the most important things in the world to me. Knowing that I have played a part in helping many barbers improve their equipment and skills, even helping them improve their barbering game entirely. It is that passion for reaching the barbering community, for American hair clippers, that has made me the Barberman, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Joth Davies of the legendary Savills Barbers was a man I knew I had to speak with. He is a prime authority hair clippers and provided an incredible amount of insight into why he likes certain clippers. Like me, Joth is driven by a passion for what he does, and helps give the same education and inspiration to the next generations of barbers through Savill’s Academy – speaking with Joth was an amazing experience, and being able to publish my experience in Barber NV only adds to how thankful I am for the opportunity to reach even more barbers looking for information.

I largely post to Instagram on what I am currently doing and more information on the Frequency60hz. This has been the platform that I have used to connect with amazing barbers across the world and to provide information on my product to help those struggling with an inability to use American hair clippers. My article in Barber NV about my interview and time with Joth Davies is another large step in my efforts to reach out to more and more barbers, and I cannot thank them enough for allowing me to do so.

My thanks go out to Joth Davies, Barber NV and all the people that allow me to do what I love.

For more information, check out my interview with Joth Davies here: http://frequency60hz.com/blog/savillsbarbers/

 

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