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Harry Green Gentlemans Barbers Shop: Harry and Rhy Talk Barbering

Double the trouble, double the skill – this time, I sit down with Harry and Rhys of Harry Greens Gentlemans Barbershop in Maldon, to talk to them about their journeys in the barbering industry. Harry started young: from a young age, the barbering industry seemed cool to him every time he went to a local barbershop and in general. “I came out of college when I was eighteen and had nothing lined up,” Harry explains. “My old man sorted out a job for me with a local shop and from there I just kept on moving forward. I went to school to do women’s hair, but it didn’t really click with me, so I sank back into barbering and there you go.”

 

Rhys, funnily enough, began his journey when Harry initially setup shop. He came in to work as an apprentice to Harry when he was turning twenty-four and stuck in a job he hated. “I saw how passionate Harry was about the industry and got in as an apprentice. From there, we’ve had the shop ready within a year and have been building it up collectively.” The true story of two partners in crime!

 

Harry and Rhys both are noted, and praised for, their styling. With an Instagram filled with examples of their work, the two have gained quite a following, especially for newcomers. When asked about their styles, both answer that they take the traditional and give it an urban twist. Clean fades and lines is one example, and the two styles mesh up almost exactly due to Harry’s training. “Doing a bit of women’s hair helped a lot with the techniques,” Harry explains. “We also get loads of inspiration from people like J Fades, amongst others when it comes to styling – you’ve got to stay on top of your game, and learning from other people is a must in the industry.”

 

Both gentlemen take improvement seriously. Harry talks about how he sees going to shows such as the Great British Barber Bash to be a fantastic way to stay on top of his game, as well as network. He and Rhys agree that they are always picking up new information, new techniques at shows, and it does a fantastic job in keeping their styles more than up to standards.

As big as shows are for the both of them, they unsurprisingly quote their greatest moments in barbering as both happening at the Great British Barber Bash: Harry for making it to the final round in the competition and Rhys for all the people who told them how he and Harry inspired them.

 

It is no surprise with all of that in mind that the fantastic duo has plans in the pipeworks for future education opportunities. Harry talks about possibly doing one day workshops or seminars in order to pass on what they have learned to interested parties. “We’ve had people approach us and ask about training and education, and Rhys and I really see ourselves getting more into it in the new year. I think a lot of people could benefit from us doing training courses, and the feedback on the idea has been amazing thus far.” You heard it here, folks, so keep your eyes peeled!

 

Tom Chapman was another person who approached Harry and Rhys, though this time it was not about training, per se. Instead, he wanted them to come aboard the Lion’s Barber Collective, a group of barbers that is based on recognizing mental illness and suicide in young men and helping to understand and prevent it. Harry tells me that there are plans to eventually push it over to the states and claims that it will be an absolutely massive thing in 2016 – another thing to keep an eye on, folks.

 

Given that Instagram has done an amazing job of showcasing their talent, neither of them have a lot of complaints on the platform. “You can’t show off the whole haircut in the picture is a fault, I suppose,” Harry laughs. Rhys is a bit more to the point: “There’s a lot of people who are ready to criticize our work when they don’t have any of their own posted. Its fine, of course, we are here to be criticized, but it is something that can become annoying at times when it’s non-constructive.”

 

On the opposite side, neither of them have a complaint for American clippers. In fact, both of them are exceptionally happy that they have had the chance to experiment with the clippers and hope that they begin to come to the UK more in the coming year. “It’s definitely improved my performance,” Harry admits. “There’s just so much more variety when it comes to American clippers, motors, blades, all of that. If we could get anything more out of UK barbers, we’d definitely want to see more variety!” They advise other barbers out there to definitely give American clippers a go.

Speaking of products, Harry and Rhys comment that they do have their own product line, namely beard oil and salt sprays that are currently in shop only. However, they do have mockups for future t-shirts posted on their Instagram and they are thinking of taking their products to an online shop in the future; 2016 is going to be an interesting year for these two!

 

As for where Harry and Rhys see themselves in the future, it is with big plans in mind: more barber shows and chances to be involved with them as well as getting their plans on educating other up and comers into full swing. As said earlier, 2016 is sure to be an interesting year for this dynamic duo and I, like many others, cannot wait to see what Harry Greens Gentlemans Barbershop does next!

 

If you enjoyed this interview then don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for more, follow me on Instagram, and http://www.facebook.com/larrythebarberman pages for other free barbering content. You can also email me at info@larrythebarberman.com.  The Frequency60hz defied what was a set cultural problem in the barbering industry; perhaps the future for barbers is in thinking outside the box.

 

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Barbers: Greg And Lawrence of Gregory Max Barbers talk Barbering

Today, I sit down with Greg and Lawrence of Gregory Max Barbers – a small shop that has an open front to it and the walk-in traffic is massive.There is local market opposite the shop and people across the country also come to this shop and they become regular customers as well.
Motivation is what derived Greg from becoming a barber at the age of thirteen. Greg remembers his school days and says, “We weren’t the richest kids, so our father contributed in making me and my siblings stand out – my dad thought he was a barber himself”, he smiles. He started off by practicing on his brother’s hair as well as his friends, and then he got a job in an Italian-Asian barber shop. Greg joined another barber shop and worked there for six years.
Lawrence, on the other hand, is also a self-taught barber who started working in 1997. He started his practice from home and went on to do a few jobs that polished his skills. When Greg offered him a job, he eventually accepted.
When asked if both Greg and Lawrence were self-taught, Greg answered by saying “Definitely. I liked to think it’s one of the best ways to pick up your own kind of pace, your own style, which is very keen nowadays. A lot of people have got their own style. You have got the Irish lads that have their one set of very clean style. I have got my own style and Lawrence has his. Being in a small shop we bounce off each other and we do pick up on styles of each other as well”.
Asking Greg how he would distinguish his shop from other barber shops and why someone might come to Gregory Max Barbers shop, Greg answered that the time he put into the haircut and the time the shop is open, which is eleven to twelve hours a day is what makes the shop stand out. Furthermore, he added that he took 45 minutes to one hour in a customer’s haircut, which allows for more time to interact personally with them.
What about the styles they could do? Lawrence responded by saying “Probably more urban kind of styles.” Greg added Afro, Caribbean and skin fade-styles. Greg admitted that he and Lawrence did the short styles and they were not comfortable with long hair so the other barbers in the shop deal with that. “We stay away from long hair”, Greg added.
Marketing is essential for a business to thrive so I asked Greg his primary source of marketing. “I’ve got a website, Facebook, Instagram. Instagram is the greatest thing really.I would say it got me where I am.” He answered. Instagram played a big role in Lawrence’s life too as he revealed that through the power of Instagram he would be going to his family in Hong Kong and start working in a well-renowned barbershop.
Greg carries his own product named GMB as well. When asked about it, Greg explained that it stands for Gregory Max Barber. “We use sprays for the minute – we tend to use a massive amount for the youngsters and customers with long hair. We use it as a pre-blow drying product and it has gotten very popular”.
With so much going on, do these two barber brothers have time for contributing to education? Greg responded by saying that they do a bit of education in a Bletchley college. He added that students come to him, and ask him questions so he explains what he does and how his fellow barbers do it. “We do tutorials for them in term of business” he tells me. “Some students even come out to the front of the shop and peer in at times!” He laughs; it’s hard not to laugh with him.
During the interview, Greg revealed that they also does charity for the homeless and for the people who suffer from depression as well as other serious mental illnesses. Motivation and years of hard work have earned Greg two shops and wanting to open more are on his list.
According to Greg, opening Gregory Max Barbers is the greatest thing that he did and the fact that both his shops are going well is an achievement to Greg.However, Lawrence reveals that he once had his own shop too. “I was a bit too young to have it”, he says smiling, “But really the opportunity to work with amazing barbers I have picked up really from all of them you know. I have progressed”.
I inquired about the negatives in barbering that they would like to see changed to which they shared a knowing smile. According to Lawrence, everyone wants to get on the top. “I don’t like it when people hate on each other and try to maybe undermine people”. Indeed, many barbers have addressed the negative, and outright hateful, comments that show up on social media when their work is displayed as of late.
Another subject of long-standing debate is education and licensing for barbers. I asked them whether it is important to go to college and to be a registered barber: Greg personally thought that new barbers should go to college and learn barbering and the background on how to open a shop before they move on to their own.
Getting on the topic of tools I asked them why they had more American tools in their shop, Lawrence replied, “It definitely has upped the game having American tools”.When I asked him since when did he start using them to which Lawrence laughed and joked ‘Since I got Instagram”.Greg admitted he uses English tools as well as American tools. Nothing wrong with missing the American clipper train if you get on later, right?

These barber brothers are doing phenomenal work and are another standing example of how far the barbering community and spirit behind the “barber life” has come. As more talented individuals like them contribute to education the up-and-comers, I can only imagine the exciting possibilities on the horizon.

If you enjoyed this interview then don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for more, follow me on Instagram, and http://www.facebook.com/larrythebarberman pages for other free barbering content. I’d also like to invite you to check out more interviews, tutorials and content on my Youtube channel at: www.barbers.tv. You can also email me at info@larrythebarberman.com.

 

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Barbering Educator: Vishal of VBD Education, Talks Barbering

Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care – a quote from Teddy Roosevelt that is also used by VBD Education creator, Vishal Baharani.

Vishal got his start as a barber when he was twenty-one years old, but like many other greats, did not have much of an interest in barbering or hairdressing. His early life was actually filled more with music, such as playing the cello – it would be his love for music that would coincidentally transition from musical art to visual art in the way of his styles, cuts and love for the barber life.

 

Noticeably, Vishal also wears quite a few tattoos and has several members in his family that are dedicated tattoo artists, and he wears his tattoos with pride. “A friend gave me my first tattoo at fifteen years of age – they’re a reflection of my journey, a temple to hold all of my values.” He points out a few and explains them to me: “Familia is family, there is “Love” here,” he then points to his forehead, “and this is Sanskrit. It means “love and be loved”. It is clear that tattoos play a huge role in his style and life. His clippers even come decorated with tattoos; his signature, of sorts.

 

Going through his education and training to become a barber, he would also discover his love for education. “Education is the most important thing for a person to have. Education is the difference between humans and animals, it plays a big part in how we treat people,” he explains. Vishal also elaborates that he did seminars in school for other students while attending. From there, he tells me, he knew that teaching was an absolute must in his life and that decision would ultimately lead to the academy that has changed thousands of lives, VBD Education.

 

VBD Education has done tours throughout Europe, and has plans on heading to Argentina as well as the states at some point in the near future. After experiencing a seminar for myself, I can definitely see what so many students have been getting out of it. He tells me that a big influence on how he works was the fact that he was trained by people from the United States in barbering. In fact, he expresses that he thinks it is the best country for the idea of barber life, and his choice in clippers clearly reflects that sentiment! Wielding his Oster Model 10 and a Wahl Five Senior typically, Vishal laughs and admits, “I can use European clippers, but I just don’t like to. Comparing them to the American models, you can see a big difference and it just feels more natural.”

 

During the seminar I attended, Vishal was kind enough to do his demonstrations alongside Paul Hewitt, AONO and Shane Nesbitt, Shane’s Barber Shop, using the Frequency 60hz to power his American clippers in the Spanish academy. “My experience was quite good. Technology can adapt any kind of clipper to my journeys, and it’s something I can use to keep delivering classic haircuts”. He’s equally pleased about Paul and Shane being on board, commenting on how excited he is that they think similarly to him and hold a lot of the same values. “It’s about the message, not the messenger,” Vishal states. “I want to get out there and spread these ideas and values of barber life and having Shane and Paul on board has just taken it to an all new level”.

 

So, what words does he impart with for people who might on the fence about attending a VBD Education seminar or master class? “We reassure signing on by showing that you can come to a VBD seminar, and it will open up a new way to see what barbering really is: the values, history, etc., so you can feel more confident. Passion for barbering, when you have knowledge, you have options, when you have options, you can choose “. From a man who balances a keen understanding of barbering, fashion and trends, the value in attendance is evident. One of the biggest advantage that is often raved about is how Vishal teaches not only the right skills and mindset a barber should have, but also brings in fashion as a way to help them see the perspective of the customer and how to reach them on a meaningful level.

 

If anyone is on the fence, you shouldn’t be. With Shane and Paul on hand, Vishal’s VBD Education tour is aiming to reach more people than ever and bring about a great new sense of what it means to be part of the barber life.

 

If you enjoyed this interview then don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for more, follow me on Instagram, and http://www.facebook.com/larrythebarberman pages for other free barbering content. You can also email Larry at info@larrythebarberman.com – The Frequency60hz defied what was a set cultural problem in the barbering industry; perhaps the future for barbers is in thinking outside the box.

 

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Groom Room Barber Shop Owner Mark Talks Principles Of Barbering Success

In the deep southwest of Torquay, I sit down to talk with the Viking-bearded Mark of The Groom Room Barbershop about his beginnings, his adventures and plans for the future. Mark started out like many barbers do – sweeping up hair in a salon on Saturdays. It was in the same salon as he is in now that he actually got his start, with a little help from a cousin that worked as a hairdresser as well. The salon was kept busy at the time from all of the bleaches and highlights in demand, as he puts it, and Mark got his training in house.

 

“I wasn’t inclined to do the four year apprenticeship,” he answers when I ask about formal training. “I instead went to London and took a barbering course with Alan D in London.” He eventually found his way to Torquay in an, as he puts it, sort of round-the-world trip with his partner to Australia and a stop off in New Zealand as well.

 

The style of the shop, as Mark describes it, is ever-evolving. “It has grown over the years. It was originally more to the customer’s expectations, but as time went on we kept up with the trends and the styles. It’s always an ongoing process.”

I ask him about the business he generates with his prices being on the higher side for his area and how he manages to accomplish it. “It’s about reading customers and what they are looking for. It’s constantly changing and developing so that customers get more for their service – it’s really a graduating thing. You have to set your price point, basically, but then you have to be able to deliver at that level. Charge a little more and stand out from the crowd – always deliver on that promise.” Wise words from a man who considers his most satisfying moment in barbering the moments each day when his client leaves with a smile on their face, looking good and knowing that they are coming back.

 

In line with some other barbers, Mark talks about the styles in the southwest as hanging on to very short, kept hair – lots of fades, though not skin tight anymore. He suspects that this will continue through the new year until the summer when, as he puts it, people are more open to change. As with a few of my other interviews in the past, he has a sneaking suspicion that longer hair will be making a comeback (so keep an eye out!).

 

Earlier, Mark quoted the importance of in-house training. “We do it here, and I feel it is important for consistency and so everyone is on the same page.” When asked if he had considered any opportunities to pass on his knowledge to other up and coming barbers, Mark told me: “Like I said, we do that here – I think everyone should do in-house training, to be honest – but I have gone to some local salons and colleges and have done some teaching. As for actively seeking education opportunities out, I’m not at this time but if anyone wants to get in touch with me, I’d be more than happy to help.” You heard it here, folks!

For anyone jealous of his Viking-beard, The Groom Room does have a line of beard oils for the discerning gentleman. Asked about what sets it apart from other products in the same line, Mark only says: “The industry is really saturated, to the tipping point, honestly. What sets ours apart is really in the secret formula.” It’s not magic, as far as I can tell, but the clients seem to think it is.

 

The industry is not just saturated with product lines. I ask Mark about his perspective on the positives and negatives of the barbering industry. The good, as he tells me, is the new ways in which people are collaborating and connecting. There is a camaraderie in the industry like there wasn’t before, and he feels social media has been a big push in that, as well as opportunities for more trainers to be introduced.

The bad is a subject we have discussed before in another interview. Mark feels the industry is years behind the American barbering industry in terms of licensing, expectations to be met and training in general. “It’s a gray area, and the training provided doesn’t always meet the expectations of the people who want to get into the industry. They need to know the expectations on them to be a barber.” He also brings up that he would like to see regulations finally get put in place in the interest of the client, the barbers themselves as well as sanitation standards.

Mark had been working with the “one size fits all” clipper before he got into American clippers. Even after that, he suffered the tell-tale noise from his attempts to power an Andis Masters without the Frequency60hz Converter. Now that he has one, his go to clippers feature the Oster Model 10 and the Oster FastFeed. His advice to anyone on the fence on American hair clippers or the Frequency60hz? “Try them all – find out which one is comfortable for you. Compared to the English ones, these gave me so many more options in terms of textures, styles, sharpness and power.”

 

What is next for Mark and the Groom Room Barbershop? With a laugh, he admits that he has been so busy with the holiday season that he hasn’t had a chance to sit down and plan out the year; he plans on doing it soon, though. As a final bit of advice to other barbers, Mark says: “Plan out your year. It’s important to take that time to strategize, because you’ll get caught up in the job or social media and those plans will fall apart if you aren’t careful.”

To everyone reading, I hope the plans for their years look good!

 

 

If you enjoyed this interview then don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for more, follow me on Instagram, and http://www.facebook.com/larrythebarberman pages for other free barbering content. You can also email me at info@larrythebarberman.com. I also invite you to check out my blog at: WWW.60hz.me/grmark – The Frequency60hz defied what was a set cultural problem in the barbering industry; perhaps the future for barbers is in thinking outside the box.

 

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Christian Barber: Matt Of Mister Robinsons Barbershop Talks Barbering

Dangerously debonair and led by faith, I sit down with Matt Robinson of Mister Robinson’s Barbershop to talk about his journey. Like many other barbers, Matt fell in love with the barber life at a young age at West Indian barbershops that served as his impromptu neighbor. The relaxed, unique environment captivated a young Matt and he was, as he puts it, not educated but inspired to pursue barbering.

The love for the relaxed atmosphere and community feeling carried out through Matt’s career and life. After an abrupt end at his prior stint to opening Mister Robinson’s Barbershop, he spent some time doing cuts out of his kitchen and the front room of his house – this brought back the feeling of his childhood experience in the barbershop and the inspiration for his shop was born. Built to replicate that feeling of casual relaxation, the shop is decorated with boxing memorabilia, toolboxes and a baseball bat that is secondhand from his brother.

 

Matt takes his inspiration from an open community and his faith to work with him every day. As well as his barbering work, he works part-time as a minister working with those in need. Unsatisfied with his altruism being disconnected between his two positions. His push to help the community would lead to him winning the Community of Investment award – he created a system of exchanging haircuts for food and clothes to assist the homeless, and is still pushing to help in any way he can. “It’s nice to be recognized,” he says in regards to the award, “but for me it’s not about the money, it’s about doing good for people – that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? If you can’t do that without incentive, I think you might be missing the point.” Matt also partnered with a group called Positive Outlook in an effort to spread the positive message that his work and shop constantly promotes. “With people talking on social media sites like Instagram, it’s great to be able to have a place relaxed and comfortable enough to get people talking,” Matt tells me. His product line with Positive Outlook is a series of t-shirts bearing messages of positivity: handsome and positive, as Matt puts it. “One of them had a slogan on it that just blew me out of the water. It was “faith drives me” and it really resonated with me. I thought that it might not with everyone, but it turns out that it is our biggest seller.”

 

Faith and altruism drive Matt, without question, but he also lives by the motto “cleanliness is next to Godliness”. He uses an air-compression system in his barbershop inspired by a non-barber friend that lives in New York. He describes it as being essential to cleaning his kit and equipment, almost like a single service versus a multi-step process. His advice to other barbers in the UK is to look into it, as it is quite uncommon in the area – it comes highly recommended from Mr. Robinson, and that is not advice to take lightly.

 

His style reflects the more relaxed, debonair side of Matt’s personality. He relates his signature cuts of fades and low fades to the slick, handsome styles of the 20s and 30s. “From the Madmen style of look,” he laughs. “Not a hair out of place and dangerously debonair.” His ink has led him to many tattoo conventions where they’ve brought in that personable level of relatability and have generated interest in barbering in the Rockabilly scene, especially when it comes to beards; does it get any cooler than a Rockabilly-scene minister?

 

I have to pad a bit of my own ego when it comes to asking Matt on his opinion of American clippers. He enthusiastically tells me that the Andis Masters and Oster Fast Feed have tremendously upped his game and point-blank tells anyone who has not tried them to head to www.frequency60hz.com, get my converter and try the Oster Fast Feeds for themselves. “It’s like driving a Mercedes versus riding a bike – you’ll get there, either way, but one is significantly faster, smoother and sleeker.” Like Matt said, it is nice to be recognized.

 

His plans for 2016 are essentially to carry on with what he is doing now: keep barbering, keep working with Positive Outlook and doing good for mankind in any way he can. For anyone who wants to get involved or work with Matt, he says the door is open! Get in contact with he and his team and see what positive messages you can spread via a barber life patron driven by faith.

 

 

If you enjoyed this interview then don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for more, follow me on Instagram, and http://www.facebook.com/larrythebarberman pages for other free barbering content. You can also email me at info@larrythebarberman.com – The Frequency60hz defied what was a set cultural problem in the barbering industry; perhaps the future for barbers is in thinking outside the box.

 

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Champ The Barber, Talks About His Charitable Act In Columbia

Some might say it is cliché to call Ian aka Champ who runs Champ’s Barbers, well, a champ! However, on his recent visit to Columbia he spent what should have been a two week  holiday giving back to the poorest of the poor in an extended, four weeks of hard work. Though Champ was born in the UK, his parents originate from Columbia and he holds a very high interest and respect for his culture. His visits usually have him bringing his barber tools to give his family haircuts. This time, they ended up helping him bring the spirit of barber love and brotherhood to those in need.

 

“A lot of them start on the top of the valley, up in the mountain, when they come to Columbia for a new life or to start over, and that’s where the poorest live. There’s not great electricity or water there, so that is where I basically started.” He tells me this as he relates his incredible story: “I started out in those slums, basically going wherever I was needed. The first place was a churchyard and the priest went out and told locals that there was someone willing to cut their hair. I had so many kids coming in. It was challenging, of course – like I said, there was a poor setup for the electricity and with the sun beating down on me, and all I wanted was water.” Champ pauses and smiles a little before he adds, “But it was all about making the kids smile, so of course I had to keep going.”

 

There is no doubt the experience was one that was memorable, and touched his heart. Champ recalls the haircut he remembers the most vividly and how it touched him: “There’s this area under a bridge where there are some fifteen-hundred homeless people living. No one really talks to them and ignore them. I headed down there for a solid day and I remember working on this man who hadn’t had his hair cut in fifteen years – he had so many incredible stories to tell. The people were all banding together to help, and that’s a big part of the culture in Columbia. Even in the disparaged area, even with the violent gang activity right outside your door sometimes, everyone was still trying to band together to help my effort.”

 

Not surprisingly, gang activity occurs even between the various barbers in Columbia. When Champ doubled his efforts to get the other local barbers on board with his idea, many revealed that they were not allowed in certain areas due to rival gangs. “I told them let me take their apprentices, then.” Champ explains, “-and I took the apprentices and got them helping me out. The barbers in Columbia aren’t really up on social media outside of using their Facebooks for personal reasons, maybe. So I showed them some sites to get them more on board with the idea of barber love, life and brotherhood, you know? It’s crazy how successful it was – I had two barbers who hadn’t worked together in two years in the same place, talking and planning with me!”

 

A local Columbia television channel even came out on the last day Champ was in the area and took him to one of the bigger schools in the area. It goes without saying that his efforts and kindness are being recognized more and more. Champ even tells me that barbers in Columbia are starting to take it on themselves to keep doing what he started and it has taken off. Question is: are there any plans for something like his unofficial program in the UK?

 

“We have something in the works for a similar idea in the UK, definitely!” Champ laughs. “I’d like to get more barbers on board, hit the streets of London and Brighton maybe and get some friends on board.” Perhaps the only setback is that Champ doesn’t have an official name for his program or the charity at the time – it hardly seems to need one, though. Might I suggest “Barber Champs”? I’m sure he’ll come up with something more creative soon enough!

 

“I’ll be heading back to Columbia soon, actually. There’s a big barber battle scheduled and they wanted me to be there.” He grins a bit, “A friendly battle, of course!” It wouldn’t be barber life if it were anything but!

 

From his touching experience that were basically impromptu in Columbia, Champ really shines through his own nickname by continuing to pursue this charity idea. His commitment to his vision of what he sees as the meaning of the barber life, barber love and barber brotherhood has become so strong that it not only has inspired would-be enemies to come together but for barbers from all different walks to jump on and come to the aid of those in need.

 

The lesson here is simple: those that put their energy into what they love the most can make a huge difference.

 

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Barber: Reece Beak Talks About his Inspiring Journey In Barbering

 

After a fantastic interview with Jen and Jaye at Linton & Mac’s, I get the opportunity to talk to Reece Beak alongside his brother, Alan, to get the inside scoop on where his journey in barbering began, what he is doing now and what his plans for the future are.

Asked about his inspiration and beginnings, Reece tells me that he started hairdressing after finishing school. “I was actually doing hairdressing at the time and I wanted to go the fashion route, but that ended up not working out. Alan had picked up barbering from a young age, about nine, from the local barbershop that we went to as kids; we’d been going there for twenty odd years. After a while, I decided I wanted to get back into hairdressing through barbering.”

The brother team has an interesting take on their style when it comes to barbering. Alan tells me that the two of them prefer a hybrid of styles, essentially combining Reece’s hairdressing background with Alan’s classical barbering. “We consider it to be a very fashion-forward movement of sorts,” Reece explains. “We like the styles that are more towards hairdressing styles than slick styles.” It is a meeting of that classical, Italian style of contemporary meeting ladies’ hairdressing; Alan and Reece certainly do have a unique style when their powers combine!

Asked about the roles they fulfill in their work, Reece and Alan both laugh before Alan explains that their roles in the shop are very similar to their roles within the family. Reece teases a bit about being the rebellious younger brother, but the two consider themselves a dynamic duo who have settled into their roles as equals and work to make the shop thrive.

Though he is relatively new to the barbering scene, Reece tells me that the greatest moments of satisfaction for him come mostly from higher education. “Being relatively new to the scene, I’ve always found myself sort of buzzing around higher education and we put a lot of our own money towards it.”

Asked about the positives that the barbering community is bringing to the world outside of education, Reece proclaims “unity”. He and Alan talk about how it used to be a competition, and now there is mad love going on. “Barbering actually brought me a bit out of my shell,” Reece laughs. As for the negativity, the brothers agree that they would like to see the nasty comments on social media change for the better of the barbering community.

When it comes to their recent showcase in LA, Reece attributes a lot of that to social media craze: “We always had something on there that people liked, and a company called Showcase Barbers ended up reaching out to Joe Murray, who had previously worked at Ruger with us, and when asked who else he would bring with him he put down my name and off we went. I ended up meeting a lot of afro barbers: Andrew Does Hair, Julius Caeser, Geometric Illusions as well as Gerry Barber, amongst others.”

They also met with Patrick, a gentleman that works as a sponsor for the Lion’s Barber Collective, a group of ever-expanding barbers that work to recognize and prevent suicide in young age groups; though, this meeting was in a different spirit. In fact, Alan has plans to go to New York come March of this year to talk to the company that sponsors their products about an exclusive line and to meet with suppliers. At present, they do have some physical products that are sponsored by the company, but those out there hoping for Ruger exclusives best keep an eye peeled after March!

For those who cannot wait, Reece and his brother also offer some truly excellent private workshops. “We want to see that they’ve taken something away – physical evidence that they are learning. We traveled seven hours last night but we want to make sure they get their money’s worth and that they are happy with the end result,” Alan explains. Reece adds, “We could do it all day, every day.” The two have similar styles and found that they work well together.

There are big changes coming for the Beak brothers in the next two to three months – but Reece won’t spill any more just yet. “We’re refining, looking over the mistakes we’ve made over the last year – we can’t thank everyone enough for all their support, feedback and all that they do for us. Our next steps have to be the best thing for our clients, our family and ourselves. We love our jobs and we want to stay in love with it, at the end of the day.”

Solid words from the brothers Beak, and inspiring words for young barbers out there who are looking to get started as well as the veteran barbers who are looking to be reinvigorated in their craft. Big things are coming, as Reece said, so be sure to keep an eye out!

If you enjoyed this interview then don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for more, follow me on Instagramhttp://www.instagram.com/larrythebarberman , and http://www.facebook.com/larrythebarberman pages for other free barbering content. You can also email me at info@larrythebarberman.com.

 

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Aberdeen Linton & Mac Hairdressers’ Jen and Jaye Tell Their Story

 

Today, I visit one of the most amazing hairdressers I have even seen in the country – Linton & Mac Hairdressers in Aberdeen. I have the honor of sitting down with Jen and Jaye to talk to them about their inspiration, advice and plans for the future.

First, I ask Jen about her motivation to become a hairdresser. “Always been passionate about hairdressing.” Jen responds. “I worked in quite a few good salons, but always felt something was missing. Jaye and I have known each other for five years and have always had the same vision in mind: to let the clients have a full experience, but something different, and a home from home almost, rather than something too clinical.”

Jaye adds on, “I think I went into the industry, personally, to do something fashion-based, and the creative side of hairdressing itself is so good for what is going on in the industry. Again, with the salon, both Jen and I wanted to create somewhere fun to work, somewhere you can come in and feel relaxed.” I more than believe the two have achieved as much.

Turning back to Jen, I ask if she can define her specialties when it comes to hairdressing and she mentions the barbering aspect. “Yeah, I love cutting, and finishing the hair. I’m definitely more that side, and yeah, doing, playing with the hair a little bit more and getting in, whereas Jaye’s probably is a lot more style-focused.”

Forgive the bad pun, but Jaye does seem to be more on the ‘colorful’ side of hairdressing. She did her LO’real Color Specialist program last year and tells me that it made her think, “Oh, I’m totally all over the color.” She adds that she loves styling and mixing together the creative and fashion side of hairdressing.”

It is no surprise what services they offer in their salon, given the vision Jen and Jaye had: hairdressing with cut and color, a style bar – a bar mimic that sits up to five people to come in and get their hair styled within half an hour, makeup artists as well as nail technicians who can offer acrylic nail service.

The bar is an interesting idea, it goes without saying. Just looking at it, the area feels warm and inviting with sofas dotting the area; the idea is meant to mimic a lounge in your home so no one feels pushed out. Jen smiles and adds, “We don’t want clients to be sat there wondering about the time and sitting and waiting on stylists. There is glass all about so people can see everything going on – almost like a photo studio. It’s about the social aspect of things and so clients can interact with each other.” When ticking off boxes for the clients to have a fantastic experience, it is all about them feeling welcome for Jen and Jaye.

The two have put great care into the feeling and style of the salon it goes without saying. All the furniture is custom made and the style shines through in each sense. The salon blends together a gorgeous variant of their experience in areas like New York and Ibiza, demonstrating the chic and bold style of either. From first glance, their salon looks like one you might see in a television show with stylish, creative colors as well as the glitz and glamour of New York – all of which Jen and Jaye have worked hard to bring to Aberdeen and create a unique experience. “The salon is probably the biggest in Aberdeen, but what we want is the level of our sales being upped with focusing on our customer experience and making sure they feel at home; we’ve also been focused on education.”  

Their advice to others out there? “Don’t become complacent!” We all need our own little spark of insanity, of creative flair, and Jen and Jaye are prime examples of why. The salon experience has been a unique one and I hope to see more creativity out in the field in the future.

If you enjoyed this interview then don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for more, follow me on Instagramhttp://www.instagram.com/larrythebarberman , and http://www.facebook.com/larrythebarberman pages for other free barbering content. You can also email me at info@larrythebarberman.com.

The Frequency60hz defied what was a set cultural problem in the barbering industry; perhaps the future for barbers is in thinking outside the box.

 

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Paisley Barber: Davie Talks About His New Found Success

 

Today, I sit down at Davie’s Barbershop in Paisley to speak with Dave himself and get the scoop on his journey as well as his plans for the future. Talking about his beginnings, Dave tells me that he started some seventeen years ago and trained as a hairdresser for four years. “I wanted to learn everything about hair,” he explains. “From the dyeing aspect to long cuts. After four years, I did my apprenticeship as a hairdresser and turned more towards doing gents’ hair.” After his transition, Dave spent thirteen years in the barbering field. “I trained under Jim Charey – who retrained me, actually.” He laughs here, “So, now I’ve had my own shop opened for about eight years, and the new shop we’re currently in has been open for three years come May.” At present, Dave is training himself even more and building up apprenticeships, as well as pushing Davie the Barbers’ alongside his team.

Dave, when asked what his signature style is, tells me that he is known for his kind of fading. “Up in my part of Scotland, it’s a lot of short cuts: skin fades, balding clipper cuts – I get a lot of fading work. I just play my market, and what’s about me in Paisley.” Those tell-tale short cuts are a trend that Dave doesn’t see going away anytime soon in his area. “Before there was skin fading, we were using balding clippers. I’ve been using them since I was twenty-one. I don’t see it going away in Scotland, even if it goes away in other parts of the UK, I believe it is going to stay a strong market here.”

Given how Dave’s popularity has blown up in that seven or eight months, his advice is definitely something to heed. When asked about where he gets his inspiration, Dave tells me: “I kind of look about and watch every day. I watch people like Sid Sottung who is a real motivational guy, both in life and in barbering. Obviously, Alan Beak is another person who inspires me – I’ve done his workshop as well. Honestly, I don’t think by doing barbering for thirteen years that I can’t go along and learn something from someone else. Really, I’m always watching Alan and other peoples stuff, keeping an eye on Instagram as well. It gives you something to come in and try, really.”

Garry Spencer, as well, has been a big force in catapulting Dave to near stardom. Dave tells me: “Garry has played a massive part. I get a lot of people coming in and I always go back to Garry and ask for his advice. We talk through stuff, what I should be doing and what I should be aiming for; pulling everything back, watching what I put out – my best quality work. There’s a ton of things you can learn from Garry; he’s such a nice, humble guy and he’s got some fantastic advice.”

On the subject of social media, Dave talks about the good and the bad. The positives, from his perspective, is the ability social media has to either excel or hurt your business. The various groups and chances to connect with others, as well as seeing what other barbers are doing out there, has played a big part. On the opposite end, as Dave puts it, you have Facebook group haters and people that are always willing to provide some not so constructive criticisms. “You’re baring your soul out there, showing your work, and those nasty comments can be devastating.”

Dave is also involved in quite a few organizations, which has certainly played a hand in his burst of popularity. He is an ambassador for Osmo, a Scottish product company who is quite well known in the hairdressing fields. They have, according to Dave, begun to come across to the barbering industry as well. “They approached me and asked if I would be an ambassador to help push things more to the barbering side, so I’ve been working with them for about a year. They’re a fantastic company, and so well-known and full of energy that they end up passing it on to me. We kind of bounce of each other, so we’ve got a lot of ideas. 2016 is going to be quite big for me and Osmo, got a lot of photo-shoots, a lot of how-to videos coming out, um, and I’ve also just become Matakki’s ambassador as well, for the scissors.” Dave is also a part of the Outlaw Collective, a venture that he began when Adam Sloan contacted him after seeing him onstage at the Barber Bash. “Outlaw was a name I was looking at for something else, put it to the guys at Slicks, and the Outlaw Collective was born. Um, so we decided to do, my old boss who trained me seventeen years ago had approached me and said “I would like to do more gents with hairdressers, would you like to do a demo show for us?” To train the guy who trained me was pretty awesome. So we met, and it had turned out it was a full house, there was like seventeen hairdressers and all the models everywhere, and me and Eric were like “Oh man, here we go.”

Since then, they have done workshops in Kilmarnock and Livingstone, not as educators as Dave puts it, but as someone who is out to help some wee local shops and barbers learn the latest in skin fades and other techniques. The local shops, as he puts it, aren’t doing anything like it yet, and he enjoys going to small barbershops and helping spread some of the forefront of fashion to Scottish barbers.

As if Dave hadn’t joined enough power teams, he also talks about doing an event that has opened yet another door for him. “I was doing a lot more kind of longer scissor cuts and stuff like that, and working with Matakki at different events, recently, just from British Master Barbers with Anthony Copeland. I’m now going to be Scottish ambassador for them, which being a proud Scottish barber and everybody sees me in my kilts and stuff like that. To be asked by an organization as big as them to represent them in Scotland is just one of the biggest moments of my career.”

Dave also participates in two charities – The Lines Collective with Tom Chapman, Pat Barry and a list of other members from up and down the UK, that essentially takes part in training barbers on how to talk people, to act as therapists to the clients who sit in their chairs and may be suffering. Not quite as far as therapists, but the idea is that people will see the stickers on the shop windows letting them know their barbers are trained and they can perhaps open up a bit.

I ask him next on why he believes that is popularity has erupted recently, aside from the influence of Garry Spencer. Dave tells me that he hadn’t used a lot of social media beforehand. Then, when a tattoo studio opened up in here, and Instagram came across the table, Dave tells him that Danny asked him: “Why don’t you use Instagram and share your work out there?” Dave admits that he hadn’t thought about it before. “So, I got on Instagram and the came up with the Great British Barber Bash with Garry Spencer when he was running a competition in Southport and I thought “Why not?”. So, I entered a haircut and ten minutes laterGarry calls me up, tells me he’s coming to Scotland and asked if I wanted to get a coffee – he said he was going to really change the game up here and that is exactly what he did.”

Garry isn’t the only influential person Dave has had a visit from. In fact, he had a recent visit from Mr. Simon Shaw himself. “I started this 17 years ago, and I pick up clippers with Simon’s face on them, and never ever thought I would ever get to meet the guy or even him know me. I met him when I went down to do my first live demo, first time out the shop, it was with Osmo at Barber Connect, and I was right across from the Wahl stand – I tried not to let it phase me and continue on with my day, but it was definitely a buzz of energy to have them working so close at hand. When I did the British Barber of the Year competition on stage Simon liked to say he told everybody about how he invited me and how good I was,” Dave laughs. “I got a message from him that said: “What are you doing? I’m coming to your shop”. It was the most unnerving beard trim I have ever done in my life! He’s such a nice guy – everyone in the shop got a buzz off of him just being in the shop.” That beard trim turned into Dave being asked to some work with Simon at the Barber Connect on the Wahl stage; the rest is history.

With so much going on, Dave tells me that his greatest moment as a barber was actually spent in his home crowd: “Today, I think you’ve got- You can’t top walking out in front of your home crowd in Glasgow with a piper and standing in a kilt. That was like my second live thing I’d done. You know, Craig is a good friend of mine, the piper, and there’s nothing better when you get out there and the whole crowd was buzzing, and everybody was up and jumping, and it was a great- It was a great atmosphere, but doing the British Barber of The Year was absolutely fantastic.”

It is no mystery why Dave has skyrocketed to fame in such a quick time. With his active participation, desire to be so involved with the barber life and community and pride in his home, there is no telling how far he will go in the coming years. To any aspiring barbers out there, Dave is definitely an inspirational source to keep your eye on!

If you enjoyed this interview then don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for more, follow me on Instagramhttp://www.instagram.com/larrythebarberman , and http://www.facebook.com/larrythebarberman pages for other free barbering content. You can also email me at info@larrythebarberman.com.

 

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Barber Steve Of Diligence Barber Shop West Ealing London Talks Barbering

Barber Steve of Diligence Barbershop In West Ealing started his craft straight out of his bedroom when he was between twenty-three or twenty-four; he has had an interesting ride since then. You might recognize his name from a mention by Barber Luke in a previous interview. Steve is a former employer of Barber Luke, and Luke had fond memories of his time at Steve and Pecker Barbershop.

Though he started out practicing on his brothers and cousins, his self-training led to the opportunity for lots of experience and interesting experiences. Steve gained his initial inspiration and desire to be a barber from a barbershop in Southall that he used to frequent. His journey saw him trading work for experience; it has been a constant state of learning.

Variety is the key with Steve – when it comes to styles, signatures and clients. “It’s all about preference,” he tells me. “Someone might come in and I’ll be cutting their hair for the first time and they might prefer me, or someone might do it better; it’s really all about preference.”

Steve has been using American hair clippers for a solid decade, and has thoroughly enjoyed his experience with them. Prior to discovering the Frequency60hz, he experienced the tell-tale vibrating and loud noise that come with an improperly powered American clipper being used in the UK. “Even with those issues, they were still superior clippers to the British clippers.”

His advice to other barbers? Get the Frequency60hz ASAP!

If you enjoyed this interview then don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for more, follow me on Instagram, and http://www.facebook.com/larrythebarberman pages for other free barbering content. You can also email me at info@larrythebarberman.com – The Frequency60hz defied what was a set cultural problem in the barbering industry; perhaps the future for barbers is in thinking outside the box.

 

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