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Vick The Barber Talks U.S. hair clippers with Larry The Barber Man

 

One of my favourite things to do as “the Barberman” is to travel about and learn more about clippers. I took that opportunity to talk to Vick the barber from Timeless Barber shop in Morgan Hill, CA and got insight American hair clippers from an American!

His go to clipper is officially the Wahl Senior. Vick finds it a long-lasting, premium clipper that he has been using for quite some time. The Wahl Senior is his go-to clipper for daily use and has yet to let him down in the several years that he has had it; though, he does advise barbers just getting started out to use the Andis Masters.

For Vick’s go to arsenal, he listed:

  1. Oster Model 10
  2. Andis Masters with the taper blade
  3. Wahl Senior Five Star Edition (favorite of the bunch)
  4. Two pairs of Andis T Outliners
  5. GTX Blade for the Andis T

 

Vick stated that he likes to keep it simple when it comes to work: simple equipment, simple color palette to his shop in snazzy black and minimal hassle when it comes to his equipment. For tapers and fades, he referred to the Oster 76s and Andis T outliners, though he also went back and said that his clipper team for tapers and fades were the Andis Masters and the Wahl Senior.

I asked his opinion on fast feeds. With a humble smile, Vick responded that he thinks they give great cuts, were very nice to work with and generally enjoyed working with them – however, Vick revealed that the challenge he puts on his equipment had the fast feeds knocked out within four months of continuous, daily use. He stated that he really likes to get to know each clipper and challenges himself to learn them extensively. Even so, he sticks with what has proven to be reliable and of good quality. “I don’t want to borrow a clipper in the middle of a busy day,” he laughed. No one wants to be left unprepared!

Asked about his perspective on the differences between the Andis Master and the Wahl Senior, his two favorites, Vick shared his insight. The Wahl Senior, for him, offers a faster and more detailed cut than the Andis but the Andis, as stated earlier, is better for a beginner barber and more forgiving without a reduction in quality. He also recommended working with Fast Feeds and then working your way up to the Wahl Senior as you get more comfortable with clippers.

And what about the Oster Model 10 versus the BGR Plus? Vick admitted he only used the BGR once before. According to him, they worked just fine but weren’t for him as he’s not a fan of cordless clippers. As for the Oster Model 10, he feels that those are more preferable to him hands-down, even compared to the Classic 76s. He feels the Model 10 is smaller, more manageable and delivers a stronger performance overall.

Sometimes, keeping things simple is the winning strategy and Vick is certainly evidence of such. The insightful barber has his own Youtube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/VICKTHEBARBER , where he hosts tutorials, reviews and plenty of resources for barbers.

Mind you, he isn’t the only one who provides resources and videos for aspiring barbers out there, even when out in sunny California!

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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The 3 Best cordless Rotary Motored Andis Vs Oster Hair Clipper Review

Today, I sit down with Champ from Champ’s Barbers and Marc Republic, for something of a different style. Today, we’re going to be looking at rotary motored clippers and providing a bit of insight on them.

To kick-off, we’re starting with the BGR, which is an Andis clipper. Marc weighs in, “I love it. I’ve been using it for two or three years now. One thing I will say: it’s heavier on the backend because the battery is detachable. The clipper is obviously much heavier with the battery in. When I’m cutting, you can still feel the weight in the end – overall, it’s a great clipper.”

Asked about using the BGR with Andis guards, Marc continues, “I like the Andis guards because they have the ceramic under-blade. I love the way they feel, the three lines on the back, as they help my thumb have a better grip. It makes the clipper a little heavier, sure, but for me it is comfortable.”

Champ weighs in once Marc has finished, “To be honest, I started using the BGRs thanks to Marc. He showed me last year’s pair, and said, “Yeah, Champ, this is what you need”. It’s a bit chunky, sure, but it’s also comfortable in your hand. You can probably go on all day when it comes to battery life.” Marc also adds, “One thing I want to touch on, as he said, is the battery life. Even though it’s not the new Ion battery, the battery life is still pretty strong. I use them for a full day of work Friday and Saturday and don’t really have any issues with them going down.” Champ adds that he prefers the ceramic blades when it comes to using his Oster, and tells me that Oster blades do a good job when it comes to bulk; for him, it depends on the texture and thickness of the hair.

But how does it compare to a corded rotary motor e.g the Model 10 and the 76, itself being cordless? Marc tells me that he believes there is little difference, and that outside of the weight, he didn’t feel like he personally lost any power whatsoever. Champ adds, “Power-wise, it’s strong. If you put it on the charge stand, and take it off, it comes out really strong. With regards to a Model 10 or a 76, the 75 is obviously bigger. A Model 10 would be roughly the same size, but you’d have to be holding the cord in your other hand to work properly – there’s the real advantage.

Andis BGR Scores:

Champ: 8/10

Marc: 7.5 – 8 /10

 

Our next clipper is the Lithium Ion Oster Octane. Once again, we start with Marc. “Visually,” he explains, “—it is a beautiful looking clipper. It’s a little lighter than the BGR. If I close my eyes and pick it up off of my station, at least to me, it doesn’t feel that comfortable. The way I hold my fingers and where I place my thumb are at a sort of angle, and it makes holding it just doesn’t feel as natural to me. My only real complaint is the button placement, honestly. It’s a very lightweight and beautiful clipper, otherwise.” We also factor in the sound of the clipper, comparatively. Marc feels it is a little too loud, and also notes that most Osters tend to have a louder noise production than Andis detachables, at least in his experience. Champ adds in his own experience with the Oster Octane, referencing a time when he once on a kid and the noise made him cry straight away. “With this clipper, for some reason I really found that it worked well with comb stuff. When I held it like this, it felt nice, whereas the BGR, if feels like it’s a little bit light for that”

Lithium Ion Oster Octane Scores

Champ: 8 / 10

Marc: 7 / 10

 

Last, but not least, we bring up the new Andis ZR Super. I pass the floor once again to Marc. “Visually, I love it. It’s a beautiful clipper, and I’m big on design. It has five speeds, which is great, and I really love how smooth it is. It feels good to hold in every position. Plus, it’s got the lithium ion battery in it so the power remains consistent.”

“For a novice barber,” he continues, “—you might want lower speeds. You’d want that to add texture to the hair. The blade is a little slower, so you drop it down to a feather action with the shears. Some guys do a point-cut on the top to mimic shear work, for example, and it gives it that great jagged look. Another cool thing about changing speeds up is the effect it has on light. Lower speed, the light goes down, and so on.”

“I like playing with these speeds,” Champ adds. “I find that when I’m tapering at the back, I’ll sometimes hit a lower speed and the textures of the hair will come out a bit more softly. The battery life is unbelievable, and I’d say it is my go to at the moment for bulk.” The Andis ZR Super comes in very highly.

 

Marc: 7 / 10

Andis ZR Super

Champ: 9 / 10

Marc: 9 / 10

 

And there you have it – two barber champs and barber life living professionals weighing in on the top three rotary motored cordless clippers. Be sure to let me know your opinions on the clippers mentioned, whether you agree, disagree, or know of other clippers worth discussing.

 

 

For more information, you can email me at: info@larrythebarberman.com. I’d also like to invite you to check out more interviews, tutorials and content on my YouTube channel at: www.barbers.tv as well as following me on Instagram @larrythebarberman for other free barbering content.

 

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Interview with Pop Up Barbershop Kings’ Paul Hewitt And Bradley Cowen

Paul Hewitt and Bradley Cowen of HBAD Barbershop and AONO, UK urban streetwear are the team behind Pop-Up Barbershop, a concept of Barber Life, and I had an opportunity to speak with both of them. A pop-up barbershop is an interesting, but simple, concept: it is like a stall you might see at a convention or fair equipped to provide barbering services. Outside the doors to the London tattoo convention, I managed to pull these two aside for an interview.

While they might look like an unassuming pair, many are aware of how successful the two have been by introducing this concept. They’ve hosted their pop-up barbershops at events ranging from Brighton Tattoo convention, which was their very first pop-up some five years ago, to the AONO x Monster Pop Up Barbershop at last year’s Sonisphere. It is easy to make the assumption that these guys are out to get to millionaire status and have already gotten it.

However, Paul and Brad gave me the truth behind their status as the Pop-Up Shop Kings.

When asked about what the idea behind the pop-up barbershops originally was, Paul responded that he and Brad had been discussing it for six months on social media and that the idea was to take everything that they were doing inside their shops and bring it to the outside world. I asked them if they knew if they were the first to implement the idea of a pop-up barbershop, and the conclusion the two seemed to settle on after some back and forth was, “they believed they were the first in their area: the UK, possibly even in Europe, but they doubted they were the first in the entire world.” “I definitely think we were the first to take on the idea in our markets,” Paul clarifies, “You had some doing similar things but not when it came to the hardcore or punk shows or events that appealed to that culture. Of course, we went out there to reinvigorate our own craft, inspire ourselves and to find people to just sort of hang with – we wanted to capture people’s imaginations.”

From their start at the aforementioned Brighton Tattoo convention, Paul reminisced about how that first pop-up lead to having AONO X VANS Pop-Up Barbershop stationed at Citadium, Paris for the entire month of September, three years ago. Brad tells me that they were looking to find a way to reinvigorate and inspire themselves outside of the shop, to find a whole new vibe, and that would come to eventually incorporate other barbers. “From an advertising standpoint, the way we saw it was that the pop-up barbershop was the way to get us out there without risking people bypassing it. You can put out ads in magazines, on television – whatever, but there’s always that risk that they’ll thumb right past it or change the channel. If we’re out there, that’s a way to talk to them directly and get our message out there.”

“People see you at events like these and think you must be raking it in,” Paul added, “but, at first, we were totally naïve about what we were doing.” In fact, both agreed that each event is something of a huge financial gamble. “People are always astounded,” Paul told me, “but when we got started, we were honestly quite naïve. These things cost thousands of dollars each, we never knew what we were getting into.”

He pauses and smiles a bit, “It’s always a gamble.” He and Brad go on to talk about an event at the Brighton seafront that they had a few years prior. “We had done it the year before,” Paul shrugs, “and we got a lot back from it. But this next year the seafront gets hit by one of the worst storms in years! That’s one of the things that is always a gamble about investing in outdoor events – you’re at the mercy of the weather, and if you try to turn to the organizer and ask for your money back because of some rain…well, it’s just not going to happen.”

“I prefer not to live in regret,” Paul concluded on the experience. “We went out there to just do what we were wanting to do, and maybe even bring on like-minded individuals…People see us out there now and we try to make it clear that this isn’t a marketing plot. We go out there and say “we are the same as you, and we care a great deal about it”. So, yeah, despite the huge financial risk involved with each event, you sort of have to look at a loss and say f*ck it, at least I learned something for next time and I had fun.”

“Business is all about relationships,” Paul added. “At every event we booked, we still had to pitch our idea every time and build up relationships with the people who attended, the folks who organized it. Those relationships are priceless and have been one of the things we’ve discovered have grown the more events that we host.” The phrase “business isn’t about what you do, but you know” does reflect nicely here, doesn’t it? Of course, had these two not known what they were doing, their events wouldn’t have proven nearly as popular as they have been. And who do they know? Even from the first convention in Brighton, Paul and Brad have had the chance to work with such incredible names in the barbering community as: Julius Caser, Shane Nesbitt, Brain Burt, Razor Sharp Chief, Dane Hesse, David Thomas, Frank Rimmer, Colin Petrie and SB Barbers, and that is only naming a few.

When thinking back on the events that stood out to him, Brad adds, “There were two that stand out to me -The first event that we ever did at the Brighton Tattoo Convention will always be one of the most memorable because it was the very first one. We had the tiniest little booth – Paul and I hadn’t even met in the flesh until the night before and nothing like this had ever been done at a convention before. So, there was a possibility for disaster, and we got and had the most fantastic weekend.” He laughs. “That was the start of it all, there was no expectation of what was to come. We were there because we wanted to work together and showcase the kind of work that we do in the way we do it.  I will never forget that one – it changed everything.”

The moment that they first actually got paid to fly in and host one of their events, Brad tells me, was unreal. “It was only eighteen months or so after that first event and suddenly, we’re getting asked if we’d like to fly into this event in Italy on the beaches. We agree, of course, and as we are walking on the beaches of Italy, we just sort of looked to each other and asked “What are we doing here?”. From there, it’s been a crazy adventure,” Brad laughed. “We’ve gotten to travel to so many places,” Paul added.

“We were flown out to work with Vans,” Brad tells me. “That was incredible. That was the beginning of us traveling the world together. I got to meet some of the professional skaters whose careers I had followed for years, and having them come into through the barbershop and see what we do was great. Most of these guys both of us still have them as good friends now-it was just a life, and career changing moment for me.”

“I commuted twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday, to work in Paris – myself and Brad loved every minute,” Paul laughs. “The biggest for me was having the AONO X MONSTER Pop-Up Barbershop city at last year’s Sonisphere.”

He goes on to tell me, “Italy, Spain, Belgium,Germany, Slovenia, LA, and NYC have been just some of the destinations we’ve set up pop-up barbershops …I never thought barbering would have taken me around the world…”

Paul estimates that he will be taking seventy-five flights this year alone; talk about a frequent-flier!

“We have done events for Vans shoes at their Spring Classic competition, which is held in Italy every year,” Brad adds. “At Bright, which is a trade show for the streetwear and skate industry held in Berlin twice a year to coincide with Berlin fashion week, The BeStreet Weekend Urban Festival, which is held in Paris once a year, and also the Groezrock Festival that is held in Belgium every spring – we’ve just been so many crazy, amazing, places!”

These two are setting out to reach people within their own demographics, and openly those people what they can do – they aren’t in it for fame or glory. “Glory has never been that high a priority. If anything, it was more out of desire to give something back to the scene(s) we came from,” Brad notes.

“Last year’s Barberlife Expo just showed me that there’s so many like-minded barbers willing to travel from all across the globe to work side-by-side – no egos, no BS, just barbers who want to cut hair, hang out, learn, teach and soak up the energy over the weekend,” Paul told me, with Brad smiling, “It’s something I will continue to push.” With the events growing, and the amount of famous barbers who have come out to join in their events, it is clear that pushing for that goal has created something wonderful.

The two continue to work on their own goals individually. Paul has taken his AONO brand of urban streetwear to new levels, partnering with companies like Electric and Mishka. As well as opening his new shop. He has AONO poised to delight anyone who takes an interest in the fashion-side of barbering, and has continued to push it as a brand that brings people together. “The interior design was my main focus”, Paul admits on. “I wanted it to represent what I’m all about and display that urban fashion-side of barbering. I wanted it to be an environment that people could talk out on the floors – I’ve had amateur skaters sitting next to professional skaters before, cops sitting next to crime lords; it’s all common ground, and that’s what I wanted to bring to the new shop, that sense of community”.

Brad has also opened a new shop with an interesting twist: Epicly Taper’d. Teaming up with his good friend, Dave Allan, Epicly Taper’d is a traditional barbershop that offers well-done traditional and modern cuts to their clients in a social environment. Brad has also admitted that he is interested in moving into the educational side of barbering and helping teach others techniques for barbering and business alike. It goes without saying that these two are going to both continue to push for success, as a team, and as individuals.

When it comes down to it, Paul and Brad represent the spirit what the barbering community is all about, and one that I am proud to be a part of. Their recollection of their journeys and adventures, with the ultimate conclusion that they did it for glory and out of love for the barber life, served as a reminder of my own journey to where I am now.

Traveling the world to learn about hair clippers would be what gave me the drive and idea to develop the Frequency60hz so that fellow barbers and clipper enthusiasts could enjoy the quality of American hair clippers without having to suffer through reduced performance or loud complaining from the clipper itself.

Like Paul and Brad, I am excited to see where else the adventures and desire to hear the stories of barbers from all over the world. That’s part of what being the Barber Man is all about – living the barber life!

 

My sincerest thanks go out to Paul and Brad for telling me their incredible story and for reminding me what the barber life really means.

 

For more information about their organizations and events, check out their Instagrams here: @aonoxxx and @hbad.

For any questions, email me at info@larrythebarberman.com. I also invite you to follow me on Instagram @larrythebarberman.

 

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Barber Interview: With Jim The Trim Autisic barbering Specialist

I sit here with an extraordinary gentleman named James Williams who was voted best barber in Wales in 2015 and best hairstylist of the year, but that is not what the world knows him for. James is known for bridging the gab between the lack of knowledge with barbers and children on the autistic spectrum. James didn’t originally start out with children with autism or even have any background working with them however, when he started he knew that this had to be done so he took the extra time and now parents everywhere are seeking out his skills.

 

Jims mother saw he was a creative kid and got him into barbering at a young age. As he grew into a teenager he worked with his mentor, Andrew Emanuals as a hairdresser but 3 years later decided to explore his own unique set of skills, which lead him on an incredible journey.

 

Adversity is what sets Jim apart from the rest but not only with his skills. His cutting ability, patience and caring nature has lead him to get heavily involved with children on the autistic spectrum. So much that he has closed his shop on Sundays just to block out slots for these children. His natural instincts when it comes to a child with autism have made him so successful. He knows what suits them best. His closing of his shop on Sundays is so that the children can be free of the noise and other patrons to make them more comfortable.

 

He uses a variety of techniques to gain the trust of these children. One of them is to show what he wanted to do on them but to himself. He even would let the kids take hold the scissors with his hand as well and guide them through his hair. However, sometimes it wasn’t as easy as showing the kids, sometimes he had to block out slots of kids weeks in advance and sit with them weekly to earn their trust before they would allow them to come near them with scissors.

 

One child in particular, Mason took 4 months before he warmed up to Jim and this breakthrough led to more and more families coming to him for help. Many barbers don’t see this time as valuable because it’s time that can’t be spent on the business but Jim is trying to debunk that myth. He explains that a family is happy to pay for the time slot, even if their child is not getting his hair cut. These families appreciate the dedication to their child and if that child comes to be comfortable with a barber on a regular basis so that getting a haircut is never an issue then that is a breakthrough as a family as well. Jim wants to help raise awareness about working with kids with autism in the barber industry.

 

Sitting, lying down and crawling around his shop floor is no new technique with these children. Jim realizes that these children’s brain works differently than ours and so he breaks all protocol and says there is no law when it comes to unique clients. Jim says it’s important to let the child lead and you follow and he absolutely loves it. He gets to learn about a child on a more personal basis, gets to know their individual personality and have fun while doing it.

 

Speaking of specific clients, there are a few that stick out for Jim. Mason is the reason he is even doing all that he is now. He had a breakthrough with Mason 4 months down the line that resulted in him on his stomach on the floor cutting his hair. Now, Mason is able to get his haircut with clippers. Going from not entering a barber shop to allowing Jim to clip his hair with a noisy instrument is a huge accomplishment that has only lit a fire in him. Now, Mason can also use up only a 30 minute time slot just like every other client instead of an hour.

 

With this breakthrough with children and discovering his skill, Jim wants to help other barbers realize these opportunities as well. Therefore, Jim has a future planned that includes providing courses to others to teach them how to help a client who comes in that is on the autism spectrum. The National Autistic Society is even awarding him, which is a huge step for him because previously he had not qualifications to work with children with autism; he was just using his natural instinct. Now, he has officially been given the go ahead.

 

This work has not gone unnoticed. Jim has blown up on social media and people all over the world are commenting on his work. Jim is even going over to America to an event called Be Groomed. There, he is going to speak about how to run a successful business while also working with kids with special needs. Jim’s business isn’t affected negatively at all by his work with children with autism and he hopes he can relate that to other barbers and teach them how to approach individuals on the autism spectrum.

 

Although Jim put money from his own pocket in at first, he said you have to do that with every new aspect of a business but it pays off. He gained it back and now even has formed an official charity with autism. His work ethic is truly admirable and I look forward to see what he accomplishes in the future.

 

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

 

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Interview with Pop Up Barbershop Kings’ Paul Hewitt And Bradley Cowen

Paul Hewitt and Bradley Cowen of HBAD Barbershop and AONO, UK urban streetwear are the team behind Pop-Up Barbershop, a concept of Barber Life, and I had an opportunity to speak with both of them. A pop-up barbershop is an interesting, but simple, concept: it is like a stall you might see at a convention or fair equipped to provide barbering services. Outside the doors to the London tattoo convention, I managed to pull these two aside for an interview.

While they might look like an unassuming pair, many are aware of how successful the two have been by introducing this concept. They’ve hosted their pop-up barbershops at events ranging from Brighton Tattoo convention, which was their very first pop-up some five years ago, to the AONO x Monster Pop Up Barbershop at last year’s Sonisphere. It is easy to make the assumption that these guys are out to get to millionaire status and have already gotten it.

However, Paul and Brad gave me the truth behind their status as the Pop-Up Shop Kings.

When asked about what the idea behind the pop-up barbershops originally was, Paul responded that he and Brad had been discussing it for six months on social media and that the idea was to take everything that they were doing inside their shops and bring it to the outside world. I asked them if they knew if they were the first to implement the idea of a pop-up barbershop, and the conclusion the two seemed to settle on after some back and forth was, “they believed they were the first in their area: the UK, possibly even in Europe, but they doubted they were the first in the entire world.” “I definitely think we were the first to take on the idea in our markets,” Paul clarifies, “You had some doing similar things but not when it came to the hardcore or punk shows or events that appealed to that culture. Of course, we went out there to reinvigorate our own craft, inspire ourselves and to find people to just sort of hang with – we wanted to capture people’s imaginations.”

From their start at the aforementioned Brighton Tattoo convention, Paul reminisced about how that first pop-up lead to having AONO X VANS Pop-Up Barbershop stationed at Citadium, Paris for the entire month of September, three years ago. Brad tells me that they were looking to find a way to reinvigorate and inspire themselves outside of the shop, to find a whole new vibe, and that would come to eventually incorporate other barbers. “From an advertising standpoint, the way we saw it was that the pop-up barbershop was the way to get us out there without risking people bypassing it. You can put out ads in magazines, on television – whatever, but there’s always that risk that they’ll thumb right past it or change the channel. If we’re out there, that’s a way to talk to them directly and get our message out there.”

“People see you at events like these and think you must be raking it in,” Paul added, “but, at first, we were totally naïve about what we were doing.” In fact, both agreed that each event is something of a huge financial gamble. “People are always astounded,” Paul told me, “but when we got started, we were honestly quite naïve. These things cost thousands of dollars each, we never knew what we were getting into.”

He pauses and smiles a bit, “It’s always a gamble.” He and Brad go on to talk about an event at the Brighton seafront that they had a few years prior. “We had done it the year before,” Paul shrugs, “and we got a lot back from it. But this next year the seafront gets hit by one of the worst storms in years! That’s one of the things that is always a gamble about investing in outdoor events – you’re at the mercy of the weather, and if you try to turn to the organizer and ask for your money back because of some rain…well, it’s just not going to happen.”

“I prefer not to live in regret,” Paul concluded on the experience. “We went out there to just do what we were wanting to do, and maybe even bring on like-minded individuals…People see us out there now and we try to make it clear that this isn’t a marketing plot. We go out there and say “we are the same as you, and we care a great deal about it”. So, yeah, despite the huge financial risk involved with each event, you sort of have to look at a loss and say f*ck it, at least I learned something for next time and I had fun.”

 

“Business is all about relationships,” Paul added. “At every event we booked, we still had to pitch our idea every time and build up relationships with the people who attended, the folks who organized it. Those relationships are priceless and have been one of the things we’ve discovered have grown the more events that we host.” The phrase “business isn’t about what you do, but you know” does reflect nicely here, doesn’t it? Of course, had these two not known what they were doing, their events wouldn’t have proven nearly as popular as they have been. And who do they know? Even from the first convention in Brighton, Paul and Brad have had the chance to work with such incredible names in the barbering community as: Julius Caser, Shane Nesbitt, Brain Burt, Razor Sharp Chief, Dane Hesse, David Thomas, Frank Rimmer, Colin Petrie and SB Barbers, and that is only naming a few.

 

When thinking back on the events that stood out to him, Brad adds, “There were two that stand out to me -The first event that we ever did at the Brighton Tattoo Convention will always be one of the most memorable because it was the very first one. We had the tiniest little booth – Paul and I hadn’t even met in the flesh until the night before and nothing like this had ever been done at a convention before. So, there was a possibility for disaster, and we got and had the most fantastic weekend.” He laughs. “That was the start of it all, there was no expectation of what was to come. We were there because we wanted to work together and showcase the kind of work that we do in the way we do it.  I will never forget that one – it changed everything.”

 

The moment that they first actually got paid to fly in and host one of their events, Brad tells me, was unreal. “It was only eighteen months or so after that first event and suddenly, we’re getting asked if we’d like to fly into this event in Italy on the beaches. We agree, of course, and as we are walking on the beaches of Italy, we just sort of looked to each other and asked “What are we doing here?”. From there, it’s been a crazy adventure,” Brad laughed. “We’ve gotten to travel to so many places,” Paul added.

“We were flown out to work with Vans,” Brad tells me. “That was incredible. That was the beginning of us traveling the world together. I got to meet some of the professional skaters whose careers I had followed for years, and having them come into through the barbershop and see what we do was great. Most of these guys both of us still have them as good friends now-it was just a life, and career changing moment for me.”

 

“I commuted twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday, to work in Paris – myself and Brad loved every minute,” Paul laughs. “The biggest for me was having the AONO X MONSTER Pop-Up Barbershop city at last year’s Sonisphere.”

 

He goes on to tell me, “Italy, Spain, Belgium,Germany, Slovenia, LA, and NYC have been just some of the destinations we’ve set up pop-up barbershops …I never thought barbering would have taken me around the world…”

Paul estimates that he will be taking seventy-five flights this year alone; talk about a frequent-flier!

 

“We have done events for Vans shoes at their Spring Classic competition, which is held in Italy every year,” Brad adds. “At Bright, which is a trade show for the streetwear and skate industry held in Berlin twice a year to coincide with Berlin fashion week, The BeStreet Weekend Urban Festival, which is held in Paris once a year, and also the Groezrock Festival that is held in Belgium every spring – we’ve just been so many crazy, amazing, places!”

 

These two are setting out to reach people within their own demographics, and openly those people what they can do – they aren’t in it for fame or glory. “Glory has never been that high a priority. If anything, it was more out of desire to give something back to the scene(s) we came from,” Brad notes.

 

“Last year’s Barberlife Expo just showed me that there’s so many like-minded barbers willing to travel from all across the globe to work side-by-side – no egos, no BS, just barbers who want to cut hair, hang out, learn, teach and soak up the energy over the weekend,” Paul told me, with Brad smiling, “It’s something I will continue to push.” With the events growing, and the amount of famous barbers who have come out to join in their events, it is clear that pushing for that goal has created something wonderful.

 

The two continue to work on their own goals individually. Paul has taken his AONO brand of urban streetwear to new levels, partnering with companies like Electric and Mishka. As well as opening his new shop. He has AONO poised to delight anyone who takes an interest in the fashion-side of barbering, and has continued to push it as a brand that brings people together. “The interior design was my main focus”, Paul admits on. “I wanted it to represent what I’m all about and display that urban fashion-side of barbering. I wanted it to be an environment that people could talk out on the floors – I’ve had amateur skaters sitting next to professional skaters before, cops sitting next to crime lords; it’s all common ground, and that’s what I wanted to bring to the new shop, that sense of community”.

 

Brad has also opened a new shop with an interesting twist: Epicly Taper’d. Teaming up with his good friend, Dave Allan, Epicly Taper’d is a traditional barbershop that offers well-done traditional and modern cuts to their clients in a social environment. Brad has also admitted that he is interested in moving into the educational side of barbering and helping teach others techniques for barbering and business alike. It goes without saying that these two are going to both continue to push for success, as a team, and as individuals.

 

When it comes down to it, Paul and Brad represent the spirit what the barbering community is all about, and one that I am proud to be a part of. Their recollection of their journeys and adventures, with the ultimate conclusion that they did it for glory and out of love for the barber life, served as a reminder of my own journey to where I am now.

Traveling the world to learn about hair clippers would be what gave me the drive and idea to develop the Frequency60hz so that fellow barbers and clipper enthusiasts could enjoy the quality of American hair clippers without having to suffer through reduced performance or loud complaining from the clipper itself.

 

Like Paul and Brad, I am excited to see where else the adventures and desire to hear the stories of barbers from all over the world. That’s part of what being the Barber Man is all about – living the barber life!

 

My sincerest thanks go out to Paul and Brad for telling me their incredible story and for reminding me what the barber life really means.

 

For more information about their organizations and events, check out their Instagrams here: @aonoxxx and @hbad.

 

For any questions, email me at info@larrythebarberman.com. I also invite you to follow me on Instagram @larrythebarberman.

 

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Barber Interview: Phil Simmons Of Phunk You Barbershop Talks Barbering

Yearning to bring barbering back into the spotlight, I sit down with Phil Simons of Funk You Barber Shop to talk to him about his aspirations for this tight knit group of professionals. Phil was inspired with the fashion side of barbering and began his career quickly but now 27 years later is hoping to help redefine the teaching and qualifications within the barbering community.

 

Phil’s father excelled at shave and clipper work but in the 80’s when long hair was in the spotlight he knew he had to come up with his own uniqueness. He worked at salons to learn new techniques and he is now helping redefine the way teaching is done these days. He wants to help kids be more hands on like he was and less focused on online manuals such as YouTube videos. Phil believes that there are incredible credited barbers out there but that many of them are kids rushing through the schooling like he did and everyone is all over the place. He wants to help this community all be on the same page so that barbers are always delivering spectacular work.

 

I asked Phil how he got to the point where he is today after he started out the way he did. 15 years ago a businessman tried to rip the shop off and skip town so the name “Funk You” came as a reply to him. Now, the shop has proved its success however, it was not always this way. During their own personal recession they were down staff and Phil had to put up his house just to stay open. However his drive, determination and tenacity helped to pull out the other side more successful than before. Currently, they are working on a lot of future projects including guest workshops and traveling for volunteer work to help show how worthy their shop is. They are now being noticed by top shops, barbers, on social media and at The Hair and Beauty Awards.

 

“Working outside of the box” is what drives Phil to put his company at the top. He prides himself and his staff for staying on their feet when it comes to each particular customer. He is a believer in the perfect haircut the first time for each individual. He has no desire to give someone a cut they see on someone else if he knows it wont suit them. He likes talking to his customers on a personal level to learn about their lifestyle so that whatever they get they can maintain and look good while doing it. Opposite from many businesses he doesn’t want his customers to waste their money. Service is his top priority when it comes down to it at the end of the day.

 

Speaking of the perfect haircut the first time around, Phil is working on improving the barber guideline. He wants everyone to have the same certifications and knowledge so that the work has a firm baseline.

 

His mind is on “where can we take this.” He has ambitions for the near future and he has the drive to get them. He wants students now to have the resources that he did not have when he was learning barbering. He wants to help improve the barbering standards and has dreams of opening a college to help individuals get the highest standard of qualifications. That way when these individuals graduate they are already up to par with those already on the floor. Phil has an action plan written up for his college that involves guest barbers, hands on experience and a high standard that is a valuable asset to the barbering community.

 

Education is playing a big part in improving the barbering qualification standards. When it comes down to his, Phil doesn’t think the standard is high enough and he knows that he can help improve them so that barbering gets higher recognition than it does currently. He knows this can only be for the better and he won’t stop networking and growing as a barber himself to get there.

 

Thus, if you want to achieve the standards that Phil sets out to write he encourages young hopefuls to go in and intern, get a mentor and learn hands on from someone who has been there. He says step away from the computer screen and go and ask questions, gain knowledge and tips, watch and learn. This is closer than watching YouTube will ever get you.

 

I can tell from listening to Phil that he has put a hell of a lot of thought into everything he wants to do for education and barbering moving forward into the future.

 

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

 

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Celebrity Barber Kenny Duncan Shares His Barbering Story

 

Today, I sit down with Kenny Duncan, the Andis educator and barber extraordinaire, to get his story and insight into the barbering industry. Naturally, we start at his humble beginnings. “Just being honest,” Kenny explains, “I really didn’t want to be a barber. I just told all of my friends that I was going to cut hair to get me through college. When I started cutting hair early on, because I grew up poor, I went to the barbershop, and my mom gave me a twenty dollar bill. The barber charged me two additional dollars for my mustache, and she was under the impression that I took that two dollars and went to the game store or candy store and spent her money – she was really upset, and even called the barbershop, where the barber confirmed the price. From that point on, I had to do my own mustache with a pair of cordless trimmers from then on.”

Kenny spent his high school years cutting his own hair, and beginning to cut for others as well. “It started off with me telling everyone the first time was free. I charged four dollars for an outline and seven dollars for a haircut. My grandma’s second-floor front bedroom turned into my mini-barbershop.” Kenny believes the relationships one makes as a barber can make their life much richer, and it shows. Kenny has been traveling with Lady Gaga’s tour the last four years. “I get paid to travel the world,” he admits, “—all because of what I did with a pair of clippers.” This year, he’ll be ready to tour the world again with Janet Jackson.

 

Of course, traveling with celebrities isn’t the only thing Kenny keeps himself busy with. Asked about some of his other projects, he tells me, “We just finished up with the IBS trade show in New York today. I’m the lead educator with the Andis Clipper Company, and we had an amazing time – broke some sales records when it came to our tools, and had some great educational classes. This weekend as well is an event called Barbercon, where I just won the award for Educator of the Year.” Kenny has won not only that, but the Andis fame and respect within the industry where he strives to change the public opinion on urban barbers.

 

One would imagine that Kenny would be away from his shop constantly with so much traveling. I ask him how much time he actually does spend on the floor. “I actually balance out how I am going to do the tours – I don’t stay on the tours, but traditionally, I’ll go three days. For instance, I’ll be in the city for three days, work six hours, and then I’ll get to enjoy the city.”

 

As for his greatest moment in barbering, Kenny answers, “I don’t think it’s one, bro, that’s the crazy thing. I think each and every year, I look to have a decent experience in life, and it just so happens to be that barbering has been the means on how things have happened for me.”

Kenny is also known to have created quite a following on Instagram. Asked on how he gained his 60,000 plus followers, he tells me, “They’re family. I don’t like to put my name in lights. Instead of making the proverbial pie by myself, I’d rather figure out who is in my circle that can make a great crust or filling. I just want to be the person that presents the pie that sells to the masses.”

“If there’s anything I would like to say, is that I like to continue to associate myself with other brands, to figure out how we can partner up, so we can all end up achieving the goals we want to achieve and utilize the platform we have to have balance in life. Even this year, starting in April, I’ll be the artistic director with PP Education Center. I have a direct relationship with the Reserva an Online Appointment booking system – I’m a brand ambassador with them. I recently also became part of the Layrite brand of barbers. I’m associated with a product called Exotics, which has a traveling boutique barber trade show, and a barber competition, called the Hair Metal Tour.” Talk about barber brotherhood and life!

 

Kenny next talks about his likes and dislikes when it comes to the barbering industry. “I love that social media has put barbering on a new platform, and has shrunk the world. Many different relationships between barbers are also starting to form – there’s a lot of barber love. Barbering is a universal language that everyone speaks. We speak different languages, sure, but when you see someone with a pair of clippers in their hands, you know exactly what they’re trying to achieve and can appreciate it.”

On the flip side, Kenny brings up his dislikes and they are very similar to issues that many barbers I’ve spoken with have claimed. “Social media allows for unqualified, unjustified individuals to pretend they have credibility in a particular topic without any kind of validation or proof to back it up. Case and point: there are individuals who are very popular, but they don’t make a lot of money cutting hair in their barbershops. They sometimes have 200,000 followers on Instagram and suddenly they look like a barber god”.

 

For fans of Kenny, and his work, I of course have to ask him when his Youtube channel is coming. “I am my own biggest critic,” he admits. “Continue to follow kennyduncan.com and you’ll see the announcements when the Youtube channel is set to launch.”

 

I ask him about how he landed his gig on the Rocky movie, “Creed”. Kenny responds how he became well known through his Andis education as well as his relationships with other barbers. “A few years back, I was teaching a class in Atlanta and I met a guy named Wyatt Belton. He was a barber for “The Hunger Games” and he came to me to learn some tips on barbering. Since that day, we’ve been cool. Wyatt was good friends with someone who turned out to be a close friend of Michael B. Jordan, who was hired to be one of the lead actors in the movie. It was a challenge, for sure.”

 

As well as his longstanding career as an educator, barber and semi-celebrity, Kenny also has a range of products he offers to the barbering community. Asked about them, he tells me, “A few years back, I started aggressively focusing on combs. There was just not a good range of combs available in the market, and I wanted to fill the void. Through partnerships, and through relationships I had built over the years, we came up with the idea of creating a cutting comb collection; six different combs with a wide range from a barber taper comb to a flat top comb. They’re all made with quality materials that are heat resistant, and can even be styled with. I also have a series of different wooden razor holders because I became a fan of the Feather razor holder, but the Feather DX razor that I was using was a three-hundred dollar razor. I love it, but I know a lot of barbers that can’t afford it. This was a project I’ve been entered into now for at least a year and a half – I know good things are going to come out it.”

 

Kenny doesn’t know what the future holds exactly, but one thing is clear: he is going to keep living the barber life and dream, building relationships with barbers all around the world and bringing that barbering unity that the industry could really use more of.

 

 

To keep up with Kenny and his exploits, you can go to his site: www.kennyduncan.com or follow him on Instagram @clipperedu. There is always something going on, so be sure and keep your eyes peeled!

If you enjoyed this interview, please be sure to subscribe to see more interviews, tutorials and content! For more information, you can email me at: info@larrythebarberman.com. I’d also like to invite you to follow me on Instagram @larrythebarberman for other free barbering content. You can also email me at info@larrythebarberman.com

 

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Barber Interview: Chris moon Of Kutz Barbershop Talks Barbering…

I had a chance to talk to one barber Chris Moon, here in Glasgow. Chris is the owner of the Kutz Barbershop in Newcastle area. His family has been in the barber industry since 1938. He also sits on the barber council and used to be a competition barber. Having a shop in the family since 1938, Chris says he is in partnership with his dad, his brother and his step-dad. “The four of us are a very small family, but a very tight-knit family and we all work together”, he says.

 

Chris tells us that their barbering business started off with his grandfather in 1938. His grandfather started off in a small barber shop and thereafter expanded so that they own three shops now. Chris says that his father took over from their grandfather and his mother was a hairdresser until, unfortunately, she passed away. He says that the whole thing is kind of family oriented, so it was inevitable that he would become an excellent barber.

 

Due to their long history and heritage Kutz Barber Shop are fundamentally a traditional barber shop. The insides of the shop is filled with traditional wood furnishing. Chris goes on to explain that they don’t do traditional styles exclusively, but also modern drop fades and all that.

“We kind of play on the 1938 bit, that’s in our logo, so that’s what we’re really proud of and our head heritage is what has made us what we are today”.

 

When asked which one service attracts people the most to his barber shop, Chris says, “I think it’s the atmosphere. We’ve got a really good core team, we wouldn’t be where we are today without the staff we’ve got, our staff is the most important thing, because without them we have no business”. Although his family is made of great barbers, Chris believes that teamwork is the key to their great success. “I think that’s why people come to us because we’re a great team, the whole atmosphere and all of our shops are the same, no matter which one you go to, you get the same service from every single member of staff”.

 

Chris Moon goes on to tell me, he does not specialize in any single haircut. Being the good barber and hairdresser that he is, he knows that all customers are different. He understands that people change and so do trends. That is why he never wanted to be a one-trick pony but rather great at as many things as possible.

 

When asked about what goes on in the barber council, he tells me that he has had a chance to work with some of the biggest people in the industry including educators, Parada companies and the likes of Rachael from Modern Barber magazine. They all sit on the council and come up with great ideas on how to improve services for the guys on the streets. The barber council’s main goal is to ensure that the customers get quality services for what they pay for. “We’re in the fashion industry, fundamentally we’re in the fashion industry, and I think that’s forgotten sometimes, fashion isn’t about wearing an all-sequined t-shirt, or flashy shirt, fashion is every aspect of what you wear and how you look. So, the barber council is there to raise standards and make it better now in the industry”, he says. Although it is going to take time, Chris is determined to set the standards higher for everyone.

 

He further tells me that Kutz Barbershop is state registered and it shows that his team is well educated and they have high standards in their shop. He ensures that his shop is tidy and that everything is sterilized. Chris gives us an example of a barber who has just watched a YouTubevideo and decided that he is pro enough to have his own shop. He looks at it from the shoes of a customer who wants to become amazing, so he goes to the barbershop only to get a bad haircut. Such is the kind of customer understanding that sets him apart from other barbers. Chris speaks passionately about his job as he goes on to tell me how a customer should step out of the barber shop looking so much better than they went in. “Especially if they look amazing, they need to look ten times better than they already do, that’s what good barbers do; they make you feel good and look better because again, like I said earlier, it’s a fashion.”

 

Since he is on the barber council, I thought it would be good to ask Chris about his take on the reasons behind staggering state registration. He says there are not enough people who know about it yet. He thinks a lot of people who own barber shops honestly do not know enough about what the council is trying to achieve and about state registration. He hopes to get everyone in the country influenced to move in the same direction. Chris understands that this goal will take time, but he is optimistic that the time will come as long as he keeps on educating and informing everyone.

 

When asked about what he was personally doing about the situation, he confidently tells me, “I’m working bloody hard.” Chris further informs me that his immediate action is informing his customers that he is state registered and letting them know about his position in the council, standing for higher standards. He has gotten his staff on the same page and he hopes the rest will follow in the same footsteps.

 

Chris remembers that he has had a lot of good moments throughout his career as a barber. He says the highlight of his career is when he made it to award standard international. He found it unbelievable standing at the stage alongside other talented artistic guys. That is where he met his longtime friend John Bourne, who is a great barber and has taught him a lot. He goes further to talk about how much he learnt from that experience within a very short time. He says he got a lot of tips about his job, which helped him focus on where and how he wanted his barber shop to be. The two of them are very talented in their profession. Furthermore, he has had a chance to make a few new friends like Clarke and Lindy Roth. Chris now has friends all over the country. That is what he especially likes about his job; he can travel and meet people who give him new great ideas which he can incorporate into his shop.

 

He has been in a few competitions throughout his time, which he says that although he did not actually win, he has always made it to the finals. In one of the national finals, he was runners up to Passer, who went on to win it. He says that he learnt a ton, being on the stage and showcasing his talent. Chris likes a challenge because it gives him new opportunities to learn and to become better at what he does best. “The competition is what most barbers should enter, they have to enter them because if you can get into the finals, it shows customers that you’re not just good at what you do in the salon, the people are appreciating what you do”, he says. It is all about being professionally recognized. Once you are professionally recognized, you have solid social and professional proof that you are the best at your job. Chris says that is what customers want to see. It gives them a reason to visit your shop they can see that you are doing something right and other people in the country are recognizing it.

 

“I think there is a lot of negativity in areas, that’s what I don’t like. I think everyone needs to be together as a unit, and working together, bringing standards higher, you know, that’s what it’s all about- we need standards higher and England’s got to work together”, Chris tells us when he is asked about the things he would like to see change. He believes in the whole system working in unison because issues arise when you start pulling things apart. The talented barber would like to have every barber on the same page, maintaining the highest standards possible in serving their customers. Although everyone wants to make money, Chris strongly believes in delivering quality services beforehand. “We’ve all got mortgages to pay, cars to pay, families to look after, you want to earn money, yes, and no one’s going to say otherwise, but I just want everyone on the same page, pull it together and raise the standards”

 

Chris has already achieved a lot in his career. So, what is next for him? When asked, he says, “I just want to concentrate on cuts, cuts are my main priority, and making our customers happy, that’s the next thing, and that’s always been the thing, nothing else. He also says that he prioritizes working with his brother, dad and his step-mom, building their business and making it better. He says it is amazing to work with his family members but should he be asked to do other things, he would do them. He is quite the outgoing type and finds joy in delivering excellent services in whatever he chooses to do.

 

In closing, the advice from Chris to a young barber coming into the business is, “never stop learning. The only time you stop learning is when you’re six feet under, learn everyday”. He goes on to quote his dad who said to him, “if you can take this much from a bad barber and this much from a good barber and put it together, you will be a talented guy”. He believes that one can learn something even from guys who are not the best in the industry, so he just has to learn from everyone.

 

For anyone desiring to stop working for someone and to start their own business, Chris advises that you take the leap. He says it is difficult to start your own business but you will never know if you don’t try. “Find the right location, make sure that you’re happy with everything, don’t do it until you’re happy and you feel comfortable. When you feel comfortable, you know when it’s the right time.” He says.

 

That was the final part of my interview with the talented barber and proud owner of Kutz Barbershop, Chris Moon. I wish Chris more success in upholding the high standards of the services offered in his barbershop.

 

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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Barber:Donnie Hawley The Founder Of Layrite Tells His Life Story…

Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with celebrity barber Donnie Hawley of the famous Hawleywood Barbershops in the O.C as well as lord of the Layrite, to get the scoop on his career. Donnie tells me that going to the barbershop has been a big part of his life, even at his youngest. “Growing up in an Italian household, it was the thing that I looked forward to doing with my grandpa. The camaraderie in the shop, even at a young age, I thought was very special.” When he was growing up, he went to live with his Dad at the age of twelve. His stepmother’s family had a barbershop. “I have a movie coming out this summer called There Ain’t No Shear Luck, and you’ll see of my aunts in it saying, “I’m Donnie’s aunt,” and then she would say, “Uncle”, because I always would tell people I hung around my uncles. There was always a barber chair on the patio so I started cutting my friends’ hair.”

Donnie started barber college at a school named Rosstons Barber College after a string of jobs that he wasn’t happy with and that put some real physical strain on his body. He unfortunately had to drop out of Rosstons and work for his uncle’s construction business. Fortunately, he was still cutting hair, and while doing so heard about a barber named Jake who had Elvis tattooed on his whole back – Donnie naturally decided he wanted to meet the fellow rockabilly. The two met up and Donnie wound up eventually both rooming with and working with Jake who owned his own barbering shop at the time. At the time, barbering was a dying art, and Donnie decided he had to do his part to save barbering. He, amongst numerous others, had no idea it, nor he, would become what they are today. Seventeen years ago, he opened Hawleywood’s Barbershop in a little two-chaired shop, with a third chair shoved in. It was 1999, and Donnie tells me there wasn’t much in the way of a hiring pool for barbers – no kind of social media or way to get noticed existed at the time, so Donnie got himself out there by setting up at shows in the rockabilly and punk rock scene. Soon, he was getting paged to places such as tattoo shops, car clubs and other areas in the scene, and was exposed to a lot of big names while he cut hair, such as Eric Maaske, Rancid, Tiger Army, and Social Distortion; he was quickly on the way to making a name for himself, and he brought barber Eric Webb out of retirement to help him keep up.

Donnie made his shop, as he says, “one that Al Capone would feel comfortable in” with dark brown, cream colors and other décor that hits the era precisely, such as a shoeshine stand.

 

His product line, called Layrite, began as an experiment with Donnie making his own pomades out of the rockabilly greaser scene. “I have super curly hair,” he explains. “I couldn’t find anything that I could get a big pomp with that would wash out. I was with an old friend and changing out her rear main seal on an old Packard, and there was sticky oil that had been there for forty or fifty years – the texture just felt like it would work in my hair, so I grabbed a Mason jar and scooped up as I could. I added in some Vaseline and Old Spice, amongst other things, and rocked up to the show with it and it worked. The only problem was the smell, but that was my first go at messing pomade.”

The name Layrite comes from an interaction Donnie had with a customer that had similar hair to his own. “I would have to use some hair spray, a round brush, roll the curl out and put my product in his hair. And he told me, “Man, you’re the only person in my whole life that’s been able to get my hair to lay right.” This was just a little shop and we had people start driving hours because I sold the product of out of the shop. No one was even on the internet at the time. I started putting it in my own cans and taking it to shows with my band friends so they could throw it out to the crowd. I would be asked by musicians to style their hair before they went on stage, and I brought my product everywhere. I started making T-shirts as well, and gave both away.”

 

Layrite has undoubtedly performed well, and many are still attempting to copycat its success even to this day. Donnie and Layrite have traveled around the world, and the popularity of both creator and product has helped influence a tremendous amount of barbers in the industry. “I’ve been able to travel with Layrite, and my style of barbering, to Canada for four years in a row. I influenced a bunch of guys that are now barbers, and done tours in Holland, Japan a bunch of times and Germany. I built Hawleywood’s Barbershop in Australia with some youngsters that I influenced – we did that, a bit of Fashion Week in Brazil and even hanging out with Iggy Pop. It’s just been unbelievable.” Donnie recounts how he has had many people write him, hug him, and just generally thank him for inspiring them to get into the barbering industry. Donnie stands to possibly be inducted into the Barbering Hall of Fame, and it is not hard to see why.

 

As is standard in the states, Donnie follows the west coast style of barbering in that his own style is more traditional. “I don’t use the word fade. I always say taper, and low and tight, high and tight, flattop, flattop with fenders, and pompadours. Everything is done with three outlines and a straight razor. We brought that back, and I had to teach my friends that I thought were good enough to do all those things. Now, they are making a living and really making money at what is a hobby for all of us. Real barbering is very important to me.”

 

Donnie tells me that he was lucky enough to go out to Japan with Sid from Sid’s Tattoo Parlor in Santa Ana. Sid tattooed while Donnie cut hair. “We had a little festival there, a little car show,” he explains. “I plugged in my clippers and the voltage was totally different than what we use here. There was a half-circle of all these photographers waiting for me to step up – I’m all confident. I plug in my clippers and they start smoking and making the loudest noise you’d ever heard. I had to have one of the guys there run to a drugstore just to get me a set of clippers. It was tense, to say the least.” Incidents like these are the very reason I invented the Frequency60hz and try to get it out there, so barbers can use their equipment in any country they please.

“Wahl in Japan made a clipper that is cordless and lasts nine hours,” he continues. “I couldn’t believe it! I met with them there and they’re going to etch my name on the cordless Wahls. Now, I could cut hair on top of Mount Fuji if I wanted to. There’s another clipper out there that I like to use, the Andis Ceramic. Its real quiet and I use a five lock or a surgical attachment on there to do my outlines. You don’t need cords anymore, and it is awesome!”

 

Donnie used to work from 9:00 in the morning to 5:00pm, a solid eight hours. That recently has taken a bit of a backseat while he has been filming a documentary about his life, the aforementioned There Ain’t No Shear Luck. “The title comes from my journey and the difficulty I experienced. I did all of this before social media, and I got made fun of. I’m self-taught and I’ve had barbers that were friends that I’ve taught, I’ve traveled a good part of the world, I was in a hundred magazines, and I’ve influenced a lot of people – all of this before social media. I got lucky and got into a bunch of these magazines that popped up like Ol’ Skool Rodz, Custom Culture and Viva Las Vegas. Going from being the only barbershop booth at a show and the only pomade booth for years to a bunch of booths and tons of people out there doing it, it’s just important that I stand up for real barbering. There’s a lot of people out there masquerading as barbers. They’ll get sleeves, tattoos, and they’ll call themselves barbers when they aren’t. This whole documentary is about my life and my journey, and it’s been a long haul. It should be out by the summer of 2016.”

 

He also shares a bit on accomplishing his traditional barber showcase. “I would go to a lot of shows, and even a lot of the barber shows that started popping up were real urban, lots of hip-hop pounding in my ear. It was fine, it just wasn’t my style. I wanted to do a traditional showcase, where Dean Martin is playing in the background and everyone is in suits and looking classy. The competition categories were different: the flattop category, the pompadour category, high and tight. We bit off more than we can chew doing it, I think, at The Grove in Anaheim, but we loved it. It was a big accomplishment to be able to throw a traditional barber showcase and I brought in a lot of my favorite barbers and literally put them on pedestals. When you walked in, you would see four barbers on all four corners of the auditorium, and then Vicky Tafoya and the Big Beat, classy bands playing. It was truly amazing to do.”

 

Asked about education via himself and other sources, Donnie elaborates, “There’s an apprenticeship that fortunately exists in California. You can either for to barber college for ten months straight, forty hours a week or you can apprentice under a master barber for two years, and there you’re developing skills and earning money while you learn. That’s a good route to go for a young guy who is starting out and wanting to be a barber. If you want to be a traditional barber, do not go to cosmetology school. It takes a lot of haircuts, and you’ll make all your mistakes in barber college. There’s no mistakes when you get out on the floor in my shop, and I’m sure it is becoming more competitive now. It’s good to see everyone putting their hands down and letting some of the trade secrets out. When you take the time it takes as a youngster to learn those skills, everyone is self-taught. In my shops, I show them what I do, and they take that and apply their own touch. I don’t let my guys even cut hair for three months if they’re apprenticing, and so they watch my processes for that time. In short, either get into a good barber college if you’re young, and can afford to not be paid, or find a place that will really teach you the skills you need.”

 

Donnie ends on an inspiring note when it comes to barbering, and advice to aspiring barbers. “You’re changing lives. There’s a saying, a certain mythology to the barbershop experience: once the relationship is forged between a barber and a patron, it will outlast friendships and some of the strongest marriages. Barbering is a trade that takes a lot of skill and time to learn, so if you’re young and starting out, do whatever you can to learn – find a good master, or a good college, and don’t be afraid of the hair. It’s getting a little saturated, so you need to find the right person and the right school. That changed my life, and in doing so, changed a lot of people’s lives.” Truly inspiring words from an inspiring barber, and an inspiring man.

 

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Barber: Danny Amorin Of Klippers Barbershop Interview with Larry

Today, I am in New Jersey with multi-shop owner Danny Amorim. Not only does he own multiple shops, Danny is also an educator for the Andis Barbering Company as well as a host organizer and judge of barbering battles in the USA. In true Barberman fashion, I came to get his story about his journey into barbering and what is next for him.

 

What began Danny’s adventure? “Truthfully,” he answers, “it just kind of happened. I started cutting hair because I needed a haircut. Then, I went from cutting my own hair to cutting the hair of people in the neighborhood and making a few bucks on the side. When I graduated high school, I didn’t really want to go to college. My work ethic was there, but I didn’t yet know what my niche was. I lost my job at the time a few days before a gentleman that I knew was opening up a barbershop, so I gave it a shot and here I am.”

 

And how was it that he came to own his own shop, is my next question. “I started working for someone fresh out of high school in 1998. I worked for that gentleman for about three to three and a half years. He was actually buying this building here, and he sold me his first location. It wasn’t great at first, but I made it something to call my own. It started from four chairs and a small space to three shops now.”

 

Aside from Danny’s incredible work ethic, what is it that makes The Klippers Barbershop different than other shops in the area? Danny tells me, “We try to keep our professionalism as high as possible, because seriousness is a key quality to me. We continue to go to trade shows, do education, stay up to date with all the newest stuff, etc. We’re always giving our best in quality and marketing. Since we’ve been one of the longest lasting barbershops in this city, it’s helped with the relevancy of everything. We’re a household name now, I’ll put it that way.”

 

Not only is Danny a household name, he has also gotten himself a gig working with Andis, as mentioned before. I ask him why he believes he was chosen: “That was me barbering myself out of the barbershop,” he admits. “I’m already in here five days a week and working ten to twelve hour days. I’ve tried to raise the prices and rates a few times, but it got to the point where I wanted and needed more. I ventured off and starting going to trade shows and taking educational classes. I got into working off platforms and intrigued me. I felt as if I could do it too. I started dabbling in it, and going continuously around to shows, shaking hands and networking, and they gave me a trial date one day. That’s where I’m at.”

While Danny educates for Andis, he also has his own series of educational DVDs. “The Art of Barbering”, was something he was asked to do. “Since I was doing so much education, doing a ton of classes, one of the main things that students asked me for was continuous education. They’d ask if I had a DVD. I felt like I needed to fill that void, so I shot a couple of DVDs. Altogether, I have about ten different videos that are all step-by-step instruction in different things. Just this weekend, I was in New York and working with someone from the UK. They have a certain way in which they cut hair, and I have my own. It’s good to pick up little things like that, and I try to inquire into those things so I can instill the educational aspect of it in about two and a half hours’ worth of DVD education.” For those looking to purchase the DVDs themselves, you can find Danny’s online store at: klippersbarbershop.com. Along with the DVDs, he has plenty more in the way of product including numerous fashion items for barbers.

 

The subject then turns to social media, and how Danny feels it has played a part in his business. “Social media is huge,” he tells me. “Years ago, I built a clientele from handing out business cards. Now, with the click of a button, you can reach people all over the world. How I began to create YouTube videos. From those videos, I could put them everywhere on my Facebook page to raise more awareness and do more subliminal marketing. I have tons of stuff on YouTube that you can check out, and it’s not something I’m selling. It’s more inspirational and motivational stuff for barbers. Now we have Instagram. Instagram is all pictures, so you can continuously post pictures of haircuts – it’s a great marketing tool. I’m here today because I use my social media wisely.”

“As far as posts that have excelled or given a kick to my following,” he continues from my next question. “Sometimes, it could just be a motivational post that I do that gives people that energy, that pump – the people that want to do more. Sometimes, it’ll just be a haircut I’m posting, a before-and-after. Sometimes, it can just be one of my motivational speeches and, again, it gives people that ‘oomph’. It helps them realize that with passion, energy and persistence, things can get done.”

And what is the philosophy behind his motivational speeches and posts, his business in general? “You have to put in to get out. Nothing is given, it’s always earned. I just spoke to a barber over the weekend in New York who was thinking about moving from Florida to New York, and he asked how much he could make. I told him that he could make as much as you want to. No one can force him to come into work early or not take phone breaks. It’s up to him to raise the bar and make as much money as they want to. They have to be willing to sacrifice, but if you invest the time, and manage your time well, you can get there.”

 

Being from the UK, where there are no barber battles, I ask him to give me the run down on how they work. “Barber battles are awesome,” he laughs. “I’ve competed for years. We have different categories, whether it is doing the fastest fade where you have to do a flawless fade in fifteen minutes, or freestyles where you can do whatever you want. We also have duplicate challenges where every single barber has to duplicate a picture. The barber who does it the closest to identical wins everything. Really, it’s about using the platform wisely. I’ve seen people win first place and never remember who they are. So, if you are in a battle, utilize the platform. Shoot a video, post pictures, show off being an award-winning barber.”

As for the prizes involved, he goes on to explains, “Normally, Andis sponsors our tour, so they’re getting some of the latest and best new clippers that can range into the hundreds price wise. They’re also getting $500,000 cash. Sometimes, we have a pot where the duplication winner-gets-all, so if twenty guys compete and it’s a $100 dollar admission, it becomes a $2,000 pot. Those are the set formulas in those cases, anyways. Normally, your going rate is about $500-$1,000 cash, but it really depends on which barber battle you’re going to. The bigger battles have bigger prizes, obviously.”

As for his educational tours, Danny has had the opportunity to visit many international locations. I ask him about some of them, and he answers: “I normally do a lot of stuff for the Andis Company, and they sometimes send me to Puerto Rico or Mexico. I’m Portuguese, so I booked Portugal, and I plan on going to Brazil soon, as well as Columbia. We’re just trying to coordinate everything at the moment. The embracement and quality of life in other regions is just awesome to experience.”

 

And what is his greatest moment in barbering? Danny relates back to opening his first shop, turning the key and walking into a place that was all his own.

 

Finally, what is his advice to other up-and-comers out there? “You’re going to have to sacrifice and work your ass off,” he tells me. “You have to offer more than the next guy. You have to want to do more than the next guy, sacrifice more, stay up late, etc. There’s no shortcuts. It’s all about persistence.”

 

As for what is next for Danny and Klipper Barbershop, he tells me: “I’m at my third location now. I’m going to keep on working with Andis, and I do the Xotics Hair Battle Tour. I just got on to get Blue Moon, which is a product company that I have been traveling all over the country with. I’m looking to do my own educational tour and basically keep trying to inspire barbers all over the world.”

 

Strong words from a man that works hard every day to inspire others. I know I certainly have been inspired speaking with Danny.

 

If you enjoyed this interview, please be sure to subscribe to see more interviews, tutorials and content! For more information, you can email me at: info@larrythebarberman.com. I’d also like to invite you to follow me on Instagram @larrythebarberman for other free barbering content. You can also email me at info@larrythebarberman.com

 

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