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Former British Shaver Champion Luigi’s 10 Step Luxury Shave

While at the Salon International Expo just a few weeks ago, I paid a visit to the excellent Luigi to experience one of the famous shaves that saw him dubbed the 2015 Best Shaver in Britain. I was delighted with the results and, since he let me record the experience I can now share his shaving tips – helping you to give your clients a better experience!

In just ten steps you can shave like a true professional, although if you really want to give your customers a service worthy of Luigi then you might also be interested in checking out the barbering courses on offer from the Great British Barber Academy.

So, here are the 10 steps that you’ll need to give an excellent shave; don’t forget to watch the video so you can see Luigi in action.

Step One: Massage shave oil into the face, covering the whole area that you are going to be shaving. Here, Luigi uses a shaving oil from the popular Bluebeard’s Revenge grooming brand.

Step Two: This is followed by a hot towel, which is important not only for relaxing the client and giving them a luxurious experience, but also for improving the shave by opening the pores and softening the stubble. The towel covers the whole face apart from the nose, and Luigi firmly presses down for several seconds before gently dabbing the face.

Step Three: As soon as the towel comes off, start lathering; again, Luigi turns to Bluebeard’s Revenge for a high-quality shaving cream. Make sure to work it into the skin well, being firm but gentle and using circular motions with your brush. Take your time and ensure that the whole area is well-covered.

Step Four: Now that the preparation is done it’s time to start the shave, using a straight cut razor. With small strokes that cut a small section of hair at a time, Luigi starts with the forehand technique. This means holding the razor with your palm facing downwards and moving it towards your body.

Step Five: Luigi also uses the backhand technique, with the palm facing upwards and the blade now facing in the opposite direction. This allows him to give a more thorough shave.

Step Six: Use a post-shave balm to return moisture to the face. This is very soothing and nourishing for the face, and an important part of the after-care section of a shave.

Step Seven: Follow up with a second hot towel, again covering the whole face apart from the nose and pressing down on the chin and jaw area for several second.

Step Eight: Luigi gives me a quick facial massage, which is very relaxing and also brings the blood back to the face. This means that when your client leaves the barbershop their skin will be bright and full of life.

Step Nine: Towels can be used to fan the client, cooling their face and again improving the experience that they have while you’re shaving them.

Step Ten: One final step for ultimate relaxation – a gentle neck massage. These additional extras really do make all the difference!

So there you have it: ten steps to shaving like 2015’s best shaver in Britain, Luigi. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in the tent, and I’m sure that your clients will be delighted if you start offering a professional shave of this calibre.

I am currently producing a whole range of shaving based videos for barbers and clients alike, so follow me on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook to benefit from the information, techniques and tutorials that I am sharing. If you have any questions or enquiries, you can also contact me here!

 

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Stop!! Razor Bumps & Ingrowing hairs, By Learning Which Direction To Shave In

It’s time for part two of my new series teaching you how to minimise or eradicate razor bumps and ingrowing hairs when you shave. Today we’re looking at finding the best direction to shave in for your unique skin. As every face is different, the references that you may have been using in the past – such as TV adverts or watching barbers shaving other men – will almost certainly not be tailored to your skin.

In the last video I discussed the three different directions you can shave in: with the grain, against the grain and across the grain. For people with sensitive skin, and in particular black people like myself who are prone to ingrowing hair and razor bumps, it’s vital that you cause minimal irritation by shaving with the grain. This means that, for instance, if your hair is growing in a downwards direction then you should be shaving in a downwards direction.

Of course, the problem is that when you have shaving foam across your face it can be very difficult to know the various directions that your hair is growing in. The answer is to map your skin, using the unique Larry the Barber Man shaving map. Here’s my completed version, and below are the steps for creating you own.

[Image of shaving map]

What You’ll Need: Cotton pads and some sticky tape. Alternatively, you can use a credit card. You’ll also need at least three days’ worth of hair growth for this system to work.

Step One: Download my blank shaving map, which shows each individual section of skin that you’ll need to map.

Step Two: For each section of the map, use a mirror to identify the direction that you think your hair is growing in. To check, simply rub a cotton pad across your hair: if lint gathers then you’re actually rubbing against the grain. No lint? Perfect – you’ve found the right direction for that section of hair! The alternative option is simply to use a credit card, rubbing the edge across your face to identify which direction the hair is growing in.

Step Three: Use the sticky tape to remove the lint from your hair, as it can become caught.

Step Four: Repeat until every section of the map is complete.

Step Five: Stick your finished shaving map to the mirror or wall, so that you can easily follow the directions mapped each time you shave.

Step Six: Enjoy shaving with the grain, minimising irritation to your skin and greatly reducing, or even eliminating, the risk of shaving bumps and ingrowing hairs.

It’s as simple as that! If you watched my first video then you’ll know that I had four other steps for reducing irritation, and my next video will be looking at another vital part of your shaving routine: exfoliation. Tune in to find out about my exfoliation technique, including a great tool that will really help – make sure you have your new shaving map to hand, as using this tool requires going against the grain. This is because of how razor bumps form: hair curls around, punctures the skin and grows back into your face. I’m very excited about the upcoming video, so please remember to subscribe on YouTube or keep an eye on the blog so that you can benefit from part 3 of the series.

 

 

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Razor Bumps & Ingrowing Hairs : Learn The 5 Key Things To Prevent Them

Razor bumps, irritated skin and ingrowing hairs… if these words fill you with dread then you’re probably in the same position that I was in just a few months ago. For a two month period I was really suffering, and nothing I tried to soothe my skin was really helping. The first turning point was using an astringent, called witch hazel, which had an immediately positive affect (you can see the before and after pics in the video)!

I decided to do more research, and found 5 key factors that have a real impact on the results of a shave, and more specifically on razor bumps and ingrowing hair. In this first part of my new series on getting a better shave, I will lay out these reasons – my follow up videos will be exploring each in a lot more depth. Now, this will be particularly relevant for other black people, as our coarse and curly hair makes us particularly susceptible to problems while shaving. However, it will also be relevant for anybody who wants a precautious shave to soothe sensitive skin and, although I’ll be discussing facial shaving, it can also apply to women who have troubles with razor bumps and ingrowing hairs when shaving off body hair.

Here are the 5 key things that you need to start factoring in to your shaving routine:

1. Stop using a multi-bladed razor. I’m sure many other people, like me, make the mistake of using a multi-bladed razor. While these are supposed to cut through all the hair in one clean pass, you’ll generally find that some of the blades will pull rather than cutting. The result is that the razor cuts below the hair line. For black people, this increases the risk of razor bumps as the hair will start to curl beneath the skin!

The alternative is a single bladed razor with a double-edged blade – which cuts parallel to the skin. In my video you’ll find a handy animation which demonstrates the difference; using these razors also means that you can get the highest quality blade, making for a better and more comfortable shave.

2. Make sure you’re shaving in the right direction. The two main options here are shaving with the grain, e.g. from the root to the tip, and shaving against the grain, e.g. from the tip to the root. Going against the grain is a big cause of irritation, leading to the types of shaving problems that I’m discussing in this post.

So how do you fix it? Well, rather than using TV ads to decide how to shave, which won’t be tailored to your skin, you need to become familiar with the way that your hair grows. I’ve created a unique face map which will help you learn which way your hair grows, and allow you to shave with the grain every time. This will be explored in much more depth in the next part of the series.

3. Start Exfoliating. Although I was already exfoliating, I know that a lot of people don’t realise just how important it is. Add exfoliating to your skin care routine, making sure to do it at least twice a week. This will take the dead skin away, allowing your hair to come to the

surface and limiting the risk of it becoming ingrown. I will also stop you from shaving away dead skin rather than hair; again, this makes for a cleaner shave with less irritation.

4. Prepare Your Skin Properly. For most of my life I’ve been making several key mistakes during my shaving routine – firstly, shaving before having a shower, and secondly using an alcohol based gel or cream. This was not getting my skin ready to meet the blade at all! Recently, I’ve discovered a far better way of doing things that opens up the pores, relaxes the skin and ensure that your face is well-prepared.

You should start by getting your skin and beard properly wet, ideally by going into the shower for at least 3 minutes. Alternatively, you can cover your face with a hot towel for a couple of minutes to achieve similar effects. This will open your pores. Follow it up by massaging shaving oil into your skin to create a barrier. An optional third step is to use a cream based shaving cream – this allows your hairs to stand up properly, and puts them in the right position for the blade. Personally, I would say that if you don’t have time to follow all of these steps then you should postpone your shave!

5. Close Your Pores When You’re Finished Shaving. If you follow the steps that I’ve outlined above, then you’ll have opened up your pores ready for a great shave; at the end of the process it’s important to close them again, before you head out into the world. This makes them less susceptible to bacteria, meaning less irritation and… you giuessed it, less chance of a shaving rash. I use an astringent called witch hazel: it’s antiseptic, and also a cooling agent. All around, it’s really great for your skin!

Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel and keep an eye on my blog; in just a few days I’ll be posting part two, where we’ll look at mapping your face to make sure you’re shaving in the right direction. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch here.

 

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Wahl Barber Of The Year 2016: Andrea Raymond’s Interview

At just 22 years of age, Andrea Raymond has done excellently to become the first female Wahl Barber of the Year. Although I’ve managed to interview a few female barbers for the Larry the Barber Man blog, it’s certainly true that they don’t get as much publicity as men in the profession… so I couldn’t miss the chance to interview Andrea and find out a little more about her career.

Now, something that I’ve heard from a lot of barbers is that they love the creative side of the trade, and for Andrea this is where it all started: she joined a hairdressing college – the same one that Paul Mac attended – looking for a creative and practical career. However, the theoretical side of hairdressing college was not enough for her, so she left after a year and went the route that is increasingly popular with young people cutting hair: an apprenticeship.

From there, her path into barbering was almost an accident, as she tells me that she started a barbering night course just to add another skill to her collection. But, like many barbers I’ve spoken to, once Andrea started barbering she couldn’t stop, finding it “more creative and more challenging”. So, starting out as a junior barber at Bladez Barbers in Cork, she worked her way up to senior barber in Lancaster Barbers, another Cork based salon where she still works today.

I hear many different stories of barbering through these interviews, and Andrea’s journey shows that making the switch from hairdresser to barber can often be a viable and inspiring career move. I also wanted to know how she made the move from day-to-day barbering in Cork to becoming Wahl Barber of the Year. As the first female winner, I think her insights could be very useful for other women looking to progress their barbering careers:

“They posted the competition on Facebook, then you just send 4 to 6 pictures and a bio about your career via email. It needs to be a nice shoot, with good images! Then they pick the finalists from a couple of hundred entries, narrowing it down through specific categories. It’s very easy to apply; I thought it would be a lot more complicated, needing professional photos and a model, but I just used pictures taken on the shop floor. It’s simple; I recommend it to everyone”.

This should be great news for any barbers with limited resources who still want to try their hands at competitions! We also talked about barbering inspiration, and for Andrea the two big names that have motivated her throughout her career are Reece and Alan Beak. As well as enjoying their work from afar, Andrea got the chance to meet the wonderful brothers – and it was their positive reaction to her work that gave her the courage to push forwards.

She also tells me how generous and friendly Paul Mac has been throughout the competition process, offering tips and tricks despite being direct competition. This is the sort of thing I always love to hear about; the barbering community coming together to offer each other support, and become friends as well as competitors.

So what was Andrea’s show-stopping cut that saw her crowned winner? “I went with a regular skin fade, nothing too fancy. The model’s hair was bleached on top but naturally dark. So with the texture on top I wanted to wanted to show the contrast of the colours, complementing the contrast of the skin against the hair. I like clean sharp lines, and put a lot of effort into each aspect … the sectioning on top, line work, the blending, everything.  So I used a plain, simple, easy structure – and it worked.”

I’m sure that a lot of barbers will also be curious to know which tools make the cut for Andrea’s toolkit. Well, here’s a quick rundown:

Two Regular Taper 2000s.

Wahl Beret Mini Clipper

Wahl Icon Clipper

Wahl Shaver

Corded Razors… as many different types as she can get her hands on!

Watch the full interview to find out more about this clipper collection, including why she prefers to use corded clippers wherever possible, and how she’s customised her kit to suit her own cutting style. We also discuss scissors, and after trying a few different models Andrea is lucky to be having some made by Dan Quartered Steels Wild – as she says, they’re “more expensive but custom made by a wonderful guy”.

Finally, I asked Andrea to share any advice for other female barbers who may be looking to follow in her footsteps. Her message was clear: stick to your own style, and don’t try to emulate somebody else. Whether you like simple, classic cuts like Andrea or something a little more extravagant, her advice stands strong: “stick to what you’re good at. Perfect your own techniques, your own skills. So just don’t try to be anywhere else and that will get you far.”

Watch the video to hear even more about Andrea’s fresh perspective on barbering, including changes she’d like to see in the industry and what she’s up to over the next 12 months as a Wahl Barber of the Year. There are plenty more inspirational and educational videos to come in the not too distant future, so keep an eye out for those too, and follow Larry the Barber Man on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. Or to find out more about my work, why not get in touch – you can contact me here.

 

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Barber Interview : Johnny Baba And Dale Ted Watkins

I was honoured to get the chance to sit down and talk to two real trailblazers within the barbering industry – Johnny BaBa, of the renowned Barber Barber shops that can now be found across the country, and Dale Ted Watkins, a barber who has styled celebrities including Sacha Baron Cohen, Miles Kane and Isla Fisher throughout his many years in the industry, and now works alongside Johnny.

There was a lot I wanted to get through, so if you want to hear every pearl of wisdom from these two gentlemen (or should that be scoundrels…) then I thoroughly recommend watching the full 30-minute video. But to give you a sense of what to expect, here are some of my favourite moments.

As always, we started by discussing their route into barbering, and Johnny’s story of heading to the barbershop where “a child would be treated as a man” with his Grandad will probably resonate with those of you who share his warm memories of the old days, when barbershops weren’t as ‘cool’ as they are now, but were certainly just as atmospheric. Dale loved Johnny’s tale as much as I did, describing it as “conjuring up nostalgic visions” – although it was very different to his own route into the trade, which began with a hairdressing job opportunity spotted by his mum!

However, at the age of 28 he started working with Vidal Sassoon, landing the gig through hard graft and a real drive to succeed. He still looks back on this as one of his finest barbering experiences; the only thing that has brought him more excitement is the current working relationship that the two incredible men now share. So what brings them together? Well, in Dale’s words it’s the “pursuit of excellence”, and they both agree that working together offers inspiration and drive that they just don’t get anywhere else.

Now, if you haven’t been inside a Barber Barber shop for yourself, then you’ve missed a treat: the style that the men have created is exceptional, and unlike much else that you can find in the UK today. Johnny describes it as “the glamour of Vegas”, and I couldn’t agree more; to me, the incredible interiors conjure up a sense of an old theatre dressing room.

This idea of theatre is something that comes up frequently throughout the interview and Johnny tells me that “it’s a show, and the customer should feel that he is centre stage.” From the attitude of the barbers themselves, to the décor and, perhaps most importantly, the VIP treatment that every client receives, this is present throughout every aspect of the service – from the moment that a customer walks through the door. Every client is addressed as ‘Sir’, every haircut or shave is an experience. To Dale, this is the “little bit of gold dust” that they’ve added into barbering, and it’s certainly something that sets the Barber Barber shops apart.

Something like this isn’t dreamt up overnight – although the Gentlemen and Scoundrels tagline did come to Johnny in a flash of late night inspiration – so I also want to find out more about that drive that has pushed them forwards. Johnny’s insights here are particularly interesting, as he tells me that you have to want it so much that people start to think you’re a little bit mad. In fact, this is his advice to other barbers – to be focussed, to forget the work-life balance and throw yourself into the job: “You have to want it. It has to be everything to you”.

Dale shares his sentiments, telling me that it’s about “blood, sweat and tears…. But the journey is worth it”. Wise words indeed, from two men who have got to the heights of barbering through many, many years of hard work, as well as a real understanding of human nature. That was one of the key things that I took away from speaking to Johnny and Dale: that it’s as much about the person as it is about their hair. This plays into Dale’s idea of perfection, or rather the idea that perfection doesn’t really exist when you’re working on the imperfect canvas that is a human skull and human hair. Instead, it’s about finding out “how the client wants to present himself to the world”, and delivering exactly that, human imperfections and all.

As I say, to get a real sense of what these two men are all about you really have to hear them speak, and in the full interview you can also hear more about their journey to the top, their views on the modern barbering industry, and their tips for success as a barber yourself. And, as always, I have plenty more interviews and reviews coming your way very soon, so find me on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook to make sure that you don’t miss out on any upcoming content. If you have any questions or enquiries, you can also contact me here; I’m always happy to talk shop with barbers at any level of experience.

 

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Barber’s Andis Pro Foil Shaver and Wahl Super Shaper Shaver Review

I often have barbers calling up to ask me about the differences between the Andis Pro Foil Shaver and the Wahl Super Shaper Shaver, and while I know plenty about the technical specs of each tool, to get a real sense of what they’re like on a busy barbershop floor, I think you need to hear it straight from the barbers themselves.

So, I’ve come together with Marc Republic – all the way from Philadelphia – and Champ of Champ’s Barbers to get a feel for their experiences using each of these shavers. Without further ado, let’s get stuck in; first up, it’s the Andis Pro Foil Shaver.

I get Marc’s perspective first, and he tells me that he prefers the look and feel of the Andis tool, finding it stronger and more resilient. Although his experience is that the Wahl shaver gives smoother results, when you’re thinking of the bottom line this shaver is going to save you money. It also has a better battery life, which can make all the difference!

He also gives me a few tips for use: Marc prefers to use it at an angle, cutting with just the top blade and, although he thinks it’s a great all-rounder for all fading situations, he suggests being careful on the neck since it can irritate the skin.

Champ is quick to tell me that he loves the machine, and uses it every day. The strength is a big factor for Champ too – especially since he has dropped it on the shop floor and still been able to keep on using it. The most important factor for him, though, is the great battery life, and this is complemented by a nice grip with multiple options for holding it comfortable, the ability to clean it easily and the quick charge.

Marks out of 10? Well, Marc gives it a solid 7.5/10, citing a few of the Wahl’s superior features – especially the width -as the reason for shaving off a few points.

Champ gives the Andis Pro Foil Shaver a very solid 9/10.

 

On to the Wahl Super Shaper Shaver; Marc finds that people will always result back to this tool, which offers a very solid cut. He finds that the wider top is beneficial, as is the slightly firmer blade – although it falls down a little with a shorter battery life.

Champ tells me that it’s a good machine, but lacks a few key features that the Andis offers. This includes the lack of different grips as well as a far shorter battery life, a key consideration for busy barbers. Most important to both barbers, though, is the fact that, as Champ says, “if you drop it then it’s dead”.

This is why Marc drops its rating to 6/10 – a shaver that you have to keep replacing is too costly for most barbers!

Champ gives it 7.5, but tells me that although his preference is for the Andis, he’ll never forget where he came from – staring out with the Wahl Super Shaper.

 

So the Andis comes out as a clear champion for these two barbers! As always, it was a pleasure to spend some time at Champ’s Barbers, Number 10 Riding House Street. It’s always a great place for a review, since they are an incredibly busy shop that really have to make sure their tools are up to the job. For more insightful reviews take a look at my YouTube, Instagram and Facebook pages, and if you’re interested in picking up either of these great shavers, you can contact me online; I’ll be interested to hear which one you choose.

 

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Andrew Does Hair Interview: His Career & Advice on Adding Value

 

Introducing Andrew Does Hair: A California based hairdresser that I caught up with at Sam’s Barbershop in Dublin. Andrew is the founder of the ADH product line, author of The Typical Cosmetology Stuff, and now an international educator. So, as usual I was very keen to find out some tips that can help other barbers who hope to find similar success in the industry.

Andrew tells me that he was on his way to becoming a high school dropout, and genuinely saw himself becoming homeless when he realised that cutting hair could be an excellent career move. And although he planned to go into barbering, he ended up at a cosmetology school: “I absolutely do not consider myself to be a barber – it’s not how I was trained, and I was embarrassed about it for years, but to call myself a barber would make me a poser. So I just call myself what I am, a hairdresser!”

This plays in to Andrew’s best known and best loved talent: styling the hair. Throughout the interview he often admits that he thinks a lot of other barbers are more talented than he is, but his styling – using blow drying and other tricks picked up at cosmetology school – are what set him apart from the crowd. And when it comes to current trends, he’s getting excited by styles that have a ‘boxy, messed up’ look, and that don’t exactly look styled at all. It’s certainly a little bit different to the skin fades and hair straightening that he used to work on!

Now, if you’re one of Andrew’s impressive 100,000 followers on Instagram, you’ll probably already know that he keeps the salon that he works at – as just a regular barber – a complete secret, avoiding sharing its name and never publishing it online. While this might be frustrating for those that admire his work, it also shows how committed he is to the trade, as keeping the salon secret is a way to ensure that his regular clients are able to be accommodated; many of them don’t even know him as Andrew Does Hair: “When I want the hustle and noise, I come to Dublin, or I go to San Francisco, or I go to New York.”

So how did he manage to build up such a huge following? Well, those of you looking for a magic shortcut will be disappointed, as Andrew shares an impressive story or hard graft. This included reading books and watching TED talks by social media gurus, considering how their lessons could be applied to this industry, and thinking about how to add value when creating content. Of course, having something unique to share didn’t hurt: he found that the finished look of his styles, utilising blow drying techniques, gave him a lot of traction when first getting started.

He also offers a really valuable lesson to anybody looking to use social media more themselves, and that’s to focus on three things: inspiration, education and entertainment. Check out the full video to hear even more about Andrew’s journey with social media and to pick up more tips from a real expert.

And, of course as this was a Larry the Barber Man interview, there was lots more great advice to come – and it was interesting to hear a fresh perspective on getting big in the barbering industry, focussing less on cutting ability and more on the way that you present yourself, both as a barber or hair stylist and as an expert. Crucially, he tells me that if people are paying you to be the exert then you need to act like one, and this is achieved by paying attention to the little things: how you speak, how you hold yourself.

One thing that you notice if you spend any time with Andrew is just how passionate he becomes when talking about both hair, and the hairdressing industry in general. In particular, he becomes frustrated by things that don’t seem “fair and right”. It’s a great message that I’m sure most of us can get behind, and it also plays into the creation of some of Andrew’s phenomenal content – such as his famous motto “Good Hair Doesn’t Come out of the Jar”. I love this phrase, not only because it gives such a clear sense of the real work that goes into great barbering, but also because it really captures the essence of Andrew’s personality: a real, honest love for barbering, something that he talks about throughout the interview.

For instance, he sees one of the major problems in the industry to be the fact that we create a lot of culture for ourselves and each other, but can easily forget about the man on the street. From this comes another of Andrew’s key messages: pitch your skills to the client, and not to other barbers or hairdressers. On the flip side, he finds that a lot of modern barbering events gave a raw, almost punk rock sense of authenticity around them, which allows the community to share a real appreciation of hair.

Want to know more about Andrew Does Hair? Well, his book The Typical Cosmetology Stuff will take you through his journey, from being completely unknown to being a hugely respected industry icon – and Andrew recommends it both to new barbers and “people who cut hair better than I can”. Watch the whole interview to find out more about the book as well as the ADH range of products, and what’s next for the Andrew Cuts Hair brand.

I have a lot more videos in the pipeline, with plenty more inspirational videos coming your way very soon. So, if you want to keep learning from real industry pros, don’t forget to follow me on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. You can also get in touch with me here to find out more about the products that I’m offering on LarrytheBarberMan.com. I hope to hear from you soon!

 

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Barber Interview: With Richie The Clown Barber On My U.S. Tour

I am back here in Los Angeles with the infamous Richie the Barber from Bolts Barber Shop. I have to tell you, this not only an amazing shop but it is filled with an incredible group of guys. I originally found Richie on YouTube and Instagram and I had to meet him. I wanted to know about his life, how he got started in barbering and ultimately how he transformed himself into a clown. That’s right, Richie lives his life fully as a clown with his facet tattooed that way and blue clown hair.

Richie started out as a young kid under the mentorship of his grandfather. He was even named after him as the 9th kid in their family. However, he was Richard like his grandfather but was nicknamed Richie the Barber after his grandfather claimed they couldn’t have two Richards in the shop. Richie started going to the shop with his grandfather from a young age because daycare was too expensive.

The clown in Richie also started developing during this time as well and here is an admiring back-story to it. Richie’s grandpa took him to the circus because he was cutting the ringleader’s hair. So he brought him to the circus and let him go backstage to meet all the animals and acts but Richie was much more fixated on something else- the clowns. He met a clown that made him extremely happy; he loved how the clowns brought happiness. From there Richie started dressing up as a clown and his family thought it was a phase. However, the passion just grew as he did. He says that he was in “clown closet” for years- just wanting to be a clown but didn’t know how to transform. When he grandfather passed away he went into a dark hole. He didn’t cut hair or fill his life and the life of others with happiness. He didn’t want to do anything with his life. His mother helped him get a job at a barber shop and that is when he started transitioning. He started working at a tattoo shop and thought, “why not make this a barber shop in the front” and so that begun.

Richie started juggling and riding a unicycle during this time as well. This started when a tattoo artist at the shop would juggle and Richie couldn’t compete. So he kept practicing and practicing until he mastered it. This soon became an obsession for him and brought out his inner childhood. He just loved clowning around and so during this time girls were breaking up with him but he just kept adding tattoos to his face.

It just accelerated over time and soon he had the hair to match the face and he was much happier. However, sometimes people don’t take him seriously but as soon as they seem him cut hair they learn to trust him because he is good at what he does. So at the age of 30 he has been barbering for 17 years and his most proud moment was cutting Paul Ruben or Daniel Day Lewis’s hair.
Richie is only 30 so he still has a lot of time to make his dreams come true. He does have incredible ambitions. He would love to design a fun house where it is his face and you walk in through his mouth. It’s a barber shop but also a fun house so you can go through rooms, slide down slides, go to the gift shop but also get a hair cut. It would just be a new, crazy, weird, Alice in wonderland themed barbershop in LA. This would be a way to get away from the madness and just go somewhere to laugh and have fun.

In order to fun something like this Richie is hoping his documentary about his life as a clown takes off. He filmed the documentary in Barcelona, Paris, France, Finland and other destinations and he is hoping Netflix picks it up next year. Something people may learn about Richie the clown is that he is very spiritual and does yoga every morning. He really believes that love, energy and light lead the way in life.

Richie definitely is an incredible man and an interesting character. If you want to check out his interview then head to my website to watch the full interview.

 

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Cordless Hair Clipper Review: Wahl Magic Vs Andis US PRO Li

I head to Champ’s barbers to join up with Ian Hoyos (“Champ”) and Josh Lamonaca of MENSPIRE, and to hear their thoughts on two great clippers – the reasonably new Andis US PRO and the long popular Wahl Magic, both cordless clippers.

I love doing reviews here at Champ’s because the fast-paced environment means that they need to get the very best from their tools, and I’m delighted to be doing a real superstar review with two excellent barbers. So forget Josh and Ian, today I’m here with J-Lo and E-Diddy… it’s going to be a good one.

To help you compare these clippers, I’ve structured the reviews around the different features, sharing both barbers’ thoughts.

Andis US Pro Cordless:

Blade and Lever

Josh: “No pulling, no snagging, straight out the box the lever is quite tough but feels like could be a lot smoother after time.” He finds this efficient and fast, with a good light build.

Ian: “I had the Corded US Pro before, it was a lot heavier; I like the blade, just right for a c motion fading technique because of the curve. I also haven’t needed to zero gap it.” This means that it’s ready to go straight out the box, and Ian also prefers the slightly stiffer lever.

Feeding Hair

Josh: “So far so good.” His only issue is occasionally slowing it down for a number 2.

Ian: “Strong.”

Charger and Battery Life

Josh finds the battery life good, but hasn’t tried the charger yet. Ian tells me that he made it through 2 and a half days without needing to charge it, and it didn’t slow down at-all – very impressive.

Noise

Josh: “nice, quite a silent clipper.”

Ian: “This is alright, I’ve used louder.”

Power

Josh tells me that he finds it excellent for fair hair, although he hasn’t started trying it on thicker hair.

Ian’s take is that this is a “very good, very very strong clipper”.

Guards

Both find the guards to be a little flimsy, and Josh immediately started using the upgraded purple Andis guard with a magnetic grip, which he finds a lot more secure. Ian decided to give the guards that come in the box ago, but as well as being a little too sharp, he also found that they were bent completely out of shape while travelling!

If you are purchasing upgraded guards for this model, make sure you go for the purple nano guard with one, rather than two magnets – the two magnet model doesn’t fit this clipper as well.

And finally, a score out of 10:

Ian: “Get it – even my wife says I go on about it. 9/10.”

Josh: “8/10.”

Wahl Magic Cordless Clipper

Blade and Lever

Josh: “The first few times I found that the blade snagged and pulled, especially on beards. So I changed the blade for a Senior blade, and now find it a lot smoother.” He also finds the lever looser, probably from more frequent use.

Ian: Like the Andis, Ian tells me this clipper has a slight curve to the blade, giving more freedom. He also loves the crunch blade – as he puts it, “it eats hair”. He’s found the lever a little too loose, which has often meant switching it out with levers from other Wahl Magic Clippers.

Feeding Hair

Both agree that this is really good – especially thanks to that crunch blade.

Charger and Battery Life

Josh: “About three quarters of the way through the day, you start to get a dip in performance.”

Ian: “It does start to die away; you have to always keep two with you because when it starts to slow down you panic.”

Noise

A little bit of noise, but nothing that either barber complains about.

Power

Josh: “It does die out towards the end of a charge, which is sometimes annoying because you need to let the battery die out completely before charging. Sometimes I’ve had to finish with a corded clipper. When it’s fully charged it’s nice, powerful, efficient.”

Ian tells me that as a cordless clipper, this really changed how he was able to cut hair – letting him get out and about to cut hair in homes, hospitals and even hotel bathrooms!

Guards

Josh recommends the metal guards over the plastic ones, as finer points make for a smoother cut.

And finally, a score out of 10:

Ian: “these have improved, they’ve tackled issues, upgraded to metal casing. A very good machine, 8/10.”

Josh: “9/10.”

Not surprisingly, given the scores, when I ask them both to choose which clipper they’d have if it was to be their only cordless machine, Josh opts for the Wahl and Ian for the Andis. But with even scores and consistency throughout, I think it’s fair to say that each has received a glowing review! Find more Larry the Barber Man interviews and reviews over on YouTube, and follow me on Instagram and Facebook for all the latest barbering news. If you want to know more about what I do here at larrythebarberman.com, why not contact me online – it’s always great to talk to fellow clipper enthusiasts.

 

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Award Winning Irish Barber: Paul Mac Special, Shares The Secret To His Success

Award-winning barber Paul Mac is an individual with a whole lot of flair and individual style, something which is always inspiring to see! I’m sure that a lot of the barbers reading this will be dying to know how he’s climbed so high up the food chain, so I snagged him for a quick interview and found out about his journey.
Paul’s story is a great tale of honest hard work, as he tells me that when he started 13 years ago he had no connections and no family background on barbering; instead he was knocking on doors as an unknown beginner and finding it difficult to get work. Although no barber deserves to be knocked back as much as Paul was when first starting out, it should boost the hopes of anybody who finds themselves in a similar position today.
Of course, now that barbering has become a lot cooler, it’s easier to get training; for Paul, getting qualified meant going to a hairdressing college and spending time at Toni and Guys. A lot of barbers start out in hairdressing, and in the end Paul was no exception – and although he was very keen to move back into barbering, he’s kept a few hairdressing techniques with him.
Paul admits that it would have been easy to move back home and give up, but that’s not how dreams are conquered! There’s a real message here to keep believing and keep up the fight, and I really hope that the youngsters watching this interview pick up some of Paul’s great spirit:
“I wouldn’t have half the qualifications that a lot of people have, because a lot of my stuff is self-taught – but you get out what you put in. I’m trying to be the best all-rounder; there are people better at classic barbering, better at fades, but it’s about trying to be up there are every level. So I’m constantly trying to upskill, taking a lot of inspiration from hairdressing as well as barbering. Hair is hair.”

I also want to talk about Paul’s personal barbering style, which really stands out against many barbering trends. Finding inspiration as a barber can mean drawing on others in the trade, but it’s just as important to look elsewhere – and for Paul, that means cultural sources such as alternative musicians, films and music videos.
He also tells me that he focusses on creating an entire look, and not solely on the haircut. This is something that I don’t often hear, and it seem to have fed into a lot of his successes, especially with regards to magazine work, but also for competitions. For instance, his award from the Irish Hairdresser Federation involved putting together a look that could feature on a magazine cover – and Paul’s focus on a full image really helped him fulfil the brief.
Other titles that Paul has won include the Alfaparf Fantastic Hairdresser Irish Gent’s Hairdresser award, the American Crew All-Star Challenge Irish title, and the British Master Barbers Freestyle Battle at this year’s Barber Connect. With so many awards under his belt, I think it’s important to find out some tips, and talk turns to setting up great photo shoots to really impress the judges.
Paul offers some great advice to young barbers who might be going for an award such as apprentice of the year: “Look for a photographer, look for a model – work with professionals and let them do their thing. That way you can also bounce ideas off each other.”
He also suggests that barbers “think outside the box. I’ve done 12 magazine covers in the last year and a half, and the majority is the mad stuff – you need a USP, you need something eye-catching, something that pops out at you. Try and set yourself apart.”
Watch the whole interview to get more tips, including some words of advice for young barbers which really sum up Paul’s experience in the trade, driving home the message that hard work and patience are everything! I always love chatting to barbers who can offer some inspiration to the next generation, and if you take a look through my blog you can get tips from many of the best names in barbering right now.
To keep up with all my latest posts, find me on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook ; you can also contact me online here. I have lots more in the pipeline, so don’t miss out!

 

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