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The Top 3 Cordless Hair Clippers/ Trimmers 2017

Harry Pirate is one of my favourite people to talk clippers with, since not only does he really know his stuff when it comes to the technical element of doing great barber work, but he’s also an active barber in a busy shop who knows how important it is for a clipper to perform well under that kind of pressure. You can read all about Harry’s inspiring career in this recent blog post; today, though, I’m going to be drawing on his expertise to give you reviews of three of the best cordless clippers available right now.

Let’s jump straight in with the first review, and Harry’s thoughts on the Andis Slimline Pro Li, a cordless trimmer which uses the lithium ion battery to make sure that this clipper stays strong:

“People who follow my channel will know that I am in love with these: they’re the best trimmer you can buy. In my opinion, they’re as powerful as the Wahl corded detailers, and once they’re zero gapped they’re amazing – I can’t fault them.

This cuts the closest, the way you can adjust the blade is great, and for me it’s all about the power. When I do head shaves, and the client want their hair razored, I will always use this to do a quick buzz over first. It’s very portable too”

It’s important to note that some barbers have had a few issues with the power button breaking, and that’s something that you should definitely be aware of – in Harry’s experience, though, this hasn’t been a concern. I also ask him how it compares with the iconic T Outliner: there are pros and cons to each tool, but although the Outliner does cut a little closer and a little sharper, for Harry it’s the Slimline Pro Li that wins.

In fact, he gives it a formidable 10/10 rating… a tool that deserves a spot on your shelf.

 

Next up we have the Wahl Magic Clip Cordlessone of the classic clippers that receives a lot of well-deserved praise from barbers across the country. Here’s what Harry has to say:

“There are a lot of things I love about this – the first being, obviously, the power. It stays powerful right until the very end. The blade is great as well; it has a little stagger tooth blade, which means that every other tooth on the bottom blade is slightly shorter.

They call it crunch blade technology, and what it does is give you a very nice texture when you’re fading: it almost fades for you and you really do notice the difference. And that’s because of the whole package –  the ergonomics, the power. Even though I use Andis tools I will always go back to this, I use it for clipper over comb, and I use it for fine tuning fades if there are little shadows”.

Wahl’s blade technology is a great selling point for several of their tools, with a range of different blades available, including that crunch blade that makes the Magic Clip so great. This is one of the key factors that leads to a very respectable 8/10 from Harry, and he adds that “I wouldn’t not have this in my draw”.

 

So, there’s one cordless clipper left to discuss, and for a powerful cordless tool, Harry and I agree that you should turn to the Andis Supra ZR. Let’s jump straight in with Harry’s thoughts:

“Honestly, these are brilliant. The great thing, obviously, detachable blades. These are great for everything: clipper over comb, detailing, you can line with these – if you put the 000 or 0000 blade on it’s as close as a detailer! The power in this is amazing. You have three speed settings, and even the lowest speed is really powerful.

They have a wonderful build quality too, very chunky. I think Andis have really done a great job with these and I think it’s genius having the three speed settings. I use the top speed for clipper over comb, turn it down to mid-speed on beards, and turn it down to the low speed for edging. But there’s no loss of speed!”

Getting good power with a cordless clipper is something that I know some barbers worry about, but with the Supra ZR that doesn’t need to be a concern! Harry rates them at 10/10 and I’m happy to agree that these are an excellent choice for a cordless clipper that can take down bulk.

 

If any of these clippers have piqued your interest then you can find them at my store – just use the links below and feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions. I’d also like to invite you to come and join me on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, where there are plenty more views, reviews and interviews to watch and read.

Featured Clippers:

http://shop.larrythebarberman.com/andis-slimline-pro-li/

http://shop.larrythebarberman.com/wahl-magic-clip-clippers-cordless/

http://shop.larrythebarberman.com/wahl-magic-clip-clippers-cordless/

 

 

 

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Hair Stylist Mark Bustos Talks To Larry After Trimming The Homeless In London

When he’s at work at an upscale hair salon in Chelsea, Manhattan, Mark Bustos can charge up to $200 dollars per haircut, offering a premium service with his well-honed barbering skills. Impressive though this may be, what’s really remarkable about Mark is that this is only one side to his barbering mission – and today I want to talk about what Mark does with the rest of his time.

That’s because, when Mark isn’t at work he spends a lot of his time travelling to different cities around the world doing what’s colloquially known as street barbering: offering free haircuts to homeless people, as well as others who find themselves in a vulnerable position, such as people in hospitals.

Recently, Mark was in London working in conjunction with the Crisis homelessness charity and Cut Festival to offer haircuts to London’s homeless population, with another exceptional barber – Kevin Luchmun – at his side. This was my opportunity to finally meet him and find out a lot more about why he does what he does and the story of his work.

It all started back in 2012; Mark was in the Philippines visiting family members when he struck upon a simple way to use his skills to help people in the community. “I rented out a chair in a little barber shop and just invited homeless kids up off the street, cutting hair for them. Ever since that day I just realised wow, I can travel anywhere in the world with my gift and a pair of scissors and make people happy.”

Even if it had ended there, Mark’s story would be pretty inspirational – instead, in the five years since this initial experiment, he’s found more and more ways to use barbering as a tool to help others regain their sense of self and see that somebody cares enough to spend some time with them. This stems from a desire to help others, and although it’s underpinned by barbering, it doesn’t necessarily begin or end with a haircut:

“I really don’t pick and choose: If I find someone who seems like the need help then I’m going to do what I can to help them out. Almost make it seem like they’re a family member or really good friend who’s at rock bottom – like imagine that was my Grandfather out on the street and he needed help; how would I approach him, how would I talk to him, what kind of energy would I have. It’s really all about that human connection – and hair stylists can really understand that human connection when it comes to doing any sort of service for a client. If they don’t want a haircut then that’s fine too – I’ll get them food, or whatever they need and then move on.”

To me it seems clear that Mark is gifted with a rare set of skills that make him the ideal person to work with those in vulnerable situations; he is able to talk to people, gain their trust and put them at their ease. However, this doesn’t mean that other barbers shouldn’t try to help their own communities in similar ways, and this is something that Mark is keen to encourage. He tells me that it’s not about him or the work that he does, but rather about building up a movement of people helping in their own ways, under the banner of his #BeAwesometoSomebody campaign.

He also shares some advice for people who may be unsure of how to start giving something back: “That just really comes with meeting new people and stepping out of your comfort zone: when you’re in your comfort zone not much is really going to happen. Travelling around the world and putting myself in all kinds of crazy situations taught me so much about myself and others: so my advice is to travel, learn and share what you know, and just give – because when you give you get a lot more than when you receive.”

In just a short ten-minute interview, Mark packed in so much inspirational information so I really encourage you to take a breather out of your busy day and see what he had to say. If the clip inspires you as much as it did me, then you can find Mark on Instagram @MarkBustos. For more motivational barbering clips, you should also follow me on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. For today, though, I’m going to leave you with the thing that stuck with me most from Mark’s interview – his most memorable moment from the time that he’s spent out on the road:

“One of the most impactful things was working out in a cemetery out in the Philippines, where there are children living without parents, just looking after themselves. The biggest thing that I learned there was that being so financially poor, these people were the happiest people I’ve met.”

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Famos: Trims Chink The Barber – While Chink Shares His Story

Impromptu interviews with the great people I meet on my travels are always some of my favourites, so getting a chance to set up a last-minute chat with Andrew – better known as ‘Chink the Barber’ – while he was in England for the Great British Barber Bash was a real treat. Chink is known for the work that he does at Saint Barbershop with his good friend Famos, and he’s got some great stories to share, so let’s get stuck in!

It’s fair to say that Chink is a reasonably unusual choice of barbering alias, so I wondered where it came from: it’s actually something that Andrew used to hear at school from kids who would make fun of him. After getting into some criminal circles and realising that he needed to adopt a nickname, he decided to reclaim the name, and it’s stuck with him throughout his barbering career.

It was actually this slip into criminal activity and drug dealing that led Chink into barbering, as he realised that he needed to do something differently and make a positive change: “I got arrested and hit rock bottom, I was a drug addict, I made no money anymore. Then Scott – Famos – was cutting my hair and I would stick around, taking an interest in how he was doing hair tattoos. I used to do graffiti so there was a similarity there. Then one day he was putting a Famous Stars & Straps logo in a cut and got me to help him out, then let me try out straight blading on the next guy and it was really cool. So, the very next day I went to hair school and got myself a qualification.”

No doubt, then that Famos has been a huge influence on Chink, and Saint is the third barbershop that they’ve worked at together. However, their relationship has evolved, not only into a great friendship but also a working partnership where they can teach one and other new skills, share information and critique each other’s work.

The first shop that saw Famos and Chink working as partners in crime was the wonderful Notorious. Chink tells me all about his work there: “one of the reasons that I worked there was because I was addicted to drugs; they treated me good and I beat my addiction. The money was good, we went from having 4-6 clients each day to having people just buzzing around us.” From what I’ve seen, Notorious seems to be as much a lifestyle hotspot as it is a barbering destination, and Chink confirms that this is the case; it’s a shop with a unique atmosphere.

The same, though, can also be said for Saint, which is a one-of-a-kind barbershop that brings together a great band of barbers. It’s a little different to a lot of other similar shops, as Chink tells me: “Here I control my own clientele, there are more responsibilities and it’s different, but it’s nicer. I can do what I want now”. Famos adds that “everywhere I’ve worked did commission, and I wanted to make it easier for the barbers. When barbers pay chair rent it’s just easier for everyone, and the barbers make more money.” As Chink adds, the one caveat to that is that if you’re going for chair rent rather than commission or a salary, you need to have a strong customer base that will keep you busy!

It seems to me that Chink has been reaping the rewards of all the hard work that he put into becoming a barber: this trip to England for the Great British Barber Bash was his first stage performance, and it’s a great opportunity that shows the respect that his work has been earning him. It was great to have International barbers over for the event, and these boys brought a whole new vibe to the atmosphere that was great to experience.

Of course, it wasn’t without a little bit of stage fright – and I wondered how Chink got over his nerves and took to the stage: “There were definite nerves, a little bit of gut rot, but it was good man, I started cutting away and then the butterflies just started going away. I’m not saying a lot of people were there to see me, but it was nice having people there watching me and taking photos – I’ve collected a lot of Instagram and it was a blessing. Once you’re up there you have no choice so you just do it.”

It’s inspiring to see another positive story where barbering has changed somebody’s life; as Chink says, it has brought him to England and given him the chance to work with great people like Darren Jones, and to meet inspiring barbers like Alan and Reece Beak. I’m also glad to hear that Chink takes inspiration from these British barbers. In fact, when I ask him what one change he’d like to see in the industry, he heaps praise on British barbering: “I’d like to see more British style barbering in America and Canada. The softer, textured haircuts that are longer-lasting and grow out well”.

Chink has been picking up more and more traction and he even has a new hoodie coming out, not only branded with his personal barbering brand, but featuring a wonderful graffiti style portrait of Chink himself, created by one of Saint’s regulars. With this in mind, I wonder where he sees himself in five years: “To be honest the last thing I want to do is own a barbershop – I see the stress that Scott goes through. I’m always going to cut hair though, I have no retirement plan. No barber does, I’ll just be cutting hair!”

Before letting Chink go, there’s just one more thing I have to know: how does he manage to smash out so many great haircuts, sometimes as many as 22 in a day? Perhaps unsurprisingly it all comes down to the Oster ’76 (or the ’97 for UK barbers). “One word of advice to all barbers, get the Oster ’76 or ’97. I’ve never regretted having one”.

I’ll leave you with those final words of clippering wisdom! All that’s left to say is thankyou to Chink for agreeing to a last minute interview, to Famos for joining us, and to all of you for reading this and hopefully learning something – come find me on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook if you want to be the first to see even more great barbering interviews.

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Bump Free Shave with Kiehls and the One Blade razor

You asked for it, so here it is: the outline of my full wet-shave routine. Hopefully, a lot of you have seen my other shaving videos, where I gave a detailed discussion of the different techniques I use to avoid shaving bumps and irritated skin. If not, I recommend going to check those clips out now, before heading back here to see what the full routine looks like.

Okay, so first thing first – you need to make sure you have the right equipment. If you’re used to making do with whatever products you can grab in your local supermarket, changing to more premium products is going to make a huge difference. Here’s what you’ll find in my kit:

  • The Stick ‘n’ Stone Exfoliating Tool: this is used to rake out ingrowing hairs before you start shaving, and can also be used before bed each night.
  • The Finest Badger Brush: strong yet gentle, this brush has a great backbone.
  • A Scuttle: this will keep your lather warm as you shave.
  • The One Blade Shaver Razor: it may be expensive, but it’s also exceptional – and particularly good for black people, where the coarse and curly hair type makes irritation a big problem. As this blade cuts parallel with the skin, it greatly reduces the risk of skin bumps.
  • Kiehl’s Lite Flite Shave Cream: this is the shaving cream that I use, as it’s gentle and does a great job.
  • Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Wash: although I don’t use this in my video as it’s not ideal for a studio environment, this is my standard wash product.
  • Close Shaver’s Squadron Brushless Shaving Cream: you can use this if you’re only going to be doing a quick shave.
  • Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Face Scrub: for the areas of skin that won’t be exfoliated using the stick ‘n’ stone tool.
  • Taylor of Old Bond Street Alum Block: an astringent is important for closing up the pores, and I love this one which also contains an antiseptic.
  • Kiehl’s Age Defender Power Serum: this is my deep moisturiser – the shaving process can really dry out your skin, so it’s important to put some moisture back in.

For my studio shave, I also decided to make use of a hot towel, although I’ll often just use hot water. If you want to give yourself a relaxing experience, though, and you have the time, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using a hot towel at home!

Now onto the process itself: although in the video I’m using an exfoliating face wipe, at home I start by cleaning my face with hot water. Then it’s on to the Stick ‘n’ Stone exfoliation, using the close shaver brushless shaving cream to create a small barrier and therefore stop the exfoliating tool from being too harsh on the skin. To use this properly, make quick flicking movements against the skin, moving against the grain – and then rinse the face clean.

After this I go onto the hot towel, and it’s a good idea to prepare the lather first so you can shave immediately after applying the towel. Put the shaving cream into the scuttle and use the soaked brush to lather up your cream, letting it foam out from the centre. Get a nice foamy lather going; if you use a good quality brush, it should retain all the lather that you need.

As I say, it’s not essential to use a hot towel all the time, but it’s a great treat! You can adapt your face to the heat by rolling the towel along your skin first, and then place it over the bearded areas – apply for two minutes, this opens the pores. Then go straight in with the lather, using your brush to ensure that the hairs are lifted into a good circular position. Don’t be shy, apply plenty of lather.

Now I use the One Blade Shaver which, in my opinion, gives an unsurpassed shaving experience – you’ll get a really close cut, first time. Stretch your skin for every pass, keeping it tight and easier to shave. One thing that’s great about the One Blade Shaver is the pivoted head, which really helps when you go under the chin; it’s also made from the finest German steel with a really nicely engineered blade.

If you use diagonal motions, which is the Turkish way of shaving, then you really only need one pass with this razor. This is a really good way of reducing irritation – which is the prime cause of ingrowing hairs and razor bumps. If an area dries up, you simply want to redo the lather – lift the old lather and come in with the new. Although you need to avoid cutting against the grain if you’re trying to limit razor bumps, it is fine to shave across the grain as well as with it. Check out my video on shaving technique to find out more about these different motions.

At this point I would usually wash my face, although in the video I use another exfoliating wipe. Then I apply the alum – it’s a great antiseptic, which is particularly important if you have any cuts, as well as an astringent that will close your pores.

Once the face is completely dry, the final stage is moisturisation – don’t skip this step as it really helps protect you from ingrowing hairs, which are a very common cause of irritation and shaving rash. I use two squirts of the Kiehl’s serum, or sometimes a little more if the skin feels particularly dry. Finally, after this deep moisturisation I use a standard moisturising cream to seal in the serum and make sure the skin is super soft!

So there it is: the Larry the Barber Man bump free shave. While you can adapt the products to suit your budget, I’ve given recommendations for an exceptional shaving experience, and one which is particularly good if you are African or Afro-Caribbean since the coarse, curly hair type can cause additional irritation. I really hope that you found this outline useful; if you are concerned about irritation please don’t forget to look at my other shaving videos, which you’ll find at barbers.tv. You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook and make sure that you don’t miss out on a single educational Larry the Barber Man video.

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Andis T Outliner: Replacing Tension Spring For Better Performance

In previous videos, I’ve shown you how to adjust the tension spring in your clippers to help achieve better performance. If the adjustments you’ve tried aren’t really making a difference, though, then you’ve probably worn out the tension spring – perhaps by overstretching it, or by dropping the clipper on the floor. Luckily, replacing the spring is a simple process. All you’ll need is:

  • Philips Screwdriver
  • Replacement Spring
  • 5mm Nut Twister (a spanner will work, but the nut twister allows more care and precision).

Unscrew the back of the casing; as always, I recommend using a matt or towel to ensure that you don’t lose the screws as you remove them. Then, remove the power outlet so that you don’t risk damaging the wires as your working.

Use the Philips screwdriver to remove the tension screw, turning anticlockwise and again putting the screw in a safe place. Next you’ll want to use your nut twister to remove the two nuts that are securing the spring; at this stage, please be careful not to put too much pressure on the arm as it can be delicate!

Replace the spring with your brand-new tension spring, getting it in the same position as the old one and making sure that it’s well aligned with the blade. Start by securing it in place – we’ll adjust the tension afterwards – so simply replace the nuts (remember to be gentle!) and then reinsert the tension screw. Guide it in carefully and use your Philips screwdriver to tighten it up.

Remember that as you readjust the screw, you want a small slither of a gap showing above the screw: a crescent moon shape. This is a trial and error process, and what feels right for one barber may not be ideal for everybody, so you may want to experiment with different positioning.

The final step will be to gently replace the power outlet, and screw the casing back together; be sure to check that the wires are all neatly tucked in as you do this.

That’s all there is to it, so for just a little bit of effort you can greatly improve your T Outliner or GTX clipper’s performance. For more tutorials like this one, subscribe to my YouTube channel or find me on Instagram and Facebook, where I publish new content on a regular basis.

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