I was very lucky to bump into the fantastic Sid Sottung at the British Barber Bash – and although he was in the middle of important preparations for his show, Sid was kind enough to get behind the camera and let me fire a few quick questions at him. First of all I wanted to know about his path into barbering – Sid started young, at just 14, as his Mum thought it would be a good alternative to roaming the streets and getting into trouble! He was able to benefit from both a formal education – in women’s hairdressing as well as barbering – and the on-the-job training which comes from dealing with other more experienced barbers and, of course, learning something from every mistake.
Sid started out working in an old school Italian barbershop, where the youngest barber was 60 years old! He tells me that he fell in love with both the job and the environment and was inspired to continue down the barbering path. He has a lot of projects on the go at the moment, including a new academy which is about to open, offering barbering education of the highest standard. Educating has been a big part of Sid’s career, and he already has 16 years of experience in passing on his incredible skills to the barbers of tomorrow. He also has his own product range coming, including products for wet shaving and hair care, as well as t-shirts and aprons which are primarily being used for his own students.
Educating other barbers is the most important thing for Sid, and he no longer offers private cuts at all – instead he puts all of his energy into bringing the best out of his students, travelling internationally to spread his knowledge and passion. What sets Sid’s teaching approach apart is his focus on why techniques are important as well as how they should be executed. His key focus is on absolute beginners, who can move through his intensive course and his refinement course, as well as other additional courses such as one which focusses on beard design. He loves to see his students grow to the point that they’re ready to cut their first customer’s hair, and adds that he will never give up on a student!
Sid is originally a New Yorker, and he finds that there’s nothing quite as good as a US clipper to get the job done, especially when working with African-American clients. He explains that American clippers are ‘smoother’, with teeth which are ‘smaller and finer’ – ‘if you want to do those really crisp, clean fades, use US clippers’. Ultimately, Sid finds that the American clippers are stronger and faster, although UK clippers like the Wahl Super Taper and can be great for longer styles. He also points out how important it is to look after your clippers if you want them to continue performing properly.
One way to do this is with the Frequency60hz Converter – for somebody like Sid who lives out of a suitcase and travels often it is absolutely crucial to have a converter which powers top quality American clippers anywhere across the globe. Talking about the Frequency60hz converter, Sid says: ‘You need this converter because you can’t use the US clippers anywhere else without it. They make a lot of noise… you sound like an unprofessional barber.’ In fact, Sid reckons that if you use the wrong converter you’ll end up ‘a laughing stock’, or worse – with clippers that have broken!
To find out more about the fantastic Frequency60hz Converter then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you enjoyed this interview then head over to my Instagram, Facebook or YouTube pages to follow me and get instant access to more interviews with some of the world’s top barbers as well as free tips, tricks and advice!
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