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Barber: Leroy Garcia Of Modern Shave Shop – Success Principles

One thing you need to know about Leroy Garcia from The Modern Shave in Connecticut is he will be on time.  And he expects you to be on time, too.

“An essential part of the craft is being professional,” Leroy told me when we met up in the US this spring.  I had just asked him about his principles. “Part of being professional is being punctual.”

27-year-old Leroy is a young barber with a fresh, original approach and getting well-known for his firm views on professionalism, as well as his well-tailored staff and scrupulously clean, comfortable Connecticut shop. He welcomes both men and women while offering skin care and scalp care as well as haircuts.

“When the client arrives at ten, and the sign says you are open at ten, and no one shows up until noon,” he shakes his head. “And then the next day a customer comes at ten and there is someone there, but the day after, no one is there until eleven, well,  we need consistency in something as basic as being open when you say you are open,”  he said firmly.

Leroy’s professionalism is rooted a sense of pride in barbering history and his passion to revive that pride amongst barbers everywhere.

“You see photos from the 20’s and 30’s and barbers were some of the most dapper people, guys in dress shirts and ties, and that is how I want to approach it, bringing that old feeling  (of pride and professionalism) back, which is now so rare.”

Ironically, it is the super-modern mobile appointment app BOOKSY that has been “a blessing,” in making things happen, Leroy says.  Since every customer has a unique self-made appointment through BOOKSY, Leroy’s barbers have to be prepared and on time for every customer, ready with a clean work station, sanitized tools and a personalized greeting.  Customers expect it.  In Leroy’s shop, old fashioned professionalism gets a boost from 21st century technology!

BOOKSY is also saving Leroy time and money, he says. “In starting my business, I did not want to pay for an assistant, so BOOKSY allows your phone to be your assistant.  We are reaching about 300 clients on BOOKSY now,” he said.

So what is the customer experience at Modern Shave so many are talking about?

“The first thing you will notice is a structured environment,” Leroy says, and I can tell this is a real passion for him. “There’s no obscene music playing; there is just smooth jazz instrumental.  There is a nice aroma, nice and clean. You won’t hear people hooting and hollering. You will see presentable barbers ready to attend you. You will get into the chair on time and you will see a clean environment. After a hot towel, you will walk out with one of the best haircuts of your life.  You will be serviced with the best organic products, and I repeat, organic,” he says with a smile.

That is just the beginning of the full experience, though. “There are brands out there that produce great products for your skin and for hair care, so although we specialize in all types of haircuts, it is not our only approach.  We like to service skin and scalp, we like to do dermal therapy scrubs and skin detox facials, waxing services.  All this comes from the knowledge I accrued from Todd Bernard at I Cut Pro, being part of that fraternity.”

Leroy believes gaining greater public respect for this range of professional services means barbers can’t “show up in flip flops and basketball shorts and sweat pants and think it is OK. It all starts with a presentation of what we are.”

I wanted to pursue the Todd Bernard angle, but first I asked Leroy how he got started.  He told me he’s been cutting hair since he was just 15, and “the next youngest guy in the shop was my age now, 27,” he recalls. “Everyone else was even older, my father’s age.”  What did he take away from that? “It showed me you only learn from the passage of time. If you surround yourself with experienced people who have learned through the passage of time, us younger ones can learn not to trip over the same rocks they tripped over.”

Back to Todd Bernard, Leroy says the man is a wealth of information and inspiration for barbers at all levels.  “Even with ten years’ experience, it made me feel like a new student, made me feel like I had never picked up a clipper,” he said. “People want to have strong suits and stay in their comfort zone, but when you step out of that  boundary and admit maybe your scissor game isn’t the best, maybe you don’t know how to part properly,  maybe you don t know how to talk to clients, you become a better barber and a better person.”

Leroy told me Todd Bernard’s high quality products help him build Modern Shave’s brand. He says Bernard’s “It’s Butter” leave-in conditioner sold out his initial 12-bottle shipment in two days.  “Our clients trust that what we offer and they know we aren’t just trying to take extra money out of their pocket. They know it is full of quality and will fulfill the need they have whether it is skin, scalp or hair.”

Leroy “100 percent” recommends the I Cut Pro web site, where a monthly subscription can bring all the benefits of attending live courses in New York. “It’s a blessing in my life,” he says.

As we wrapped up our chat, Leroy came back to what was learning is a favorite subject, and  I want to leave you with his main point:  the absolutely critical need for a commitment to punctuality, cleanliness, professional appearance, expanded services and a laser-like focus on the customer.

“Yes, we have urban shops and more classic shops, but these are the principles that should not be negotiated, that should not be missing in any shop,” he insists. “It is the foundation that we need to teach the new generation in events like the Irish Barber Expo.”

“We see people leaving their 9 to 5 to start barbering, but we need to lead them the right way, and if we take it upon ourselves, the new generation that is arising in the industry is going to start doing things the right way from the beginning.”

Well said by a man who clearly has been doing things the right way from the beginning, even though at age 27, he is really only beginning himself.

It was a pleasure to meet Leroy and I wish him all the success in the future.  He is an amazing soul with a great passion for the profession. I hope you enjoyed meeting him, too!

Click over to my YouTube @larrythebarberman to watch the entire video with this impressive young talent, and look for another interesting post from me in the very near future.

Until then happy barbering!

 

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Barber: Alan Beak Of Ruger’s Talks About His Meteoric Rise

 

Ruger’s Alan Beak: Enjoy the Boom and Be Nicer to Each Other!

When I caught up with Alan Beak at Barber Connect Telford, he was just 20 minutes from his stage show and a bit rueful about it. ‘There was never a special path I wanted to follow,” he told me, “I never intended to go down a ‘celebrity following’ route. We wanted to keep it varied: the TV work, multiple shows, traveling, doing education. We are just put 100 percent in the moment. Life’s too short for bad coffee and bad haircuts.”

In case you don’t know, the ‘we’ Alan refers to is not only his brother and fellow Manchester native Reece, with whom he opened Ruger Barber just 15 months ago. He also means the rest of his team, Danielle Corbett, Ellie Rogers, Carlie Firth and Aiden Smith, who he mentions often and are a big part of the rather sudden international fame of the Ruger brand.

It’s clear to me the brothers’ killer social media posts featuring unique photography have helped propel them to the heights they enjoy today. It has been a few years since I interviewed Alan, and I wanted to know how he developed those skills.

“Social media is the key factor,” he says firmly. “It is your personal platform to get your work out there.” Social media is part of personal and professional development, something Alan adds to his education work along with theory, demonstrations and hands-on. “Putting all these things together is the recipe.”

He has done his homework in the technical aspects of his incredible camera work. “You need the right tools, the right knowledge, and the right photography,” he says.

 

 ‘Good barbers, trustworthy barbers, are really hard to find’

“A lot of people are deterred by the camera (due to cost).  I get asked about this a lot, and I don’t keep it secret. My cameras are Canon 600D – that’s 400 pounds.  Quite expensive, but you can get it on eBay now for 120. It’s the 50mm lens that gives us the signature look we have. It has the shallow depth of field, focuses on the head, and everything else is blurred out. It exaggerates the haircut. So the 50 mm is the one, and you can get them for about 70 pounds.”

As the Ruger brand began its meteoric rise, people often asked about opening another shop, but Alan was skeptical. “Good barbers, trustworthy barbers, are really hard to find,” he said. “So instead of finding a location, we thought we should look for the right person (to work with us).  And we came across this young woman, Carlie. Her attitude was amazing, and she cut hair great.   She’s fit in the mold with our team, and it just kind of fell into place.” Carlie is Carlie Firth, who I noticed right away, since she was already doing dynamic stage shows at Barber Connect. Talk about fitting fit in!

With the right crew in place, Alan was ready to expand. The new shop in Lytham started with a business partner in Preston. “He said Lytham would be agood spot for us,” Alan recalls. “We went out there one night, and all the bars were open, we got drinks and something to eat, and they all have these bi-folding doors, everyone was outside, and we were sold!”

 

Months later, after “getting my soft barber hands into bits lugging axes and crowbars, pretending to be a builder,” the Lytham shop opened to booming business.

 

 “Get used to your hairdryer”

Alan is a highly attuned business operator whose philosophy every barber should study. He was typically decisive in launching his product line: “We said we wanted or own product; it is as simple as that. And we’ve done it.”  Ruger Essentials is the main item, “the best product we have ever used and ever will use,” Alan calls it in his (admittedly biased) view.

He hasn’t let expansion, social media success and international attention pull Ruger away from their fundamental Italian strength. Alan says the service and atmosphere identified with Italian barbering “will always be our foundation, but we amalgamate our skills with Afro-Caribbean, fading, lady’s hairdressing with extensive styling. We are becoming a hybrid barber; using the Italian as our base.”

He had a take for today’s barbers that was a little surprising: “Get used to your hairdryer.”

“Styling is 33 percent of what you are producing,” he told me. “Everyone wants to do clipper work; everyone wants to fade well; go to America; watch the American videos; everyone wants to learn more scissors techniques. So yes, obviously, clipper and scissor work. But get used to the hairdryer. Use it in both hands, use it in different products, be able to style hair. Hair is very easily manipulated with chemicals, but also with heat.

“Get used to using your hairdryer very well.”

 

“Seeds are Planted all over the World Every Day”

I found Alan to be fired up when offering thoughts on the state of the industry. First, we’ll cover what he loves.

“There is so much networking going on,” he says immediately with a smile. “People on the outside don’t realize how strangely lovely and incestuous it is. Everybody knows everybody.”

It wasn’t always that way. “I remember being told never to fraternize with the enemy, and the enemy was anyone not in your shop.” Now that’s over and the international flavor of men’s grooming is exciting for everyone, he says. “I had a student who was in Malaysia and wanted to have a look at haircuts there,  and when he said he had worked under us for a while, they took him right in!”

A trip to Barber Connect NYC also made an impact, he said, in particular seeing a multi-racial photo shoot called Council Estate Couture by  Kevin Luchman inspired Alan to get into photography, and hanging with people like Luke Guldan and Miguel helped him realize the importance of accessibility.

“Seeds are planted all over the world every day,” he told me. “Plant a seed and year later you can elaborate on that relationship. It doesn’t come all at once…patience, is what I want to say.”  But meeting people and over time, building relationships with the likes of Jamilla Paul and Chris Foster helped Alan’s personal and professional growth.

So, what does this major influencer think needs changing for the better in our industry?

The “bad attitudes,” Alan says.

 

“They know full well they couldn’t stand having that done to them”

“You see people criticizing work, so fast to jump in and say something negative, but then they don’t post pictures of their own work, or refuse to because they know full well they couldn’t stand having that done to them.” Alan’s teaching experience shows him kindness is best. “I can say, ‘You have done so well, but let’s pick on something so you can continue to progress.’

“We are in an industry that is booming and we should be a family. We should work together,” he adds. “If you are going to say something it should be positive, not putting someone down and making feel bad about their work.,

Alan is also on about criticism of people who post edited work, which he calls unfair. “I know people edit pictures, and I don’t give a shit because it looks good. I know they edited something out, but (so what?)”

“Look, we are all human,” he said. “Not everything has to be 100 percent perfect. I have seen people’s work online and then seen them work in front of me, and I can tell there is a difference, but I like to see that because that person is only human.”

 

“Always go with your gut instinct.”

His advice to all: post your work and don’t wait for perfection. “We are all human, we all make mistakes. Whether it’s a small flaw, post your work!  Get your work out there. Don’t pick out the flaw; pick out the good bits in it.”

What final thoughts does this incredibly focused and busy traveler (he lists off where barbering has taken him and his crew – “Shanghai, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, and soon to Barcelona and Moscow”) want to share with my audience?

 

“Always go with our gut instinct,” he said. “Don’t copy other people. I mean, you are never the first person to do something, but take one thing from this person and one thing from another, and just by taking as much as you can from everyone else, you can decide what is going to suit you and make you original.”

“Again, planting seeds. Plant a seed, build a relationship,” he urges. “Instagram is there for that. Instagram is not about how many followers you have. It is about the relationships you build. So speak to someone, leave a nice comment, send a message.”

He condemns how cliquey barbers can be, and sometimes difficult to get to know, so he recommends confidence.  “Even if you are not confident, tell people that. You can say, “I’m not very confident, but I’d like to meet you.” You may shit yourself at first, but then you will be all right!”

With those words I had to let Alan go, off to another rousingly successful stage show.  My thanks to him, and be sure to catch the entire interview on my YouTube at LarryTheBarberMan.  Follow me Instagram @larrythebarberman and I look forward to being friends on Facebook.

I know I will be working harder to follow Alan’s example! Let’s agree to plant seeds, build relationships and be good to one another. Til next time, happy barbering!

 

 

 

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Barber Interview: Daimon Johnson Of Cut Throat London Talk Barbering…

Today, I get the chance to speak to Daimon Johnson of Cut Throat London in Peckham. Cut Throat London is a shop that is very minimal, trendy, and slick to a point barber shop that is also mixed gendered. Naturally, I want to get the scoop on Daimon’s journey into barbering and where he plans on heading in the future. We start, of course, at the beginning.

Asked about the beginning of his journey, Daimon explains, “My story is a little bit different. To cut a long story short, I was kind of made homeless up north, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I fled to my hometown with a bag of clothes, and no idea what to do. I always had an interest in men’s style and fashion, and men’s hair is obviously a part of that. One day, I was in a friend’s barber shop and watched the head barber do a whole haircut: scissor over comb, very Italian, and very particular. I thought it looked like a real skill I could get down with it – it ticked every box in terms of learning a trade for me. I came to London, started training under a couple of guys who then went on to form the London School of Barbering and Gents. That’s it, really. Since then, I’ve been grafting and I’ve loved every minute of it.”

He reveals that it has been about six years ago since he began back in 2010. I ask him if he was academy taught or self-taught to gauge his phenomenal skills. “It wasn’t really an academy at the time,” he tells me. “Like I said, Michael from the London School of Barbering went off and did his own thing, but before that, he taught me in central London. It was at that primordial stage before London really had any academy, and before barbering started becoming a legitimate choice for people as a career. I hit it on the right side.”

 

Asked about what styles he is specializing in at the moment, Daimon reveals that he enjoys being a jack-of-all-trades. “I like to be good at everything. I like to push myself to do stuff that is well out of my comfort zone. I’ve learned a lot more since being in Peckham because we have such a wide demographic of people and styles, as well as people more willing to do unusual things with their hair, which is great. Before here, I tended to lean more towards classic styles: more ‘20s and ‘50s styles. Nowadays, I’m doing a lot of ‘90s stuff, which is quite unusual: severe undercuts, a lot of steps, a lot of curtains, and things like that. We’re quite ‘80s and ‘90s vibes in here just because James and I are kind of stuck in the past.”

I bring up the longer hair in the ‘80s and how it seems to be making a comeback. Daimon agrees with me, “We’re seeing a lot of trends happening, and we’re seeing a lot of longer hair on guys. The beards, I’ve noticed, have been getting smaller and smaller. You’re getting guys with massive lumberjack beards and they’re now going to a nice cropped and tidier aesthetic.”

 

As I brought up earlier, Daimon’s shop has a very minimal and trendy look to it. I ask him about what led to the shop’s aesthetics. “That’s a good question,” he tells me. “There’s one thing I can’t stand, and that’s gimmicks. I don’t like the starch or razor blade motifs. I wanted a space that was really comfortable and would suit everybody. I want every single person who walks in the door to be cared for, and I want them all to feel equally as comfortable.”

 

The subject then turns to the allowance of women in his shop. “We’re quite adamant that a barbershop is a place for a woman. We definitely cater for all genders and walks of life. We don’t want the shop to feel masculine or feminine. We have a mixture of disciplines here. I’m a barber by trade, so I don’t tend to cut long hair at all, but the people that work here are skilled in different areas, so when someone comes in we can pair them up with the best person for the job.” As for the name of the shop, Daimon reveals it is named after the street they are on, which used to be called Cut Throat Lane or Cut Throat Alley for the highwaymen that robbed people in old Peckham.

 

Daimon also has a line of pomades that are his own creation. I ask for the backstory on those and he tells me, “One day, my brother Leo and I went for coffee while I was freelancing and doing business stuff. I remember thinking how easy it would be to create a product, because I felt like there wasn’t really anything out on the market in the UK that catered to what I was looking for our of a hair product. We basically said, “Let’s do it, then”. We went home and got pots and pans out and came up with that first formula with a little help from someone else. We had a few ingredients that we wanted to use that we knew had been used before. We got a nice, unique formula made, got a bunch of jars, had labels made for them – it all happened very quickly. Next thing we knew, there were rave reviews on forums all over the world. It just blew up.” His products also include a cow horn comb, which he demonstrates. They are typically designed from the horn of the cow, and do not cause any friction when running through hair.

I ask him how he went from mixing pomade in pots and pans to his latest discovery, and whether it was done via his Facebook group. Daimon tells me, “It’s just hard work, really, but social media does play a part. We had a couple of really good reviews in America. We had a particular guy called The Pump that is well-known in the states and divides a lot of opinions on products like it. Then, we started a Facebook group called Everything Pomade. It’s got thousands and thousands of followers now – I just can’t believe it. People from all over the world come together and talk about their hair grease. Not that we started it or anything, but people started making their own versions of things from home and they were making these really amazing products that never have the financial backing to make it big.” Considering the regulations and testing required, Daimon admits he was in the right spot.

 

As for education, Daimon has plans for the future. “My partners and I are close to moving down under, and I’d like to perhaps set up some sort of academy or a nice shop where I can do some really nice things. There’s definitely a scope for it. We’ve done great things with this shop, and I really want it to continue on. The thing is, with New Zealand and Australia, I noticed that there’s a lot of good ideas and a lot of good people, but they don’t execute their ideas in the right sort of way. The branding is kind of off point, but the opportunity is there. You have to think of yourself as a consumer, I suppose.”

 

And what is Daimon liking about the industry, at the moment? “There’s a lot of things I like about it, really. It’s amazing to see so many incredibly talented people on Instagram and whatnot – they inspire me to carry on doing what I’m doing. It’s a bit overkill in some areas, though. There’s a lot of crap going on as well.”

Asked about said crap, he explains, “I think the whole “masculine” attitude sucks. Maybe I’m a feminist, I don’t know, but I can’t stand behind the idea of barbershops being only for men or barbering being only for men. I want to see things merge and for the lines to blur a bit more, because it’s not just male and female, its race as well. I’m not seeing enough white barbers doing Afro hair, I’m not seeing enough Afro barbers doing white hair – I want to see more of that, more merging. It’s 2016.”

 

Daimon recently went down the American taper route. I ask him why he felt the need to do this. “I didn’t want to use Super Tapers anymore. They’re just not powerful enough. I like being able to have a kit that I can do different things with. I need something that does bulk work, and just an arsenal of a toolkit that does everything. I read a lot of things, particularly about the Andis Masters, which I’ve always loved because you can do a ton of techniques on the clippers. Everybody in America uses them, and I’ve always wanted a pair. I got some of them off of your good self, Larry, and I’ve been using them ever since.” I ask if he feels as if they have upped his game, and he tells me, “Definitely. Since then, I’ve customized my kit to get the best out of every piece that I use. There are still some things I want, and I think I’ll continue collecting things because, if you’re passionate about barbering in general, it is good to have a knowledge of different kits and tools.”

 

I was flipping through a Belmont Maker’s brochure recently, and saw that Daimon had actually been featured. Daimon also tells me that they’ve gone on to make a video. I ask Daimon why he felt Belmont chose him to be a part of their marketing, and he gives me a fantastic answer. “Because we’re just awesome, basically. A client of mine, his partner works with Belmont, she saw the shop and was really impressed with the way it looks. They got a whole camera crew in and did a day’s shoot. They’ve done this really beautiful video that tells the story about our shop – you should check that out through Belmont’s Twitter and Facebook feeds. They basically used to champion their UK market, which is obviously very flattering.”

 

He also talks about a pop-up shop event that he and his crew did awhile aho. “We did a thing for CalAid, which was for the refugee crisis in Calais. We put a chair in Copeland Park while the buses rolled in and cut hair for donations. We’d like to do more of that this summer, maybe get some DJs in on Saturdays. We’re big on our music here.”

 

And what is next for Daimon? “I think what is next for me is adventures in other lands. Priorities first: family first and then we’ll think about a decent scale project down under, I think.” With a thank for you for his time, I bid farewell to this enterprising barber who lives the barber life in all new ways.

 

 

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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BarberNV: Barber Of The Month – Baldy’s Interview With Larry

I’m here with a barber that needs no introduction, but I’ll introduce him anyways: Baldy of Baldy’s Barbers, multi-shop owner and international educator for Andis, as well as nominee for Barber of the Month for BarberNV. With his impressive resume, I wanted to get the latest on his story since our interview last year. Needless to say, he does not disappoint.

 

Our conversation first turns to registration of barbers within the UK. Baldy is one of few barbers who has joined the #get registered movement, and is indeed state registered. I ask him about his experience with state registration, and feelings towards UK barbers being unregulated, at present. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be associated to something. I think for someone like me that has no qualifications, I think it’s ideal to be registered somewhere, to have an association behind you. I think it’s good that your clients can come in, and go, “Alright! They’re state registered.” At some point, it’d be nice if the various associations could merge together and make it more compulsory. I don’t see why a representative from each couldn’t form a board.”

 

“The reactions I got in America, when I told them that there are no regulations in the UK, well, they honestly saw it as a bit weird. Out there, you have to have a barber license for barbering, then you have stylists, who can’t use an open razor because they aren’t licensed to do it. You tell them that anyone can open a barber shop, which is both good and bad, and they obviously have a lot of questions. As for the criteria I would suggest, I would think proof that you’d been in the industry six years or longer would suffice – older blokes would get grandfathered in. When they’re starting school, newcomers will know they need to be pre-registered. That gives people enough time to get themselves in the right mindset.”

 

“The industry is fantastic,” he continues. “For someone like me to go out to New York or IBS – it was something that I dreamt about doing when I was young. For us, we get to use fantastic gear, the best equipment that there is, and I get to tell my story. You put a part of yourself into everything that you do: career, education, dreams, and everyday life. The more people that want to listen, the more I’m going to tell them.”

 

The conversation transitions to his international UK presentation in New York featuring himself and Keiron. “Since we’ve been with Andis, which was a year ago, it’s been quite action packed. We’ve done lots of different events, presentations and appearances in the UK, and I was asked to do a live interview at Barber UK last year on the BBA stage. I said, “Yeah, I’ll do it. I’ve done worse.” Keiron, my stage partner, came up with me and we absolutely smashed it. We literally came off the stage to Karen, the vice president of Andis, waving us over to ask us if we fancied doing America next year. We said sure, and thought nothing of it. As the years went on, though, it got to the point where it was starting to look like going to New York was becoming a reality. We had a choice: either Orlando or New York. In hindsight, I’m glad we chose New York. We had such a great reception from people. We had people coming up and say, “Oh, I know who you are!” It was strange, but so fantastic. Actually took the opportunity to swap numbers with some really cool people. I was at the Andis stand with Keiron, and across from us was the Layrite stand where Julius was. Julius, an extremely well known barber, and the even more famous Donnie Hawley, was demoing the Layrite product line. It was super exciting to see and chat with them a bit.”

 

I remind Baldy of our trip to ground zero on his off time, and he recalls looking up at the sky scrapers and thinking “I’m just a barber.” It was an awe-inspiring moment, and absolutely worth being a part of our discussion. “That’s the thing. We’re barbers,” he explains. “You’ve got to stay grounded, because this is my everyday job. I come here every day, and I charge twelve pound fifty to walk in my door and go, “There you go, mate. There’s a nice haircut, thanks very much, and see you in a few weeks”.

 

Baldy has been barbering for thirty years, which I feel is a big part in why he has been nominated for BarberNV’s Barber of the Month; it is hard to stack that kind of experience. As I tell him about the time he has clocked, I explain: “To get a degree it takes three or four years. To become a professor, it takes eight years. You, must be a grand professor in your game, and as much as you have to stay grounded, you have to think about your experience. You know how to market a business. You know to keep a customer happy, and you know when they have problems.”

“That’s part of my everyday life, and it helps that we treat our shop a bit like a stage” Baldy replies. “It’s the same when we go on stage. We go up there, and tell the audience, “We’re going to bring you into the barbershop.”  People will associate with it, and they’ll know that’s what it is like in the shop. We go on that basis and then chuck in some technical knowhow; little things like that. When I came off the stage once, I spoke to Simon Shaw, who told me, “Do you know what I really liked? It is like a barber shop. It’s a good concept the way you do things.””

 

Since the last time I spoke with Baldy, he has visited the London School of Barbering on several occasions.  From his time there, he reveals, “I think what they do down there is great. The ability that they teach to people over a short period of time is fantastic, and it’s good for us to go down and see what other people are doing. I like that they get guest barbers in. I’ve changed the way I’m cutting after going new places and seeing how others are doing it. I’ve watched Danny Arborin, who was an ambassador on stage for Andis at IBS, for some time and the way they do their fades with a slightly softer look is really cool – I’ve started cutting my own fades more like that. The blurry fades are softer, whereas waves might be a bit sharper. I honestly think it depends on how high you are wanting to go, so the transition from, say, the temples downwards. We do a thing called the skull fade, which everyone knows about by now. We would ordinarily take it up quite high – that’s our thing, that’s how we do things. We leave a slight wave line in it, and it starts lower and builds up. It leaves a heavier shadow on the templates, and you get a sharper look, more contrast.”

 

What is next for Baldy, I ask, curious to see what the Andis educator will be up to. “Right now, I’m just going with the flow. There’s certain companies I want to work more with. If people contact me to do something, and it’s feasible, then I’ll probably do it. I love the pop-up barber shop stuff, and I love doing commercial week.  I have some other stuff in the pipeline.” Curious fans should be advised to keep an eye on his Instagram @baldysbarbers for exciting news, and possible product presentations down the line.

 

As for his parting advice to those who want to reach the same place he has out there, Baldy advices: You have to work at things, get good at what you do, first. Contact people in your industry, go and work with others that you can learn from, or who are doing similar things. It’s not about the money. It’s about getting to where you need to be. Pick up knowledge where you can, and get yourself out there. It won’t happen overnight, but keep at it and you’re sure to get somewhere.” With that, I thank him for his time. It is easy to see why BarberNV nominated him – Baldy is a truly inspiring barber, and I know many are excited to see what he will do next.

 

For more information, you can email me at: info@larrythebarberman.com

 

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5 Lazy Barbers Hair Clipper Hacks That Will Change Your Barberlife

This is Larry the Barberman of barbers.tv coming at you with my five favorite hacks for getting the maximum performance out of your hair clippers with minimal tools and minimal time. As barbers, we all have those lazy days where dragging out the massive tool kits and disassembling our hair clippers just seems like a drag. Thumbs up from everyone who can agree with that statement!

Hack 1:

My first lazy hack, my favorite one: do you find there are times where you need to get the blade clean on your hair clippers and trimmers, but you can’t be bothered to get out a screwdriver to remove the blades from the trimmer or clipper. If that is the case, this simple hack is for you. All you need is some sanitation spray, some clipper oil, a pipe cleaner and a hairbrush of your choice.

 

Once you have all of those items, all you need to do is first brush down your hair clipper or trimmer on the front or sides to remove all of the loose hair. After that, get the pipe cleaner and fold it in half to double the cleaning area. On the side of your clipper, or trimmer, you will notice that there is a gap between the cutting blade and the common blade. Insert the pipe cleaner here and drop it slightly so that it can also clean the bottom. Move that in and out of the blades to get them properly clean. After you’ve done that, remove the pipe cleaner, and reach for the sanitation spray. First, turn on the clipper or trimmer, and spray the top as well as down the sides. What that does is sanitize the inside of the blade, and it also removes and loose hair that the pipe cleaner might have missed. Once you’ve done that, use your bed of tissues to wipe down the excess lubrication and sanitation spray. Turn on the hair clipper or trimmer once more and place some of the blade oul to the right, center and to the left so that the oil doesn’t run down into the actual unit. When you are done, just wipe off any excess oil and you’re done! That’s why it is my favorite – simple and clean.

Hack 2:

On to my second favorite lazy hack. Have you ever been to the USA, purchased some US hair clippers or trimmers, and then plugged them into a standard transformer (as shown in the video) only to experience a horrific noise. These transformers are 240 volts to 110 volts with a 40 hertz cycle, thus they are losing out on their full performance. All you need to do is plug it into a Frequcny60hz converter, which basically converts the UK and European voltage of 230 to 240 volts down to 120 volts, with a 60 hertz cycle; essentially making it as if you had plugged it directly into a US power outlet. Seamless performance and a perfect purring noise without the hassle of transformers – what could be better?

Hack 3:

Do you sometimes find that your hair clipper or trimmer has issues with the power cutting out intermittently, and just a simple bit of pressure from your thumb on the power switch makes it come alive again? Fortunately, this hack is very simple. All you need is some tissue, which you can see in the video I have used to create a soft bed underneath the affected clipper. You will also need some contact cleaner, a screwdriver, and a standard Phillips screwdriver. With those in hand, let’s get started.

 

First and foremost, in the case of the Wahl Senior I am using, we need to remove three screws. I recommend having a corrugated rubber mat so you do not lose your screws. With the front casing removed, we now have access to the switch. What we then do is just pop the switch out. Please ensure that the power is off. Now, these switches can often get clogged from dirt in between the switch. What you want to do now is use the contact cleaner and blast out all the hair and dirt that may have gotten lodged in between the conductor, which stops the clipper or trimmer from working effectively. What I do is pull the switch to either the left or right first and put the straw from the contact cleaner in the opposite side of the switch before giving it a good few blasts. You’re going to no doubt see hair and dirt coming out. Flip the switch to the other side and repeat this process. Just a tissue to wipe up the excess and we can move on to the next step.

Once that is done, simply pop the switch back into position. You want to make sure that it sits in the housing correctly, and is nice and snug. Once it is in, put the belly back on your clipper and, once the housing is back on, we can plug in the clipper and turn it on. I recommend letting a good five minutes elapse , but you will see that that clipper or trimmer is now running nice and smooth, no matter how much you wiggle the switch.

Hack 4:

 

            This one is for folks who persistently find that the lever arm is loose on their: Wahl Super Taper, Wahl Senior, Wahl Icon or any other Wahl that has the same shape as the aforementioned. All you need to do to remedy this problem is gather: a Philips screwdriver, some cotton swabs, contact cleaner, and (optionally) a hair blower.

 

First, we need to loosen the screw and set it aside. What I want to do now with the hair blower is basically blast out the hole, as shown in the video, to free any loose debris that may be lodged inside of the frame.

Second, we will want to use the contact cleaner, which is an alcohol based cleaner, to blade the inside of the hole to get any remaining dirt or debris. Just insert the straw and blast away. Now, we know that the contact is clean. Half the reason that this inconsistent power issue happens is due to loose fillings occasionally getting lodged in the area during the manufacturing process. The objective of this hack is basically to put a strong lock on the device so that it doesn’t happen again.

Now, we use the cotton swab to, again, clean out all of the area so we are sure there is no grease or anything still clinging on. Next, we’ll want to reach for the thread locker. Thread locker is basically a glue for screws and threads to lock. Well reach for the screw and the lever, and do a simple application of the thread locker by putting one line of it across the thread. With that done, we’ll put the thread locker screw back in.

Coming to the actual lever, you will notice that there is a notch. This notch needs to be lined up with the female notch, which is in the lever itself. First, we need to find it, as you can see in the video. Once you’ve found it, you basically start gently screwing it in with fairly firm pressure and slow movements. Afterwards, have a quick check that the lever is working: you’ll know that the female thread has met the male thread when all is good, so just give it one last tighten and then let it stand to dry. I recommend five to six minutes, and then you are good!

Hack 5:

 

            My finale lazy hack is just a little trick to tighten the tension in your hair clipper or trimmer to increase the performance. If you have clients complain that their hair is being pulled, especially when you are using the Wahl Senior, Super Taper, or Icon, even though you know the blades are sharp, than this hack is for you. Nine times out of ten, it is caused by the tension being off. When I say tension, I mean how tightly the top blade is pressed to the bottom: too tight and the blades will not move. Too loose and the performance will be impaired. Fortunately, this is an easy hack.

 

All you need for this hack is a Phillips screwdriver. Again, I would recommend doing all of this on a corrugated rubber mat for the sake of your screws. Once the casing is off, I’m just going to give the inside a basic clean – it’s always a good idea when you have your clipper or trimmer open. As you can see in the video, I just bring the sponge back. Now, to increase the tension of this clipper without undoing the rest of it, the hack is very simple.

This particular clipper is the Wahl Senior. You can see in the video which part is the belly and which part is the back. What you want to do is lie the clipper on its back. You can see in the video that there is a metal stump. What you want to do is use your thumb to pull it back slightly, until you feel a tiny bend and the metal arm attached to it. It’s as simple as that. That will give you a tension kick. Once you’ve felt it bend slightly, replace your blade as well as your common blade.

 

What’ve we done is pulled the stump up so that the cutting blade is more tightly squeezed to the cutting blade. This is a common problem that, fortunately, has an easy fix. In one of my other videos, I’ll go through the full procedure for increasing the tension, as it is a lot more involved than what I’ve shown you here.

 

This is the fifth and final hack from Larry the Barberman for lazy barbers out there. Utilize them and your barbering game is sure to improve!

 

If you enjoyed this tutorial, 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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