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Booksy’s Stefan Batory is Boosting Barbers’ Business, Easing Their Stress and Changing Their Lives. Not bad for a Late-Night Long-Distance Runner!

Barbers are over the world are getting to know Booksy, the mobile app that’s changing the business and, according to CEO and co-founder Stefan Batory, improving the professional and personal lives of business owners, independent contractors, and shop employees.

I’ve encountered many successful barbers who swear by Booksy, so I jumped at the chance to meet with Stefan at the Booksy home office in Poland recently.

Fascinating fact: Booksy would not be happening at all if Stefan wasn’t a late night long-distance runner.

Because of his business schedule, Stefan told me his running work outs happen late at night, “sometimes even after midnight.”

“If I feel something is not OK, that I need physiotherapy, it is too late to call for an appointment, and the therapist is not returning text messages at that hour,” he explained. “Often, he would have something available first thing in the morning, but I had no way of knowing that. So,  I missed out on seeing him and he missing out on filling that early appointment.”

“Even when I called during work hours, a therapist works with his hands, and it is not possible to answer the phone, respond to texts or keep up on emails in real time.”

“It seemed to me there must be a solution for this.”

The Booksy idea was born.

In the simplest terms, Booksy is a mobile app that allows clients to book their own appointments on their smart phones at any time in a matter of moments.  For the customer, that’s maximum convenience.  For the barber, it means no more dealing with missed phone calls, late text responses or lost emails. The Booksy monthly subscription model is also much simpler for barbers than paying a percentage of sales, as some booking apps require.

It all means a huge reduction in barber stress and hassle, Stefan says, and a big boost to the bottom line.

“If a client cancels a few hours or even an hour before the appointment, someone can book that last minute availability through the app.  Barbers tell me before using Booksy they had empty chairs on Friday and Saturday, even if they were super successful. They just could not keep up with the phone calls and the text messages. But the second they started using Booksy, that stopped being a problem.  People could change their times and dates and book appointment themselves.”

For customers, no more waiting for a barber to get back. For the barber, no more time spent chasing down all those messages.

“So we not only took the stress out of their lives but the fill rate became much higher because people could check in on their phones at the last minute and say, ‘Oh, he is available in 20 minutes,’ and book it.”

Success has followed this simple yet groundbreaking idea.  Booksy has more than 5,000 clients and has raised millions in capital markets to continue to develop and expand.

Their growing client base means Booksy has amassed original usage data that reveals previously unknown insights all barbers should be aware of.

For example, using the million-plus  appointments made using Booksy each month,  “we noticed 60% of appointments come outside of working hours, which proves people like to book appointments at night or super early,” Stefan says.” That changes business dramatically because, before Booksy, they were unable to make those appointments.”

“We also have the data to prove that people who switch to self-booking with Booksy increase the frequency of their visits by as much as 10 to 30 percent. The client who used to call you 8 or ten times a year now comes twelve or fourteen times a year. This is great because everyone knows it is much easier and cheaper to give your current clients better service than to acquire new clients.”

“What surprised us was that before Booksy, barbers not only missed out on business but also got hurt by cancellations or reschedules because they could not respond quickly.  So barbers would stay in their shops and wait for clients who never showed up. Booksy solves that, too. It’s easy for clients to cancel, it shows up on your calendar immediately, and it opens up a slot for someone else. The barber never has to get involved.”

Another unique feature is the merchant-facing software, which among other things keeps track of point of sale, which helps when calculating commissions and making other personnel and marketing decisions.

I was curious why Stefan chose to focus on barbers. He assured me Booksy was working with hair stylists, therapists, personal trainers, even doctors, and dentists, but there was indeed something about barbering that made us an attractive industry.

“Barbers work with their hands,” he told me.  “Anyone who works with their hands understands that it’s impossible to answer the phone, keep up with emails or respond to texts.”

“More barbers still use pen and paper whereas hair salons have been using management software for years, not necessarily for appointments but for back-office management.  It’s more difficult for them to switch over to Booksy.”

“We designed Booksy as a mobile-first app, and because we knew barbers making appointments manually don’t usually have computers in the shop, they were the perfect niche for the service.”

I shared with Stefan stories I have heard from barbers all over who love Booksy’s popularity with customers and its capability to remove stress from a barber’s daily work life. I had even met a barber who told me that until Booksy came along, he was ready to leave the business due to the stress of customer management.

‘People say it is magic,” he laughs. “They tell me, ‘I don’t do anything, and Booksy does the job, booking clients, handling cancellations and reschedulings, communicates with my clients. I can focus on barbering.’”

“We get messages all the time about this, how Booksy is not only about revenue, but we are helping change lifestyles.”

“One of the best stories I heard was a barber in the US who wrote, ‘Thank you, Booksy, for helping me to have a healthier lifestyle. Before Booksy, I had a lunch break but never had time to eat because I had to reply to emails and messages and phone calls. But now, I have 30 minutes to relax and enjoy lunch.”

“Many barbers are very artistic,” he adds, “They are doing administrative work not because they love it but just because they have to.  Part of what I love about Booksy is we are taking stuff that is not directly involved with their passion and doing it for them. Their life is easier and their work more enjoyable. They can focus on what they do best.”

That’s a real life changer!

Booksy is constantly developing, but Stefan says they are careful not to complicate the app, since ease of use is one of the keys to its popularity. “Of our 5,000 cents, almost all of them set it up themselves, and it took just two or three minutes,” he says proudly.

We will all need to stay tuned because, though is isn’t quite ready to reveal details, Stefan is close to announcing major partnerships with large internet service companies and social media giants that will make Booksy even more attractive to barbers and clients alike.

On behalf of barbers everywhere, I say “Keep on running, Stefan!”

I enjoyed our visit, and I am grateful for the time this very busy man found for me. I think this information is beneficial to all my followers and I hope you will give it serious thought and SHARE my blog or video with your friends. Perhaps it can change your life, too.

Til next time, 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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Best 3 Corded Professional Hair Clipper Review With, Harry Pirate

If there’s one man in the business that knows his stuff as far as clippers are concerned then it’s Harry Pirate; he loves getting into the technical details of different tools as much as I do – and that’s why I wanted to bring you Harry’s knowledge for this review of our three favourite corded clippers.

The importance of getting the right clippers for your needs can’t be overstated: without great clippers, even the best barbers struggle to make great cuts. That’s why professionals like Harry, who runs the Pirates Barber Shop in Bromley, spend so much time investigating what different products can do… and it’s why I’ve decided to use this space to pull together reviews of three top corded tools, so that you can be sure you have power and precision behind your cuts.

We’ve split our line-up into three categories, looking at our favourite trimmer, mid-range clipper and bulk-busting heavy duty clipper, so if there’s a gap in your collection then hopefully we’ll be able to give you some pointers on choosing the right clipper to bring into your collection.

 

Clipper Pick #1: The Andis T Outliner

No surprises here: the Andis T Outliner has a wonderful reputation to match its incredible performance. Harry isn’t shy about admitting that he has fallen in love with Andis tools recently, getting to grips with their guard system and really enjoying the quality of the tools that they put out. Even among this crowd of great tools though, the T Outliner stands out as something special:

“Every barber around the world knows how amazing this trimmer is; that’s why everyone uses it.  The power, the cut, the ergonomics, the toughness… everything about it is 10 out of 10. I’ve used the Wahl detailers, I’ve used the Andis Superliners and they’re fine but these to me are brilliant.

I know a lot of people cut the top off, they skeletonise it, and that’s because they do run a little bit hot. But you just can’t rival the quality of these lines: If you want crisp lines, get a T Outliner. The great thing about these is that you don’t need the converter anymore – obviously, the converter is great because it allows you to explore different clippers and raise your game – but now these come with the convenience an English plug, and they’re just as powerful: it’s the same clipper, the same motor.”

There are a few other factors that make this tool stand out, too:

  • A bigger surface area with the blade means that it takes fewer strokes to get the cut you want.
  • The rocker switch is well positioned so that you can’t accidently hit it while you’re cutting, and as a barber who has to be thinking about regular, daily use this is something that makes a big difference to Harry. When you’re looking for a clipper that will be used in a busy barbershop, these little details are essential.
  • The T Outliner also has a good weight to it: a nice, solid build without being so big that it becomes awkward or cumbersome.

One final thing to note is the fact that you can also get a Blackout model, which is very similar but with a few key differences that make Harry describe it as “the upgrade model”. These do still need a converter, and come out of the box already zero gapped, with a flat blade that gets a much closer finish but is also a lot less forgiving.

Harry Pirate’s Score Out of 10: “I’ve not used a better corded clipper. I’m going to have to give it a 10. I’m going to have to!”

Clipper Pick #2: Wahl Legends

The Wahl Legends are great corded clippers with a magnetic motor. Wahl’s motors are strong and reliable – not to mention powerful – which means that they make for a great all-round, everyday clipper.

Another thing that has really won Harry over is Wahl’s blade system: “The Wahl blade technology is second to none – they’ve got the crunch blade, the stagger blade, the surgical blade, the bevelled blade – they’ve got around 5 different blades. I prefer this to a lot of the other similar clippers that are available from other brands; I love the ergonomics and it definitely looks good too – which is important for making a good impression.”

With the Wahl Legends, you’ll be benefiting from the crunch blade, which gives sumptuous texture as you cut and really sets it apart from other mid-range clippers, letting it do a lot of the hard work for you.

Harry Pirate’s Score Out of 10: “As an umbrella rating I’d give this 7/10 – and that covers the super taper, the magic clip corded and the other similar models from Wahl too, you can’t go wrong with any of them.”

Before moving onto the final category, I’m also going to sneak in a quick honourable mention, a great all-rounder that Harry was keen to highlight and awarded an impressive 8/10. This is the BaByliss Pro Super: “a lot of people don’t know it but it has been gaining credibility over the past year or so. It’s completely metal, no plastic casing, and well-built – great switch placement. It uses a pivot motor rather than the magnetic motor. This means that there’s no loss of power, and although I know it’s considered that a rotary motor is the most powerful, I always find this pivot to be particularly powerful. They say that this is the highest speed motor on the market, and whether that’s true or not it’s an absolute beast. A lot of top barbers have turned onto this and love it.”

Clipper Pick #3: Oster ‘97

This is the real bulk-buster, and Harry wastes no time before he starts gushing about everything from the build quality to the power behind it:

“It’s a lightsabre, just look at it! I feel like Luke Skywalker when I hold it. It’s sick. This is a UK plug, you don’t need a converter, and it will stick to your hand – you’re never going to drop it. The power is unrivalled: there’s a rotary motor and also a detachable blade so you can use Andis and Wahl blades as well as Oster blades. I love these clippers. This is the tool for cutting a lot of hair down, and I wouldn’t use anything else!”

Harry also tells me that he’s even seen the Oster ’97 hanging up in vets’ clinics, because it’s so powerful that it can take down the thick dog hair. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about the power behind these tools then I don’t know what will!

Harry Pirate’s Score Out of 10: “As a rotary, corded clipper these get 9/10; the only thing I don’t like about it is that it’s got a couple of funky little ergonomic design features that I don’t really like.”

 

I hope that these reviews help you find better clippers for your own barbering career: just remember, barbering tools are very personal so it pays to experiment and find what works for you. Harry’s YouTube channel is an excellent resource, where he gives his fair and honest opinions about everything he loves and everything he’s not so keen on. And remember, Harry Pirate doesn’t work as an ambassador for any of these brands, so you can trust his thoughts to be impartial.

There are also clipper reviews and advice for getting the most out of your tools on my channel YouTube channel at Barbers.tv, as well as on my Instagram and Facebook pages – just look for Larry the Barber Man. Drop by and let me know which barbering tools you couldn’t live without!

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/products.php?product=Andis-T%252dOutliner-T%252dBlade-Trimmer-%28UK-Plug%29

http://shop.larrythebarberman.com/products.php?product=OSTER-97-HEAVY-DUTY-CLIPPER-240-volts

http://shop.larrythebarberman.com/products.php?product=Wahl-Legends-5-Star-Series-Hair-Clipper-With-Preminum-Guides-%28240v%29

 

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Turn Your Andis U S Pro Li Into a Mean Fading Machine Quick & Easy

My latest tutorial is all about getting more from the Andis USProLi clipper. In general, this is already a great tool with a great battery life and really good cutting power – however I’ve heard from some barbers who’ve found that the bevelled blade isn’t giving them what they need. While bevelled blades are quite versatile and can be very forgiving depending on your cutting style, it is less ideal if you do a lot of fading and, in particular, won’t take out the balding line for a skin fade. So, what can you do to make this clipper work for you?

My recommendation is changing the blade, fitting the ‘66255’ surgical blade that’s used for the gold US Fade clipper. The key difference between the two is that, where the bevelled blade has a 45degree angle, the surgical blade is completely flat which allows you to take out the balding line. It also makes it easier to do a 90degree angle – and also makes it somewhat similar to the Wahl Magic Clip tool.

All you’ll need is a Phillips screwdriver: the first step is to take out the two screws at the top. I recommend working using a matt or towel underneath the clipper, as this will help you keep the screws safe. Once you’ve taken the blade off, start by replacing the blade mount, with the flat side facing away from you and the grooves lined up with the clipper’s spindle and wires. Then position the cutting blade on top, making sure that there’s a small gap between the blade mount and the cutting blade. Finally, replace the fixed blade: apply some pressure to it so that it springs down, and replace the screws.

It’s important not to zero gap the clipper at this stage; instead, secure the screws tightly to fix the blade in place, and then loosen them again – but only very slightly. At this point you can zero gap your tool, making sure that the distance from the left and right is equal, and leaving a gap of around 5 strands of hair between the cutting blade and the fixed blade – otherwise you’ll end up cutting your clients! Finally, you need to tighten the screws up, very gently at first and then, once it’s secure, apply some more pressure.

This will give you more range, excellent 90degree angles, and allow you to knock out those balding lines. Just remember to keep your bevelled blade safe, so that if you’re not getting along with surgical blade you can always change it back! If you found this post helpful then please don’t forget to like and subscribe on my YouTube, Instagram and Facebook and make sure you don’t miss out on any upcoming barbering tricks.

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Barbering All-Stars Show Tips On How To Cut Short Hair

Learning how to cut short hair can be difficult when it comes to making a transition from hairdresser to barber can be difficult. Even those who are learning how to cut short hair as general barbers usually can have a bit of trouble initially.

With those in the fashion industry demanding more and more intricate styles, it is important to keep up ones’ skills so cutting any style of hair becomes more natural. Whether it is knowing the step-by-step process or the right arsenal of equipment to handle anything thrown your way, continuing education is important.

Fortunately, I now have the opportunity to present educational DVDs that have been made with those in mind who are looking for a perfect way to learn quickly and easily. The success that has been seen already is a thing of beauty.

For more information on these fantastic DVDs and other resources for those wanting to up their skills, check out:  “http://shop.larrythebarberman.com/education/”http://shop.larrythebarberman.com/education/ and, as always, check out my Instagram for more events, information and even give-aways here:  “https://instagram.com/larrythebarberman”https://instagram.com/larrythebarberman.

 

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help close Best Of British Barber Expo: Debreif With Organisers Adam Sloan and Davie Walker

 

 

I headed to the first ever Best of British Barbering Convention to check out what promised to be an informative day full of networking opportunities and informative stage displays… and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. A full day of educational events featuring some of the biggest barbers in Britain today – including Josh Lamonaca, Sam Wall, Paul Mac Special and Baldy – this was a great opportunity for younger, up and coming barbers to learn from their heroes.

The setting itself was also exceptional, as the event was based at the Surgeons’ Hall, a place steeped in history; this was where the barber-surgeons of the 18th Century and beyond would have gone to practice their trade. Now, the space is more focussed on the medical side of this old career, so it was great to see barbering have the chance to bring the space to life.

I also took the opportunity to meet with the organisers, Davie Walker and Adam Sloan to find out more about their vision behind the event. Both men were keen to focus on what the event could bring to young barbers – highlighting the inclusion of contests such as the Rising Star competition and the Apprentice Barber of the Year. As Davie tells me, this was an excellent opportunity for young barbers to have their turn on the stage.

For Davie, this was underpinned by one key focus for the event: education. The idea was that everybody who attended would be able to take something new away with them by the end of the day; Adam adds that they were keen to see something a bit different on stage, inviting barbers that offered something a little bit outside of the box.

With so many big barbering events taking place at the moment, it’s really nice to see Scotland getting it’s turn in the limelight, and the event also allowed Adam and Davie to launch the Scottish Barber of the Year contest, which will run alongside similar competitions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Adam sees these events as being both “inspirational” and “aspirational”, and as an attendee myself that was certainly the vibe that I picked up throughout the day.

So what’s next for the team behind the Best of British Barber Expo? Well, it’s still too early to say – however if you check out their Facebook page then you’ll see that they’re already teasing a 2017 event which is sure to be just as informative and exciting as this year’s expo. And, with so much great networking going on throughout the day, we may well see other projects spring up – which would certainly be no bad thing.

So for everybody who’s interested in seeing how the barbering industry develops over the next few years, my best advice would be to keep an eye on what these guys are up to – they’re keen to be a driving force behind pushing the industry forward. In the meantime, I’d love to see you on YouTube, Instagram or Facebook, where you’ll find a lot more barbering news, as well as reviews of the latest clippers and interviews with barbering stars. You can also get in touch with me at any time, by heading over to my online contact page.

 

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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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Barber Chris Moon Of Kutz Barbershop Newcastle Talks Barbering…

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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How To Mix Barbercide Correctly

I am coming at you today with some more Barberman tips and tricks – this time, to show you how to mix Barbicide solution. Barbicide, for those who don’t know, is an essential part of every barbershop environment to ensure that hygiene is kept solid and cross-contamination is stopped.

On this particular day, we are going to discuss mixing nine-hundred and forty-six milliliters of Barbicide, which requires fifty-nine milliliters of neat Barbicide itself. There are a few things to keep in mind:

Firstly, when we finish mixing the Barbicide, the colour of it should be the same color as the rubber ring (demonstrated in the video) at the bottom of the jar. That ring is not there just for fun, it is to help in color coding your Barbercide.

Second, once the Barbercide is actually mixed, your: brushes, combs, razor and other equipment will need to be immersed in the solution for at least ten minutes for the solution to be effective.

 

In the video, I have premeasured nine-hundred and forty-six milliliters of water to pour into our mixing jar; this is cold water, mind. Once poured, it will roughly come up to the point of the jar as a reference for our measurement. In the video, I am using measuring jugs. However, that is not always necessary in a barbershop environment. If I remove the lid from the solution, which is a four-hundred and seventy-four milliliter of Barbicide neat, you can use the lid as a measuring cup. That would mean six dips with the lid, plus a little drop for good measure, in this case. That’s a little ninja Barberman trick – another crazy barbering hack from the crazy Barberman!

 

After our measuring and mixing, you can see that the color of the Barbicide in the video accurately matches the ring at the bottom. Now, you can throw in all of your equipment that is in need of cleaning – remember to leave them in the solution for ten minutes, and rinse them with cold water once they are pulled out until you get a bit of tissue, and then dry your equipment off. With that, you’re good to go!

 

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

 

Barbercide –  Instagram

In this tutorial, I show you my simple tips and tricks – along with a ninja Barberman hack – for properly mixing Barbercide, an important component in any barbershop environment.

I’d also like to invite you to check out more interviews, tutorials and content on my YouTube channel at: www.barbers.tv as well as check out my Facebook page at:

http://www.facebook.com/larrythebarberman pages for other free barbering content. You can also email me at info@larrythebarberman.com

 

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Talks About Barbering Autisic Children And Raising Awarness

 

Sitting down with James Williams of Jim the Trim in Wales, I look to get a bit of backstory and learn about his amazing charity endeavors as well. Jim got started at the age of seventeen, not knowing exactly what he wanted to do. After working with his mentor Emanuel Lewis, he realized he had a knack for barbering. He works in the style of a generalist, keeping up with fashion and trying to learn more about barbering every day.

               What makes Jim a cut above the rest is his charity that is dedicated to providing a barbershop environment friendly towards children on the autistic spectrum. He gained a large amount of support after his success with an autistic boy named Mason reached the news, and has since been doing all he can to make it so barbers across the board can help his cause. Whether it is getting more barbers on board or teaching them how to make their barbershops autism friendly, Jim intends to continue his quest, both by raising money with the cuts he does to put back into places and charities that help autistic children develop their skills as well as spreading the word. His shop is open on Sunday and takes five to six appointments for children on the autistic spectrum.

For those interested in reaching out to Jim or joining his cause, he is more than open to people either donating money or their talent.

How can barbers reach Jim to help his cause:

•             Facebook: James Williams

•             Email: jim@jimthetrim.co.uk

•             Instagram: jtt_jimtrim_barber,

•             Twitter: jimthetrim         

It is a fantastic cause and one that is continuing to spread, so for those interested in being a part of a great movement to make barbershops a friendlier place towards the autistic spectrum or simply giving back, don’t be strangers!

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

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