The objective of this tutorial is to show you how to power your clippers seamlessly in your country. But let’s get started with a quick science lesson to give you the basics of voltage, currents and frequency. With an understanding of these three things, you’ll have the ability to read any label on any clipper and then take the correct action to get that clipper working without any issues.
Voltage: When we want to power clippers in countries across Europe and South America, the voltage supplied will be anywhere between 220V and 240V. All of these voltages are compatible, which means that you can safely and effectively power a 220 or 230v clipper from a 240v socket or visa versa.
Current: In almost all cases, the current that is passed into the clippers is what’s known as an alternating current (AC). This means that the current is passed back and forth from positive to negative and so on. In simpler terms, you can think of it as rapidly turning on and off, multiple times per second.
Frequency: The final element to be aware of is frequency. Frequency is the number of cycles between on and off per second, referred to as hertz. In the UK, the frequency is 50Hz, which means that there are 50 cycles per second. Of course, because the electricity is moving so quickly, it creates the illusion that there is a constant supply of energy. In America, the typical voltage is 120v and the frequency is 60Hz.
Now let’s talk about some of the different tools that are available for helping you with powering your clipper. The first is a step downtransformer – this takes the voltage from 240 volts down to 110 volts. It delivers a continuous frequency of 50Hertz. The second thing is an adapter which, in simplistic terms, is a plug changer. You use the adapter to ensure that the plug on your clipper fits into the power outlet. There is no voltage change or frequency change taking place.
The final device is the frequency 60Hz converter. This device takes the voltage down from 220-240v to 110-120v and lifts the frequency from 50Hz to 60Hz. That allows your clippers to run seamlessly. With these three devices, you can power more or less any hair clipper from anywhere in the world. To show you how, I’m going to talk you through a range of different popular tools.
Andis Pro Alloy
Let’s start simply with the Andis Pro Alloy, a UK hair clipper. First and foremost, you’ll want to turn it over and check the specifications: this requires 230 volts and 50Hz. As I mentioned before, all voltage outputs between 220 and 240 will be fine. This means that you can simply plug the clipper in and go.
Wahl Super Taper
Slightly more complicated is powering the European version of the Wahl Super Taper. Once again, check the specifications – again, this shows that you’ll need 230 volts and 50Hz. The only complication here is the fact that it has a European plug, which won’t go into a UK power outlet. This means that we’ll need the adapter – and you should be able to buy an adapter for whatever type of socket used in your own country when necessary.
Andis Fade Master
With the Andis Fade Master things are slightly different: checking the specifications I can see that this clipper needs 120 volts of power with a 60Hz cycle. This means that we need to take the voltage down to stop the clipper from blowing up whilst also, ideally, bringing the frequency up.
One option would be to use the standard transformer. This will bring the voltage down, whilst still giving a 50Hz frequency. But if you do that, you’re going to hear a terrible noise coming from your clipper – check out the video to see exactly what I mean. That’s because the Fade Master has a magnetic motor, making it entirely dependent on receiving the right frequency. The alternative is to use the Frequency 60Hz converter. This will take the voltage down to 120, whilst also lifting the frequency, causing the Fade Master to run nice and smoothly, just as if you were running it from America: check out the video to see the difference for yourself!
Cordless Trimmers and Clippers
When you’re powering cordless clippers, things are slightly different. The first thing to be aware of is the fact that cordless clippers are not frequency dependent. However, you still need to be careful to ensure that you are powering them correctly.
With a Wahl Cordless Clipper, you have a strict power requirement of 120 volts. This means that you need to use a standard transformer to bring the voltage down – you can buy one which also acts as a UK to US adapter. This will charge the clipper without risk of it blowing up.
With an Andis Cordless Trimmer such as the Slimline Pro Li, the label tells you that it can run on a power supply with 100-240 volts on 50 or 60Hz. This is great because it means that you can run it successfully on any power supply across the world so long as you have the correct plug adapter. It’s also perfectly fine to still use the transformer if this is the only adapter that you have. Again, that will allow you to charge you Slimline Pro Li safely and effectively.
I hope you found this demonstration helpful! If you do have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or get in touch. The most important thing is that, now you can read the clipper’s label clearly yourself, you’ll be able to understand what any clipper’s power requirements are.
You can also take a look at this older video if you’d like to understand more about why some US clippers make that terrible racket when not powered correctly – and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for even more great tips.
From one cutthroat business to another, Harry Pirate has been a chef and a music producer in past lives – but now he’s found his calling as a barber, and the proud owner of the Pirate Barbershop in Bromley. In this interview, he tells me about how his career developed and gives advice for the next generation of barbers.
After bumping into Harry Pirate on a few different occasions, I decided it was time to get to know this passionate barber a little better. Although he has only been barbering professionally for around 3 years, he’s been cutting hair since he was 17 – although it took a few career changes before he realised that this was what he wanted to do with his life:
“So I’m a qualified chef, and I worked in all the big restaurants in town – that got really stressful and I hated it in the end, I was stressed out all the time. So I got out of that, and worked in the music industry for around 6 years as a producer, doing a lot of different stuff with a lot of affiliated musicians. I enjoyed it at first, but it felt like I was getting to a point where I was giving my whole heart to people and getting nothing back. The money dried up because more and more people were producing cheap music, and I also found that the industry in general is very dog eat dog, with a lot of fake people. I’m not that guy, so I walked away from it and never looked back”.
Having been cutting hair backstage while touring as a music producer, this was already something that Harry loved, so it seemed like the logical next step: “A, I could make more money. B, I was meeting different people every day, not stuck in the same circles of people who are just out for themselves. And C, it made me happy”. After losing inspiration with his music, this became Harry’s new outlet, and he knew that he needed to do it properly. This led Harry to go for professional qualifications at the excellent London School of Barbering.
As many of you will know, I was recently lucky enough to experience the London School of Barbering’s shaving course, and Harry seems to have had a similarly excellent experience there:
“I had a great time, and that’s where I met H, my shop manager too. I haven’t looked back. I found out I’d picked up so many bad habits; they give you a great base and after that when you go out to a barbershop you do fall back into those bad habits but with an educated mind – so you can turn bad habits into good habits. They turned me from being a barber that loved what I was doing, to being a barber that loved what I was doing”.
He adds that YouTube can also be a great tool for learning, and there are plenty of educational videos out there including everything from information about clippers to tutorials for perfecting a particular technique. If you’re interested in self-taught barbering, Harry has a video outlining some of his favourite educational YouTubers out there – and don’t forget to check out my Barbers.TV YouTube channel for tips and tricks.
On Board the Pirate Ship
Before opening the Pirate Barbershop, Harry was working at Ruffians – but although he has nothing but good things to say about the shop and his time there, it also led him to realise that he needed to do things his own way:
“It’s a great barbershop, love what they do, but it wasn’t my style of barbering, it’s more of a high-end men’s salon. “Here it’s a barbershop, it’s a man-cave. There is swearing, there is rap music playing, there are people drinking beer – it’s a pirate ship and we love it. For me personally, and my style of barbering I needed to get away and do my own thing. We’re a concept barbers, so it’s a one price service. It may be a little bit more expensive, but you get ten times more than at other barbershops in the area.”
No wonder, then, that the shop is already thriving – both with walk-ins off the street and, predominantly, with repeat clients, the true sign that any barbershop is succeeding! They’ve also been building up a range of Pirate products, with an impressive list that includes everything from beard oils and moustache toffees to hand-made soap and bristle bubbles, as well as a new cologne that is just hitting the shelves.
Harry tells me that he is trying to “create a brand rather than just a barbershop”, and he’s also doing this by running a YouTube channel which you can find here. Like me, he loves talking about clippers and gear, sharing reviews that will help other barbers find the right tools for their style of clippers. You’ll also find vlogs, as well as plenty of advice for up and coming barbers; Harry tells me that it’s geared towards people who want to get into barbering but are wondering where to start or how to improve.
Before I leave you with Harry’s words of wisdom for barbers who are new to the trade, I have to take a brief moment to share some of the gear that he loves to use – I never miss an opportunity to talk clippers, after all! After initially using Wahl tools such as the detailer and the magic clip cordless, Harry has found that he much prefers working with Andis clippers:
“Wahl stuff is great and you can do a sick fade, but I prefer Andis now: the guard system is a game changer, especially the old double magnetic guards, they’re brilliant. You can go really high with them, get a lovely transition. I found with the Wahl stuff that the fades weren’t as stretched as they can be. Personally, for my style of barbering, the Andis clippers do it – I also think the build quality is a lot better.” His kit includes the Balding Clipper, Fade Masters and Pro Foil clippers as well as a Blackout clipper and the Pro Mate Precision – both of which I was happy to pass on to Harry as a token of my appreciation for recording this great interview! The American clippers in this list are powered by my frequency 60hz converter, so if you want to try them out then that might be the missing piece of the puzzle: a converter which can power US clippers without any trouble.
So, as promised here is Harry Pirate’s excellent advice for upping your barbering game. As always, you can follow me on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook for more great content – in the meantime, take note of Harry’s wise words and put them into practice whenever you can:
“Don’t step on screws… don’t get electrocuted daily… don’t break your hand… but all jokes aside just work hard, save up money, get a loan if you need to – make it happen, and you will make money. Sort your finances out and if you want a shop just make it happen. I had a great job at Ruffians, I was at one of the greatest shops in the country: I didn’t have bundles of cash, but I made it happen. Grab it and run with it.”
Professional barber and co-owner of the MENSPIRE barbershop and brand, Josh Lamonaca spends three days with the Andis Pro Alloy clipper before inviting me into his salon to share some thoughts.
Immediately, he tells me that he’s been really impressed with its overall performance, finding it flexible, comfortable and very efficient. With these great traits in mind, we run through some of the key features that every barber will want to know about.
The Blade: Josh tells me that the blade has a bevelled edge, which means a more fluid motion as he goes in for the fade – this is one of the core features that makes the clipper so efficient.
Comfort: While the overall design is glossy, the belly of the clipper uses matt plastic and gives a firm and comfortable grip. Josh finds the clipper really easy to hold, so it won’t wear out the wrist if you’ve got a full day of haircuts ahead of you.
The Lever Arm: Not too loose and not too stiff, allowing for smooth operation.
The Power Cord: A long power cord offering plenty of strength makes this a more flexible clipper.
Guards: I also ask Josh about the guards that come in the box, and am pleased to hear that he has enjoyed working with them, finding them reliable, with the magnetic grips giving increased reliability. Throughout the three days Josh has been experimenting with these clippers, he finds the purple 0 and 1 length guards particularly useful, trying them out during his fades.
So when would Josh get the most use out of this clipper?
“This would be my go to clipper if I am travelling, or if I am at the salon or don’t have a converter available. I would use it for an afro work or Asian hair, any hair that is slightly harder to fade – I would be able to depend on the Pro Alloy to really get those zero lines out”.
A great review so far, and finally I ask him to rate the clipper out of 10 and sum up his thoughts to other barbers:
“Get one if you haven’t got one, ‘cause you’re going to need it. 9.5/10”
Sounds like a great choice then, especially for barbers who find themselves doing a lot of fade work (which seems to be the vast majority these days!). If you want more reviews, tips and interviews with expert barbers – including talented Josh Lamonaca himself, you can head to my YouTube channel; hit subscribe to stay up to date. You can also get in touch via my contact page and follow me on Instagram and Facebook for all the latest about clippers, barbering trends and more.
Meet Darren ‘Andis’ Jones, a chief educator for the renowned Andis organisation as well as a barber in his own right, and a positive force in the barbering community. I meet with Darren to find out more about his work, and hear about his most important message to others in the barbering community: stay humble.
One of the things that I was particularly interested in talking to Darren about was his work specialising in Afro-Caribbean hair. For many barbers, this is one of the most challenging aspects of the job – and many never have even had any experience trimming and chopping an afro. However, for Darren it was his starting point in the industry, and he tells me about how he started out as an apprentice on a Youth Training Scheme, learning about ladies hairdressing, and more specifically afro hairdressing.
“It was the trials and tribulations of hearing people trying to get their hair done because it was different. Everyone just had an afro and that was it, there wasn’t really any chemical process to try and mess around with the hair. It was just an afro, no short back and sides… no shape-ups, no line-ups, no patterns.
And then influence came from America, TV shows, talk show hosts, Oprah, etc. People realised that there was more to an afro than just being an afro, people that had an afro wanted a European look – so chemical straightening came in and so forth, and it went on from there.”
Now one of Darren’s big gigs is running his own relaxed workshops focussing on teaching people to work with afro hair – some of whom have never touched an afro before. He sees their initial anxiety as a fear of the unknown, but (at my insistence!) offers a simple 4 step solution to those who are cutting one for the first time:
Be honest: Tell your client that you’re not used to this style before you start!
Choose the right clipper: A magnetic clipper won’t do a good job compared to a pivot motor, since they have more power, less speed and wider teeth.
Go for the right approach: You need to comb as you cut, and approach the hair in the direction that it’s going in.
As with any cut, focus on a clean finish, neatening up all the hairlines.
I also wanted to learn more about Darren himself, and one particularly illuminating moment came when he told me about his proudest moment in barbering. This was not when he was up on stage performing at a big event like Pro Air Live, or when he first found out that he’d been given the job as an Andis representative, but when he got the chance to educate people with mental health issues, giving them a trade and a way to step back into society. He tells me that it was “so humbling”, and I quickly learn that this is Darren’s catchphrase – perfectly summing up his unassuming confidence.
Our conversation also turned to social media, something that Darren has a bit of a love hate relationship with. Social media, and particularly Instagram, have absolutely blown up in the barbering community over the past few year, and now a lot of networking between barbers from across the country, and across the globe, is done on social platforms.
We talk about sites like Instagram as a very positive force for young barbers who are starting to build their audience, but Darren also becomes quite passionate speaking against a darker tribalism, that can sometimes lead to groups of users criticising younger barbers. How do we put an end to this? Well, the answer is simple: “Be a friend to everybody”.
Finally, I want to know what Darren’s overall advice is to young people who are only just getting started. He has a straightforward answer which I hope will help many of you reading or watching: use social media to make a name for yourself, take good shots of your work, be a friend to everybody, and be polite.
Oh, and stay humble.
If you want to hear Darren’s full interview, check out the video. As well as covering all these topics in more depth, he also talks about his time as a dermatologist, what it takes to get into Andis, the styles that he’s getting excited about right now, and what to expect if you decide to book into one of his workshops.
For more videos with barbering stars like Darren check out my YouTube channel – and stay tuned to see what else I’ve got coming up! If you’d like to get in touch and find out more about my work with the Frequency60hz converter – a tool which would come in handy when cutting your first afro! – then why not head over to my contact page? You can also find me on Instagram and Facebook.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d also like to invite you to follow me on Instagram @larrythebarberman for other free barbering content. You can also email me at email@example.com
Cooling out at the Great British Barber Bash in Belfast, I get a chance to sit down with Neal and Mick from Just For Him Grooming. Being the Barberman, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get their stories and insights into the barbering industry.
Neal is up first as I ask about their inspiration and what led them into barbering. “My motivation and inspiration honestly came from being inspired by clothing, which led on to hairstyles in my younger years. I also have to give my Dad some credit, because he had seen potential in the local market for business. Business was my first idea, which led on to become a passion of barbering. It’s taken over, it’s the fastest growing industry in the world, and it’s really found its way into my heart.”
Mick adds on his own story, “I started about three years ago. I was always into doing my own hair, and other’s hair as well. Even before that, I’d spend time styling someone’s hair for them for a night or so and it sort of went from there. I literally bought a pair of hair clippers from McCargall’s and started cutting hair from home.”
The duo first got together back when Mick was one of Neal’s clients. Neal adds on, “He was doing car bodywork at the time and wasn’t really passionate about pursuing it as a career. So, we talked and the fact that I needed more staff came up. Mick wanted to work, so we took it on a very loose and light basis initially. He started out doing the usual Saturday stuff, but within three or four months he was cutting on the floor. He just blossomed.”
Just For Him Grooming boasts a unique style within its walls. I ask Neal about it and he explains, “Our initial design for the last six years was designed the same way you’ve designed your living room. We’ve picked a nice color scheme, what’s current, in a sort of cream and brown. We didn’t really have money to put into an interior designer. It’s no surprise that we’ll soon have a new salon, which will be attached to our current salon which is also getting work done to it. Our theme will be changing, and will be revealed eventually.”
I switch back to Mick and ask about the sorts of hairstyles that they specialize in. “A lot of people who follow us on Instagram know us for our different type of styling,” Mick explains. “We like to do things a bit differently. I think that skin fades are everybody’s thing at the moment, but people are also saying that they think skin fades are going to die out soon. Not to speak for everyone, but I personally think that skin fades are going to stick around for a long time. So, our main thing at the minute is skin fades with lots of nice texture on top, or doing something nice and big – those are along the lines of what we’re doing at the moment.”
On the subject of skin fades, Mick tells me it is what we can expect to see from himself, Neal and Jamey onstage at the Great British Barber Bash. “We’re all on at three today. I’ll be doing skin fades and, on top it’s very curly, so we’ll just be diffusing the top and bringing out the natural curl in the hair.” He feels that the Bash, at least for him, is more about everyone getting together. “Obviously, we’re on stage and we’re going to be explaining things, and hopefully people will pick up a couple of things, but we’re not here to tell people how to cut hair. It’s more a laid back bit of fun.”
What about education for Neal and Mick? Neal explains that for the past two or three years, he’s begun taking part in educating. “My first protocol was training Mick at the start, obviously. There’s nothing more that I love than working nine-to-nine in the salon. Our clients are all integrated in with the banter between us, and it’s just a cool vibe.”
Neal and Mick also have a product range under the Just For Him Grooming name, as Neal explains. “We’ve worked with Patrick Bell, who we must give a wee shout out to — a great company to work alongside for our products. We’ll go from one extreme to the other. We’ll have an extremely dry mud clay, which gives the natural effect. But we also have another fudge shaper. They’re all under the Just For Him Grooming brand. The fudge shaper originally was tweaked slightly and slightly wetter, and it’s something we’re looking forward to using through the summer.”
As for apparel, Mick suggests that there is something in the works, but it’s a bit hush-hush for now.
“It’s quite frustrating,” Neal adds. “A couple of the guys in the industry that we look up to massively, they’re doing this and have been for quite a while. There are guys that we aspire towards, and they know how hard it is to truly get a garment and clothing right. We’ve been working with prototypes back and forth, but it’s something that requires a great deal of patience.”
Consider it the Barberman luck, but as I ask them about their greatest moment as a business partnership, they reveal that it is the very day I have sat down with them at the Great British Barber Bash. “We cut live onstage in Liverpool,” Mick reveals. “Today, we’re at the main stage and I think today will be the highlight of our careers so far.”
“Prior to today,” Neal adds. “I think we’ve had good onstage moments. We recently teamed up with Garry Spencer and the Barber Bash team for education. Our biggest seminar to date, which I’ve been doing quite a lot of lately, was in Paisley, at the weekend. I think that was a day that sort of touched both of us to get to a salon, sort of nice surroundings, and see the crowd just there and think “this is it, this is our time”.”
And what is it that they’re loving about the barbering industry in particular? Neal starts with, “Quite a lot of things to be honest. I touched on this at our last education day. A lot of frequently asked question on stage is “Who inspires you, what haircuts inspire you?” .I think, for both of us, we’re sort of getting a lot of inspiration from haircuts, and that won’t change because it’s what we love. But, in our industry at the minute I’m getting inspiration from people more so now, I’m just loving the vibe.”
Mick adds, “Everybody is playing a role. It’s great to see. As Neal said, you look at haircuts all the time, like this person’s done this haircut and that’s unreal. I think when you actually meet the person and see how they in real life, that is a perfect example for it. You see him onstage. We did a thing in Belfast with him there up at Gary Jackson’s in Hollywood. We went out for dinner and stuff and, yeah, he’s the perfect example. I mean everybody is at the minute in the industry — I’m loving that.”
And what of the dislikes? Mick starts us off, “The people who are trying to become celebrity barbers is a big one for me. We actually spoke recently on this sort of thing. You cut hair in your shop, cool, but some people are going out on the streets and acting like they’re celebrities, like they are bigger and badder than everyone else. I don’t really like it.”
As for Neal, it is the negativity. “I repel negativity. In the industry at the minute, there is that bit of negativity out there. It’s not from old school barbers, it’s not fair to put it on that term because I have a lot of old school barber friends who are extremely talented in old school techniques, which I’m not. I do find some who tend to be in the industry slightly longer than us not enjoying the vibe that we’re putting out – that barber life vibe. The Great British Barber Bash, is a prime example, because those people won’t be here today. Why? Because they don’t like positive energy.” They also bring up a dodgy bar briefly, a subject that many barbers have touched upon as of late, especially with the #get registered campaign from the Barber Council.
With the negativity that has been present in social media, I ask how instrumental they feel it has been in the success of their business. Neal feels that they are busy due to hard work and dedication, though the duo does feel that, event wise, social media is everything. “My hard craft during the day isn’t how I’ve known them. It’s through social media. Mick and I’s profile has been raised quite a bit, which we’re over the moon about, through the Barber Bash. The education, the Instagram, all those things. It’s massive for anybody coming up. Get yourself an Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.”
Who is it that inspires these two? Neal lists off some familiar names: Josh Lamonaca, Charlie Gray, Eric from Slick’s, Garry Spencer, Colin from Hard Grind, just to name a few. For Mick, he lists off: The Greens, Harry and Reese, Reese Beak, Colin from Hard Grind, Paul Preacher – there’s almost too many to list.
As a bit of a self-plug, I ask them about their experience with the Frequency60hz converter. “I couldn’t do without my Wahl Senior. That’s not to say we don’t use Andis for the sponsors, but our experience has been amazing.” Mick agrees, “Wahl Seniors are, for me, the best clipper. I use a lot of Andis stuff as well, Andis trimmers for example. I can’t go back to the standard UK clippers now.”
Neal adds, much to my delight: “Believe what Larry says. If you’re like me or like Mick, you don’t want to be ordering a package from Larry and not taking his full advice on what converter to get. Because you’ll get your package and you’re going to call one of your mates and go “Meet me down at the salon now, I need to use these clippers”. You’ve got to plug them into your shitty converter, and that’s not going to work. Take Larry’s advice, it’s true, it’s not a sales pitch. You need the proper converter, which Larry sells. Get yourself a set of Andis foil shavers, a Wahl Senior, and an Andis trimmer.”
Finally, their advice to barbers who want to get into the game: “The thing I say to everybody is you need to be willing to put in long hard hours. We put in so many hours, like nine to nine three, four nights a week. So, when you’re starting off .I’ve noticed over the past maybe year or so, that there’s a lot of people that get into barbering thinking “I’m going to pick up a pair of clippers, shave this hair right up, I’m going to become a barber. Easy money.” But that’s not it, there’s so much more to it than that. For any young person to think I might start it, you need to have love for it and you really need to be willing to put in all the hours. But, it’s a brilliant thing to be part of at the minute.” True enough. It’s all about the barber life, and these two are no exception.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d also like to invite you to follow me on Instagram @larrythebarberman for other free barbering content. You can also email me at email@example.com
In the deep southwest of Torquay, I sit down to talk with the Viking-bearded Mark of The Groom Room Barbershop about his beginnings, his adventures and plans for the future. Mark started out like many barbers do – sweeping up hair in a salon on Saturdays. It was in the same salon as he is in now that he actually got his start, with a little help from a cousin that worked as a hairdresser as well. The salon was kept busy at the time from all of the bleaches and highlights in demand, as he puts it, and Mark got his training in house.
“I wasn’t inclined to do the four year apprenticeship,” he answers when I ask about formal training. “I instead went to London and took a barbering course with Alan D in London.” He eventually found his way to Torquay in an, as he puts it, sort of round-the-world trip with his partner to Australia and a stop off in New Zealand as well.
The style of the shop, as Mark describes it, is ever-evolving. “It has grown over the years. It was originally more to the customer’s expectations, but as time went on we kept up with the trends and the styles. It’s always an ongoing process.”
I ask him about the business he generates with his prices being on the higher side for his area and how he manages to accomplish it. “It’s about reading customers and what they are looking for. It’s constantly changing and developing so that customers get more for their service – it’s really a graduating thing. You have to set your price point, basically, but then you have to be able to deliver at that level. Charge a little more and stand out from the crowd – always deliver on that promise.” Wise words from a man who considers his most satisfying moment in barbering the moments each day when his client leaves with a smile on their face, looking good and knowing that they are coming back.
In line with some other barbers, Mark talks about the styles in the southwest as hanging on to very short, kept hair – lots of fades, though not skin tight anymore. He suspects that this will continue through the new year until the summer when, as he puts it, people are more open to change. As with a few of my other interviews in the past, he has a sneaking suspicion that longer hair will be making a comeback (so keep an eye out!).
Earlier, Mark quoted the importance of in-house training. “We do it here, and I feel it is important for consistency and so everyone is on the same page.” When asked if he had considered any opportunities to pass on his knowledge to other up and coming barbers, Mark told me: “Like I said, we do that here – I think everyone should do in-house training, to be honest – but I have gone to some local salons and colleges and have done some teaching. As for actively seeking education opportunities out, I’m not at this time but if anyone wants to get in touch with me, I’d be more than happy to help.” You heard it here, folks!
For anyone jealous of his Viking-beard, The Groom Room does have a line of beard oils for the discerning gentleman. Asked about what sets it apart from other products in the same line, Mark only says: “The industry is really saturated, to the tipping point, honestly. What sets ours apart is really in the secret formula.” It’s not magic, as far as I can tell, but the clients seem to think it is.
The industry is not just saturated with product lines. I ask Mark about his perspective on the positives and negatives of the barbering industry. The good, as he tells me, is the new ways in which people are collaborating and connecting. There is a camaraderie in the industry like there wasn’t before, and he feels social media has been a big push in that, as well as opportunities for more trainers to be introduced.
The bad is a subject we have discussed before in another interview. Mark feels the industry is years behind the American barbering industry in terms of licensing, expectations to be met and training in general. “It’s a gray area, and the training provided doesn’t always meet the expectations of the people who want to get into the industry. They need to know the expectations on them to be a barber.” He also brings up that he would like to see regulations finally get put in place in the interest of the client, the barbers themselves as well as sanitation standards.
Mark had been working with the “one size fits all” clipper before he got into American clippers. Even after that, he suffered the tell-tale noise from his attempts to power an Andis Masters without the Frequency60hz Converter. Now that he has one, his go to clippers feature the Oster Model 10 and the Oster FastFeed. His advice to anyone on the fence on American hair clippers or the Frequency60hz? “Try them all – find out which one is comfortable for you. Compared to the English ones, these gave me so many more options in terms of textures, styles, sharpness and power.”
What is next for Mark and the Groom Room Barbershop? With a laugh, he admits that he has been so busy with the holiday season that he hasn’t had a chance to sit down and plan out the year; he plans on doing it soon, though. As a final bit of advice to other barbers, Mark says: “Plan out your year. It’s important to take that time to strategize, because you’ll get caught up in the job or social media and those plans will fall apart if you aren’t careful.”
To everyone reading, I hope the plans for their years look good!
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. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also invite you to check out my blog at: WWW.60hz.me/grmark – The Frequency60hz defied what was a set cultural problem in the barbering industry; perhaps the future for barbers is in thinking outside the box.
Dangerously debonair and led by faith, I sit down with Matt Robinson of Mister Robinson’s Barbershop to talk about his journey. Like many other barbers, Matt fell in love with the barber life at a young age at West Indian barbershops that served as his impromptu neighbor. The relaxed, unique environment captivated a young Matt and he was, as he puts it, not educated but inspired to pursue barbering.
The love for the relaxed atmosphere and community feeling carried out through Matt’s career and life. After an abrupt end at his prior stint to opening Mister Robinson’s Barbershop, he spent some time doing cuts out of his kitchen and the front room of his house – this brought back the feeling of his childhood experience in the barbershop and the inspiration for his shop was born. Built to replicate that feeling of casual relaxation, the shop is decorated with boxing memorabilia, toolboxes and a baseball bat that is secondhand from his brother.
Matt takes his inspiration from an open community and his faith to work with him every day. As well as his barbering work, he works part-time as a minister working with those in need. Unsatisfied with his altruism being disconnected between his two positions. His push to help the community would lead to him winning the Community of Investment award – he created a system of exchanging haircuts for food and clothes to assist the homeless, and is still pushing to help in any way he can. “It’s nice to be recognized,” he says in regards to the award, “but for me it’s not about the money, it’s about doing good for people – that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? If you can’t do that without incentive, I think you might be missing the point.” Matt also partnered with a group called Positive Outlook in an effort to spread the positive message that his work and shop constantly promotes. “With people talking on social media sites like Instagram, it’s great to be able to have a place relaxed and comfortable enough to get people talking,” Matt tells me. His product line with Positive Outlook is a series of t-shirts bearing messages of positivity: handsome and positive, as Matt puts it. “One of them had a slogan on it that just blew me out of the water. It was “faith drives me” and it really resonated with me. I thought that it might not with everyone, but it turns out that it is our biggest seller.”
Faith and altruism drive Matt, without question, but he also lives by the motto “cleanliness is next to Godliness”. He uses an air-compression system in his barbershop inspired by a non-barber friend that lives in New York. He describes it as being essential to cleaning his kit and equipment, almost like a single service versus a multi-step process. His advice to other barbers in the UK is to look into it, as it is quite uncommon in the area – it comes highly recommended from Mr. Robinson, and that is not advice to take lightly.
His style reflects the more relaxed, debonair side of Matt’s personality. He relates his signature cuts of fades and low fades to the slick, handsome styles of the 20s and 30s. “From the Madmen style of look,” he laughs. “Not a hair out of place and dangerously debonair.” His ink has led him to many tattoo conventions where they’ve brought in that personable level of relatability and have generated interest in barbering in the Rockabilly scene, especially when it comes to beards; does it get any cooler than a Rockabilly-scene minister?
I have to pad a bit of my own ego when it comes to asking Matt on his opinion of American clippers. He enthusiastically tells me that the Andis Masters and Oster Fast Feed have tremendously upped his game and point-blank tells anyone who has not tried them to head to www.frequency60hz.com, get my converter and try the Oster Fast Feeds for themselves. “It’s like driving a Mercedes versus riding a bike – you’ll get there, either way, but one is significantly faster, smoother and sleeker.” Like Matt said, it is nice to be recognized.
His plans for 2016 are essentially to carry on with what he is doing now: keep barbering, keep working with Positive Outlook and doing good for mankind in any way he can. For anyone who wants to get involved or work with Matt, he says the door is open! Get in contact with he and his team and see what positive messages you can spread via a barber life patron driven by faith.
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. You can also email me at email@example.com – The Frequency60hz defied what was a set cultural problem in the barbering industry; perhaps the future for barbers is in thinking outside the box.
Outside of my hotel in Malaga, Spain, I speak with two familiar faces after a four hour long intensive session. Four hundred plus attendees compose of motivated Spanish hair stylists, all with a thirst for information – all their eyes were on Paul Hewitt, AONO and Shane Nesbitt, Shane’s Barbershop. The event in question was a hosted seminar from Vishal Baharani’s VBD Education tour. On either side of the two-foot stage are two massive screens that were complimented by the theatre lighting. With a chair for each of the three presenters, Shane and Paul would find themselves overwhelmed afterwards.
Hip-hop music was pumping through the room while the haircuts carried out on stage. The cut comes from Shane in the form of a low skin fade to the nape. Paul follows by a low skin fade to the nape as well, and a top styled topin pomp, aka the pompadour, styled with pommade in wet hair. The last cut comes from the head of the VBD Education program himself, Vishal Baharani, as a high tight skin fade – all cuts were carried out at the exact same time! Each tutorial was shown on the big screens so that all attendees could see each step in vast details – you could see each tattooed finger running through the hair masterfully, each movement of the scissors, and hair clippers running through their models’ hair to finalize their perfect cuts.
Shane’s film crew from Northwest Production were also in attendance, filming his every move for an upcoming documentary on his life and work; they got some priceless moments, without a doubt. Shane was continuously applauded for his hard-hitting points concerning customer services and its relation to getting paid the highest amount for a barber as well as the clients’ willingness to pay that price. He did an excellent job in making a concept many thought difficult into a few simple steps.
Paul bore all of himself as well: his personal life, his business failures and successes, as well as some key barbering techniques. He held the whole of the stage show together wonderfully, especially coupled with his partner.
Champ of Champ’s Barbers also made a return, kindly being my translator for the Spanish event. He described Vishal as being captivating, enthralling in his knowledge when it came to teaching and imparting his knowledge to the attendees. He presented an amazing lesson on trends and what the next trend will be next year and why in the fashion industry. His lesson, in fact, catapulted me six months ahead of most barbers in terms of what will be in vogue and what will not. The three speakers captivated their audience, myself and even themselves according to what Shane and Paul told me about the event afterwards.
“It was super overwhelming,” Paul tells me, both he and Shane knackered after the event. “I never thought we’d be here, doing all of this – all of those eyes on us. I mean, the academy was five floors! It’s all thanks to Vishal.” He and Shane agree that Vishal was asking all the right questions in discussing subjects beyond just barbering: sacrifice, what it takes – “It got pretty deep,” they tell me.
They plan to follow the VBD Education tour all across Europe, to Argentina and even America. Even as we spoke at my hotel, the crew was packing up behind them and getting ready to head on to Seville. “We’re just following the VBD crew,” Shane laughed. When asked what either of them thought students could gain from the VBD seminars, they elaborated: “We covered so much more than just haircuts in there, from: different techniques, how to use clippers, the next fashion season, building and maintaining clientele, sanitation and the morals of being a barber.” This was all throughout four to five parts of the same seminar, and Paul and Shane both agree that Vishal was firing on all cylinders throughout.
Even I felt myself being overwhelmed during the seminar. All three presenters agreed with me that American hair clippers are the way to go and all of them were using the Frequency60hz Converter on stage to demonstrate their own American favorites. I cannot describe how humbling it was for me, nor how excited I am to have attended this fantastic seminar.
It’s me, Larry the Barberman of LarryTheBarberman.com
This week I’m in the highlands… of London. I’m actually in Greenwich Park, opposite the royal observatory. I may not be in Scotland, but I am wearing a kilt.
Why am I wearing a kilt in London?
Because next week I will be visiting the Great British Barber Bash in Glasgow, so the kilt seemed fitting.
I do not like to turn up to these events empty handed, this time is no different.
Thanks to John who provided me with my Campbell tartan. John has his own website: www.kiltsandallworldwide.com. John is a master kilt maker, he will measure you up so your kilt is a perfect fit. John provides a bespoke service and will provide you with your own perfectly fitted kilt for any Scottish event.
So what is this month’s giveaway?
This giveaway is a big one, the whole nine yards. Fun fact: The phrase the “whole nine yards”, refers to how Scottish people in the past used to lay out their tartan which was nine yards and use it as a sleeping bag.
But enough Scottish history, here is what I’m giving away in this month’s giveaway:
Andis Masters Clipper (£84)
Andis GTX T outlinner (£74)
Profoil Shaver (£74)
Frequency60hz converter (£87)
You will be able to use all these products thanks to the Frequency60hz Converter, which allows you to use the superior US products without noise or a drop in performance.
The draw will take place with the help of Colin @hardgrind_ and @safehands on Sunday at the Great British Barber Bash at some point during the evening.
To enter this draw and draws of the future simply:
Follow @LarryTheBarberMan on Instagram
On the giveaway post simply comment with the name of four of your barbering friends.
That’s it, do that and you could win all the great prizes featured.
If you want to find out more about the Frequency60hz Converter then please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with me on social media for more incredible, free barbering content – head to Instagram, Facebook or YouTube!