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Love Island Winner 2017 Kem Cetinay’s Catch Up Chat With Myles At Stag And Dagger

Breakout Reality Star and musician revisits barbering roots at Myles Lewis’ new shop; reveals mental health struggles

In an amazing interview at the new Stag and Dagger Barber Shop in Basildon, breakout star, Love Island 2017 winner and #1 recording artist Kim Cetinay talked with me about coming up as a Hornchurch barber, struggling with anxiety and depression, his commitment to mental health, and his friendship with Guerilla Barbering founder Myles Lewis.

Kem also let on that he was doing cuts in the villa on Love Island, including contestant Marcel Somerville’s ever-fresh fade!

“Marcel with his Afro-Caribbean hair, everyone thought he must be getting a skin fade fresh every morning,” Kem recalls, looking relaxed in t-shirt and ripped jeans, accompanied by Stag and Dagger owner Myles.  “But it was just me doing it with one set of clippers and a couple guards.  I was giving everyone fades.  I was a little bit rusty doing the cuts and trim, but I love the fades!”

Kem was on hand to help promote the grand opening of Stag and Dagger, Myles’ first owned shop. I enjoyed the banter back and forth between the two – it was clear they share a lot of mutual respect and affection.

“Barbering was something I was massively, massively passionate about,” Kem recalls. “Myles was the one who introduced me to the industry and he was a big inspiration for me, especially with what he was doing charity-wise, with Guerilla Barbering. He was the first person to do it,” he told me.

“When I first started with him, his fades weren’t on point but his long haircuts were,” Myles laughs. “We worked in the same area of Hornchurch and we used to do a haircut called “The Forte.”

“A proper Essex boy haircut,” Kem adds. “Basically, my haircut.”

“A forte with a taper,” says Myles “Then Kem’s fades just became like a madness.”

“It became my thing,” Kem agrees. “It was just fades, fades, fades and I became obsessive about fades.  I was doing videos and everything. My fades were getting ridiculous.”

“People don’t realize Kem was coming up in the industry (before Love Island),” Myles insists. “He’d done the Great British Barber Bash, Salon International, he’d done Barber Connect.”

“I was on ‘Good Morning, Britain,’” Kem chimes in.

“I do get a bit obsessive,” Kem admits.  “I wanted to be biggest in the UK. I was getting better and better so quick. Then Love Island came up and it was the same.  I was adamant I was going to win. Now, I am adamant that I am not stopping there,” he said. “I just finished my other show, just threw out a song that got number one, and I just want to keep pushing.”

In recent weeks, Kem has used his new-found fame as a platform to discuss his struggle with mental health, another bond he shares with Myles. They each hint their difficulties are part of the motivation behind Guerilla Barbering.

“He was leader of the Guerilla gang,” Myles told me.

“I used to go to all the events, did a lot of the pop-up shops. We slept out on the street to raise money,” Kem recalls. “It is an unbelievable cause, what Myles is doing.”

“I am gonna soon be running a big campaign with Childline for kids with mental health and anxiety,” Kem adds. “Me and Myles are on the same wavelength on this. Any way I can help to keep pushing Guerilla Barbering I will, because Childline is obviously a huge, huge charity.”

Kem’s years-long struggles with anxiety and depression related to his mother’s illness are now well known, thanks to his forthright and candid interviews on the subject.  “Anxiety and mental health, it is just all fear,” he says in our interview. “You get to a point where you learn that you’ve run it way from it all your life.  It’s effect on me, well, there are a lot of thing people don’t know.  I didn’t do my GCSE’s at school and I missed out on a lot of things.”

“You stand up and you think, ‘What am I gonna do in my life?’” he continues. “And for me, I thought ‘I am either going to sit here and not have a life, or I am going to make something of myself.’ And look where I am today.”

“I think regardless of people saying, ‘Yeah, Love Island and blah, blah,’ well, you put yourself out there to get these opportunities. Part of it is luck, but once I was there it was me that won the show, it was me that done all this, putting myself out there and making these things happen.”

Myles adds, “In my specific case, I had been on meds for 5 or 6 years for anxiety and depression, and what helps me are my missus, my kids and my pals – my mates that care.”

Looking at Kem, he adds, “We can talk about things and if someone is your friend they will listen to you. I can count my friends on one hand now; I’ve got my boys, I’ve got my family. That is who I talk to, who I open up to, and there are a lot of us out there who struggle with mental health and anxiety.”

Looking to Myles, Kem says “I think that’s one thing you’ve done is you was at a stage before we was working together you was kind of giving up on it, but you’ve stood up and you said, “I’ve got a family, I’ve got kids, I’m talented and I’m gonna make something of what I can do.’”

“Really, I’ll be honest,” Kem continues, turning his attention to me. “I don’t go and promote just anything. I’m not just here to promote today because Myles is my friend. I am genuinely here because I think he gonna smash it and I think everyone needs to appreciate what he has done personally and with Guerilla Barbering.”

Myles agrees. “I know it sounds stupid, but (if you have anxiety) turn yourself into a ‘public figure,’ push yourself forward. It helps doing interviews like this one.  Me and Kem did an advert with Shell, but realistically we are anxious people and we don’t do our best with that kind of situation.”

“Riding the Tube all over London!” Kem recalls. “But when you put yourself in that situation, you overcome that.”

I asked them what a young person struggling with mental health should do.

“Call Childline,” Kem said. “They’ve got people who know what they are talking about; people who are a constant help and who understand.”

Myles agrees. “Call these people. I didn’t know about them growing up, so we need to keep telling people that there is excellent help available.”

Turning back to barbering, I asked Kem about the public perception that he is hairdresser rather than a barber.  How did that happen?

“When I went on Love Island, I’ve got long hair, I’m from Essex, and so they wanted me to be that typical hairdresser guy that does all the girls’ hair.” he relates.

“But I am not hairdresser; I have always been a barber,” he say firmly.  “When I was in there and girls asked me to do their hair, I was blagging my way through women’s haircuts. It was a joke!”

Hear that, UK?  Kem is a loud and proud BARBER. Not a hairdresser!

“Completely!” affirms Kem. “Barbering has really taken off. Everyone thinks it is hairdressing, but it is barbering that is setting the trends. Everyone has got video on it. I think it has really taken over from hairdressing.”

I asked Kem for tips to young people just starting out in barbering and he answers very quickly: “Forget the shows! Just be around good barbers. Don’t put yourself in a shop where you might feel like you’re getting a lot of time on the chair but you aren’t around good barbers. Be around a good barber who is enthusiastic who will put the time in to teach you. That was the best thing with me.

“Don’t copy right off.  Put out your own style,” Kem continues.  “The people you look up to got there because they did their own thing.  By copying them, you are only copying the crowd. Barbering is special because there is not a right way or wrong way. You see someone walking around with line in their hair, they might want that line. Three or four months later that might be a trend. There is so much experimenting, so put your own touch to everything, your own style. It’s not an office job.  Do your thing!”

So what’s next for Britain’s newest star?

“I am sleeping about two hours a night,” he laughs. “The opportunities I’ve been given since leaving that villa I couldn’t have dreamed of. I’ve got so much in the pipeline it’s just crazy to take it all in at my age.”

“But the most important thing for me is just to stay grounded, keep my feet on the ground,” he concludes. “That’s why I do things like this, where I come see my boys and I got my family. Otherwise you will lose your heard. It’s a bit crazy going from that to this, but if you’ve got the right people to keep you grounded I think you will stay successful.”

“I am trying to do it the right way,” he adds. “I’ve said from the beginning I want to be durable. I want longevity in my career. I don’t just want to snap everything as soon as I’ve left. For me, I’ve got a goal with my long term. I want to stay on TV. I want to do presenting.  These opportunities are coming now.”

And as for barbering, Kem says he is far from finished!

“I don’t think I will go back to cutting hair soon, but I’m gonna bring out a big grooming range. It’s gonna be huge. It could take a year or more, and like I said to Myles, I want him to be involved and get the shop involved in it but yeah, I’ve got some big plans with that.”

Just one more thing got watch out for in the future of a very bright, talented and focused young man! I was very impressed with Kem’s ongoing commitment to Guerilla Barbering and Myles’ work, and his openness about his struggle with mental health, plus his support of Childline.

Be sure to pay a visit when in Basildon to Myles’ newest place, the Stag and Dagger.

And be sure to stay in touch and get involved with the excellent work of Guerilla Barbering.

‘Til next time, happy barbering!

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Manhattan Barber: Cassie Kurtz Of Her Chair His Hair – Fights For Female Barbers Everywhere

Since meeting up with the charismatic Sofie Pok in April, I’ve been on high alert for chances to talk with women in barbering.  So I was all over the opportunity to meet Manhattan-based Master Barber Cassie Kurtz.  Her popular ‘Her Chair, His Hair’ blog is celebrating talented women barbers everywhere, and her budding philanthropy is changing the lives of the less fortunate.

Cassie works out of a shared private studio space called ‘The Master Suite’ in Uptown Manhattan near Columbus Circle. “It’s a prime location for artists who really want to be their own boss,” she tells me in my exclusive interview. “People set their own prices, set their own schedules but still have that feeling of working with a team,” she says.

In other words, it’s a great gig at one of the planet’s best locations, right?  So what prompted Cassie to start up ‘Her Chair, His Hair’?

“I thought I needed to do something to better our industry, so I decided:  I love to travel, I love to meet new people, I love to write, and I actually like coding,” she says with a laugh.

The result:  “I created a platform for women who specialize in men’s hair; they do the beard trims, they do the shaves, and quite frankly they get a lot of pushback.”

From experience, Cassie finds the water can be a little rough for women barbers.  She saw the icebergs looming on her very first job.

“Clients were walking in saying, ‘I need a haircut,’ and when the manager said, ‘Cassie is available,’ they would say, ‘Oh, no. I’d rather wait.’  Some of them looked at me like as if I didn’t belong in the same space. That really hurt, and I could only think of how many women must feel discouraged trying to pursue this.”

‘Her Chair, His Hair’ features high-quality video interviews, workplace photos and snappy write-ups about women barbers around the US and in other countries. Last time I visited the site, Cassie was featuring more than a dozen barbers and displaying some amazing cuts, beautifully photographed.

It’s also a supportive space, where barbers find much-needed encouragement and positivity.

From a woman’s perspective, does barbering need to change?  “Any woman watching this video will scream out a loud, ‘Yes!’” Cassis replied.

She wants it to start with language. “A lot of women would like to be no longer called ‘female barbers.’ We are barbers, and we happen to be women. I’m not a women’s hair stylist; I’m not even licensed to do women’s color. So when I say I’m a barber, I’m a barber.”

Pricing is also a challenge for Cassie and other women, she said.  “Some people think my gender affects my ability to cut hair!  Now and then I get a gentleman who walks in and says, ‘Yeah, but you’re a woman. You’re not as experienced with men’s hair. How do you feel capable or qualified to charge this much?’  It just throws me off every single time.”

So which women in barbering inspire Cassie to keep going?  She immediately mentions Mariela Perez (Instagram @mariela_the_barber) as a favorite, but hastens to add most of her energy comes from barbers she meets through Her Chair, His Hair.

“Mariela has to fight for everything she has,” Cassie told me “She supports her family and now owns her own house and her own car. She is a spectacular barber. I don’t think she’s given the credit she’s due; she is very talented.  You know, I’m an only child taking care of my family, and it gets hard, you know.  We’re human. We say, ‘I need a break.’  Then I think of Mariela, and I’m like, ’This is easy!’”

Whenever you feel overworked, I recommend you think of Cassie. Besides her successful business and busy website, she also manages to organize an annual ‘Her Chair, His Hair’ Showcase in NYC.

“I started it because you didn’t see enough women on flyers, as educators, as guest judges at showcases, so I said ‘There’s a need,’ and I want to fulfill it in my own hometown in New York City,” she said.

Finding a good cause proved a great way to rally women barbers, and the Showcase is now readying for its third year. The first year was a funder for breast cancer research, the second year supported domestic violence shelters.

Cassie:  “This October we aim to helpThe Door, a safe place for gay and transgendered youth from as young as twelve. If they were kicked out, if they have nowhere to go, if they are beaten up at school and don’t feel safe, The Door is there for them.”

“They’re right down the street from where we’re going to have the (Manhattan) event,” she continued. “They now offer services to immigrant children, so they have a legal department working very hard on multiple cases a day. They also have one or two floors where these kids can learn about cooking or computers. It’s a spectacular and inspiring place.”

And does she have inspiring advice for women either in barbering or thinking of getting into barbering?

“Don’t be afraid!” she told me. “You’ve done scarier things in your life than being a barber.”

“Don’t let people get in your head,” she added. “That’s your space, where you get to cheer yourself on.  You are already your biggest critic, and if you let people get in your head, you will never succeed.”

“If you see something wrong with your skills, be honest with yourself and take that class or go to that event and ask that person, ‘How do you get your fade so smooth?’ or ‘How do you get your scissor cuts so clean?’”

“Surround yourself with like-minded individuals whether they are men or women because at the end of the day (critics) are not the ones putting money in your pocket. You are going to be the reason why there is money is in your pocket! There’s no stopping if you do that.”

Obviously, there is no stopping Cassie Kurtz.

I hope you SEE and SHARE the entire interview on my YouTube @larrythebarberman.  Then head over to ‘Her Chai, His Hair’ for some serious enlightenment, interesting profiles, and beautiful cuts. It’s a valuable web stop for all barbers, women AND men!

Until next time, happy barbering!

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The 3 Best cordless Rotary Motored Andis Vs Oster Hair Clipper Review

Today, I sit down with Champ from Champ’s Barbers and Marc Republic, for something of a different style. Today, we’re going to be looking at rotary motored clippers and providing a bit of insight on them.

To kick-off, we’re starting with the BGR, which is an Andis clipper. Marc weighs in, “I love it. I’ve been using it for two or three years now. One thing I will say: it’s heavier on the backend because the battery is detachable. The clipper is obviously much heavier with the battery in. When I’m cutting, you can still feel the weight in the end – overall, it’s a great clipper.”

Asked about using the BGR with Andis guards, Marc continues, “I like the Andis guards because they have the ceramic under-blade. I love the way they feel, the three lines on the back, as they help my thumb have a better grip. It makes the clipper a little heavier, sure, but for me it is comfortable.”

Champ weighs in once Marc has finished, “To be honest, I started using the BGRs thanks to Marc. He showed me last year’s pair, and said, “Yeah, Champ, this is what you need”. It’s a bit chunky, sure, but it’s also comfortable in your hand. You can probably go on all day when it comes to battery life.” Marc also adds, “One thing I want to touch on, as he said, is the battery life. Even though it’s not the new Ion battery, the battery life is still pretty strong. I use them for a full day of work Friday and Saturday and don’t really have any issues with them going down.” Champ adds that he prefers the ceramic blades when it comes to using his Oster, and tells me that Oster blades do a good job when it comes to bulk; for him, it depends on the texture and thickness of the hair.

But how does it compare to a corded rotary motor e.g the Model 10 and the 76, itself being cordless? Marc tells me that he believes there is little difference, and that outside of the weight, he didn’t feel like he personally lost any power whatsoever. Champ adds, “Power-wise, it’s strong. If you put it on the charge stand, and take it off, it comes out really strong. With regards to a Model 10 or a 76, the 75 is obviously bigger. A Model 10 would be roughly the same size, but you’d have to be holding the cord in your other hand to work properly – there’s the real advantage.

Andis BGR Scores:

Champ: 8/10

Marc: 7.5 – 8 /10

 

Our next clipper is the Lithium Ion Oster Octane. Once again, we start with Marc. “Visually,” he explains, “—it is a beautiful looking clipper. It’s a little lighter than the BGR. If I close my eyes and pick it up off of my station, at least to me, it doesn’t feel that comfortable. The way I hold my fingers and where I place my thumb are at a sort of angle, and it makes holding it just doesn’t feel as natural to me. My only real complaint is the button placement, honestly. It’s a very lightweight and beautiful clipper, otherwise.” We also factor in the sound of the clipper, comparatively. Marc feels it is a little too loud, and also notes that most Osters tend to have a louder noise production than Andis detachables, at least in his experience. Champ adds in his own experience with the Oster Octane, referencing a time when he once on a kid and the noise made him cry straight away. “With this clipper, for some reason I really found that it worked well with comb stuff. When I held it like this, it felt nice, whereas the BGR, if feels like it’s a little bit light for that”

Lithium Ion Oster Octane Scores

Champ: 8 / 10

Marc: 7 / 10

 

Last, but not least, we bring up the new Andis ZR Super. I pass the floor once again to Marc. “Visually, I love it. It’s a beautiful clipper, and I’m big on design. It has five speeds, which is great, and I really love how smooth it is. It feels good to hold in every position. Plus, it’s got the lithium ion battery in it so the power remains consistent.”

“For a novice barber,” he continues, “—you might want lower speeds. You’d want that to add texture to the hair. The blade is a little slower, so you drop it down to a feather action with the shears. Some guys do a point-cut on the top to mimic shear work, for example, and it gives it that great jagged look. Another cool thing about changing speeds up is the effect it has on light. Lower speed, the light goes down, and so on.”

“I like playing with these speeds,” Champ adds. “I find that when I’m tapering at the back, I’ll sometimes hit a lower speed and the textures of the hair will come out a bit more softly. The battery life is unbelievable, and I’d say it is my go to at the moment for bulk.” The Andis ZR Super comes in very highly.

 

Marc: 7 / 10

Andis ZR Super

Champ: 9 / 10

Marc: 9 / 10

 

And there you have it – two barber champs and barber life living professionals weighing in on the top three rotary motored cordless clippers. Be sure to let me know your opinions on the clippers mentioned, whether you agree, disagree, or know of other clippers worth discussing.

 

 

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.

 

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Interview with Pop Up Barbershop Kings’ Paul Hewitt And Bradley Cowen

Paul Hewitt and Bradley Cowen of HBAD Barbershop and AONO, UK urban streetwear are the team behind Pop-Up Barbershop, a concept of Barber Life, and I had an opportunity to speak with both of them. A pop-up barbershop is an interesting, but simple, concept: it is like a stall you might see at a convention or fair equipped to provide barbering services. Outside the doors to the London tattoo convention, I managed to pull these two aside for an interview.

While they might look like an unassuming pair, many are aware of how successful the two have been by introducing this concept. They’ve hosted their pop-up barbershops at events ranging from Brighton Tattoo convention, which was their very first pop-up some five years ago, to the AONO x Monster Pop Up Barbershop at last year’s Sonisphere. It is easy to make the assumption that these guys are out to get to millionaire status and have already gotten it.

However, Paul and Brad gave me the truth behind their status as the Pop-Up Shop Kings.

When asked about what the idea behind the pop-up barbershops originally was, Paul responded that he and Brad had been discussing it for six months on social media and that the idea was to take everything that they were doing inside their shops and bring it to the outside world. I asked them if they knew if they were the first to implement the idea of a pop-up barbershop, and the conclusion the two seemed to settle on after some back and forth was, “they believed they were the first in their area: the UK, possibly even in Europe, but they doubted they were the first in the entire world.” “I definitely think we were the first to take on the idea in our markets,” Paul clarifies, “You had some doing similar things but not when it came to the hardcore or punk shows or events that appealed to that culture. Of course, we went out there to reinvigorate our own craft, inspire ourselves and to find people to just sort of hang with – we wanted to capture people’s imaginations.”

From their start at the aforementioned Brighton Tattoo convention, Paul reminisced about how that first pop-up lead to having AONO X VANS Pop-Up Barbershop stationed at Citadium, Paris for the entire month of September, three years ago. Brad tells me that they were looking to find a way to reinvigorate and inspire themselves outside of the shop, to find a whole new vibe, and that would come to eventually incorporate other barbers. “From an advertising standpoint, the way we saw it was that the pop-up barbershop was the way to get us out there without risking people bypassing it. You can put out ads in magazines, on television – whatever, but there’s always that risk that they’ll thumb right past it or change the channel. If we’re out there, that’s a way to talk to them directly and get our message out there.”

“People see you at events like these and think you must be raking it in,” Paul added, “but, at first, we were totally naïve about what we were doing.” In fact, both agreed that each event is something of a huge financial gamble. “People are always astounded,” Paul told me, “but when we got started, we were honestly quite naïve. These things cost thousands of dollars each, we never knew what we were getting into.”

He pauses and smiles a bit, “It’s always a gamble.” He and Brad go on to talk about an event at the Brighton seafront that they had a few years prior. “We had done it the year before,” Paul shrugs, “and we got a lot back from it. But this next year the seafront gets hit by one of the worst storms in years! That’s one of the things that is always a gamble about investing in outdoor events – you’re at the mercy of the weather, and if you try to turn to the organizer and ask for your money back because of some rain…well, it’s just not going to happen.”

“I prefer not to live in regret,” Paul concluded on the experience. “We went out there to just do what we were wanting to do, and maybe even bring on like-minded individuals…People see us out there now and we try to make it clear that this isn’t a marketing plot. We go out there and say “we are the same as you, and we care a great deal about it”. So, yeah, despite the huge financial risk involved with each event, you sort of have to look at a loss and say f*ck it, at least I learned something for next time and I had fun.”

“Business is all about relationships,” Paul added. “At every event we booked, we still had to pitch our idea every time and build up relationships with the people who attended, the folks who organized it. Those relationships are priceless and have been one of the things we’ve discovered have grown the more events that we host.” The phrase “business isn’t about what you do, but you know” does reflect nicely here, doesn’t it? Of course, had these two not known what they were doing, their events wouldn’t have proven nearly as popular as they have been. And who do they know? Even from the first convention in Brighton, Paul and Brad have had the chance to work with such incredible names in the barbering community as: Julius Caser, Shane Nesbitt, Brain Burt, Razor Sharp Chief, Dane Hesse, David Thomas, Frank Rimmer, Colin Petrie and SB Barbers, and that is only naming a few.

When thinking back on the events that stood out to him, Brad adds, “There were two that stand out to me -The first event that we ever did at the Brighton Tattoo Convention will always be one of the most memorable because it was the very first one. We had the tiniest little booth – Paul and I hadn’t even met in the flesh until the night before and nothing like this had ever been done at a convention before. So, there was a possibility for disaster, and we got and had the most fantastic weekend.” He laughs. “That was the start of it all, there was no expectation of what was to come. We were there because we wanted to work together and showcase the kind of work that we do in the way we do it.  I will never forget that one – it changed everything.”

The moment that they first actually got paid to fly in and host one of their events, Brad tells me, was unreal. “It was only eighteen months or so after that first event and suddenly, we’re getting asked if we’d like to fly into this event in Italy on the beaches. We agree, of course, and as we are walking on the beaches of Italy, we just sort of looked to each other and asked “What are we doing here?”. From there, it’s been a crazy adventure,” Brad laughed. “We’ve gotten to travel to so many places,” Paul added.

“We were flown out to work with Vans,” Brad tells me. “That was incredible. That was the beginning of us traveling the world together. I got to meet some of the professional skaters whose careers I had followed for years, and having them come into through the barbershop and see what we do was great. Most of these guys both of us still have them as good friends now-it was just a life, and career changing moment for me.”

“I commuted twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday, to work in Paris – myself and Brad loved every minute,” Paul laughs. “The biggest for me was having the AONO X MONSTER Pop-Up Barbershop city at last year’s Sonisphere.”

He goes on to tell me, “Italy, Spain, Belgium,Germany, Slovenia, LA, and NYC have been just some of the destinations we’ve set up pop-up barbershops …I never thought barbering would have taken me around the world…”

Paul estimates that he will be taking seventy-five flights this year alone; talk about a frequent-flier!

“We have done events for Vans shoes at their Spring Classic competition, which is held in Italy every year,” Brad adds. “At Bright, which is a trade show for the streetwear and skate industry held in Berlin twice a year to coincide with Berlin fashion week, The BeStreet Weekend Urban Festival, which is held in Paris once a year, and also the Groezrock Festival that is held in Belgium every spring – we’ve just been so many crazy, amazing, places!”

These two are setting out to reach people within their own demographics, and openly those people what they can do – they aren’t in it for fame or glory. “Glory has never been that high a priority. If anything, it was more out of desire to give something back to the scene(s) we came from,” Brad notes.

“Last year’s Barberlife Expo just showed me that there’s so many like-minded barbers willing to travel from all across the globe to work side-by-side – no egos, no BS, just barbers who want to cut hair, hang out, learn, teach and soak up the energy over the weekend,” Paul told me, with Brad smiling, “It’s something I will continue to push.” With the events growing, and the amount of famous barbers who have come out to join in their events, it is clear that pushing for that goal has created something wonderful.

The two continue to work on their own goals individually. Paul has taken his AONO brand of urban streetwear to new levels, partnering with companies like Electric and Mishka. As well as opening his new shop. He has AONO poised to delight anyone who takes an interest in the fashion-side of barbering, and has continued to push it as a brand that brings people together. “The interior design was my main focus”, Paul admits on. “I wanted it to represent what I’m all about and display that urban fashion-side of barbering. I wanted it to be an environment that people could talk out on the floors – I’ve had amateur skaters sitting next to professional skaters before, cops sitting next to crime lords; it’s all common ground, and that’s what I wanted to bring to the new shop, that sense of community”.

Brad has also opened a new shop with an interesting twist: Epicly Taper’d. Teaming up with his good friend, Dave Allan, Epicly Taper’d is a traditional barbershop that offers well-done traditional and modern cuts to their clients in a social environment. Brad has also admitted that he is interested in moving into the educational side of barbering and helping teach others techniques for barbering and business alike. It goes without saying that these two are going to both continue to push for success, as a team, and as individuals.

When it comes down to it, Paul and Brad represent the spirit what the barbering community is all about, and one that I am proud to be a part of. Their recollection of their journeys and adventures, with the ultimate conclusion that they did it for glory and out of love for the barber life, served as a reminder of my own journey to where I am now.

Traveling the world to learn about hair clippers would be what gave me the drive and idea to develop the Frequency60hz so that fellow barbers and clipper enthusiasts could enjoy the quality of American hair clippers without having to suffer through reduced performance or loud complaining from the clipper itself.

Like Paul and Brad, I am excited to see where else the adventures and desire to hear the stories of barbers from all over the world. That’s part of what being the Barber Man is all about – living the barber life!

 

My sincerest thanks go out to Paul and Brad for telling me their incredible story and for reminding me what the barber life really means.

 

For more information about their organizations and events, check out their Instagrams here: @aonoxxx and @hbad.

For any questions, email me at info@larrythebarberman.com. I also invite you to follow me on Instagram @larrythebarberman.

 

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Interview with Pop Up Barbershop Kings’ Paul Hewitt And Bradley Cowen

Paul Hewitt and Bradley Cowen of HBAD Barbershop and AONO, UK urban streetwear are the team behind Pop-Up Barbershop, a concept of Barber Life, and I had an opportunity to speak with both of them. A pop-up barbershop is an interesting, but simple, concept: it is like a stall you might see at a convention or fair equipped to provide barbering services. Outside the doors to the London tattoo convention, I managed to pull these two aside for an interview.

While they might look like an unassuming pair, many are aware of how successful the two have been by introducing this concept. They’ve hosted their pop-up barbershops at events ranging from Brighton Tattoo convention, which was their very first pop-up some five years ago, to the AONO x Monster Pop Up Barbershop at last year’s Sonisphere. It is easy to make the assumption that these guys are out to get to millionaire status and have already gotten it.

However, Paul and Brad gave me the truth behind their status as the Pop-Up Shop Kings.

When asked about what the idea behind the pop-up barbershops originally was, Paul responded that he and Brad had been discussing it for six months on social media and that the idea was to take everything that they were doing inside their shops and bring it to the outside world. I asked them if they knew if they were the first to implement the idea of a pop-up barbershop, and the conclusion the two seemed to settle on after some back and forth was, “they believed they were the first in their area: the UK, possibly even in Europe, but they doubted they were the first in the entire world.” “I definitely think we were the first to take on the idea in our markets,” Paul clarifies, “You had some doing similar things but not when it came to the hardcore or punk shows or events that appealed to that culture. Of course, we went out there to reinvigorate our own craft, inspire ourselves and to find people to just sort of hang with – we wanted to capture people’s imaginations.”

From their start at the aforementioned Brighton Tattoo convention, Paul reminisced about how that first pop-up lead to having AONO X VANS Pop-Up Barbershop stationed at Citadium, Paris for the entire month of September, three years ago. Brad tells me that they were looking to find a way to reinvigorate and inspire themselves outside of the shop, to find a whole new vibe, and that would come to eventually incorporate other barbers. “From an advertising standpoint, the way we saw it was that the pop-up barbershop was the way to get us out there without risking people bypassing it. You can put out ads in magazines, on television – whatever, but there’s always that risk that they’ll thumb right past it or change the channel. If we’re out there, that’s a way to talk to them directly and get our message out there.”

“People see you at events like these and think you must be raking it in,” Paul added, “but, at first, we were totally naïve about what we were doing.” In fact, both agreed that each event is something of a huge financial gamble. “People are always astounded,” Paul told me, “but when we got started, we were honestly quite naïve. These things cost thousands of dollars each, we never knew what we were getting into.”

He pauses and smiles a bit, “It’s always a gamble.” He and Brad go on to talk about an event at the Brighton seafront that they had a few years prior. “We had done it the year before,” Paul shrugs, “and we got a lot back from it. But this next year the seafront gets hit by one of the worst storms in years! That’s one of the things that is always a gamble about investing in outdoor events – you’re at the mercy of the weather, and if you try to turn to the organizer and ask for your money back because of some rain…well, it’s just not going to happen.”

“I prefer not to live in regret,” Paul concluded on the experience. “We went out there to just do what we were wanting to do, and maybe even bring on like-minded individuals…People see us out there now and we try to make it clear that this isn’t a marketing plot. We go out there and say “we are the same as you, and we care a great deal about it”. So, yeah, despite the huge financial risk involved with each event, you sort of have to look at a loss and say f*ck it, at least I learned something for next time and I had fun.”

 

“Business is all about relationships,” Paul added. “At every event we booked, we still had to pitch our idea every time and build up relationships with the people who attended, the folks who organized it. Those relationships are priceless and have been one of the things we’ve discovered have grown the more events that we host.” The phrase “business isn’t about what you do, but you know” does reflect nicely here, doesn’t it? Of course, had these two not known what they were doing, their events wouldn’t have proven nearly as popular as they have been. And who do they know? Even from the first convention in Brighton, Paul and Brad have had the chance to work with such incredible names in the barbering community as: Julius Caser, Shane Nesbitt, Brain Burt, Razor Sharp Chief, Dane Hesse, David Thomas, Frank Rimmer, Colin Petrie and SB Barbers, and that is only naming a few.

 

When thinking back on the events that stood out to him, Brad adds, “There were two that stand out to me -The first event that we ever did at the Brighton Tattoo Convention will always be one of the most memorable because it was the very first one. We had the tiniest little booth – Paul and I hadn’t even met in the flesh until the night before and nothing like this had ever been done at a convention before. So, there was a possibility for disaster, and we got and had the most fantastic weekend.” He laughs. “That was the start of it all, there was no expectation of what was to come. We were there because we wanted to work together and showcase the kind of work that we do in the way we do it.  I will never forget that one – it changed everything.”

 

The moment that they first actually got paid to fly in and host one of their events, Brad tells me, was unreal. “It was only eighteen months or so after that first event and suddenly, we’re getting asked if we’d like to fly into this event in Italy on the beaches. We agree, of course, and as we are walking on the beaches of Italy, we just sort of looked to each other and asked “What are we doing here?”. From there, it’s been a crazy adventure,” Brad laughed. “We’ve gotten to travel to so many places,” Paul added.

“We were flown out to work with Vans,” Brad tells me. “That was incredible. That was the beginning of us traveling the world together. I got to meet some of the professional skaters whose careers I had followed for years, and having them come into through the barbershop and see what we do was great. Most of these guys both of us still have them as good friends now-it was just a life, and career changing moment for me.”

 

“I commuted twice a week, Wednesday and Saturday, to work in Paris – myself and Brad loved every minute,” Paul laughs. “The biggest for me was having the AONO X MONSTER Pop-Up Barbershop city at last year’s Sonisphere.”

 

He goes on to tell me, “Italy, Spain, Belgium,Germany, Slovenia, LA, and NYC have been just some of the destinations we’ve set up pop-up barbershops …I never thought barbering would have taken me around the world…”

Paul estimates that he will be taking seventy-five flights this year alone; talk about a frequent-flier!

 

“We have done events for Vans shoes at their Spring Classic competition, which is held in Italy every year,” Brad adds. “At Bright, which is a trade show for the streetwear and skate industry held in Berlin twice a year to coincide with Berlin fashion week, The BeStreet Weekend Urban Festival, which is held in Paris once a year, and also the Groezrock Festival that is held in Belgium every spring – we’ve just been so many crazy, amazing, places!”

 

These two are setting out to reach people within their own demographics, and openly those people what they can do – they aren’t in it for fame or glory. “Glory has never been that high a priority. If anything, it was more out of desire to give something back to the scene(s) we came from,” Brad notes.

 

“Last year’s Barberlife Expo just showed me that there’s so many like-minded barbers willing to travel from all across the globe to work side-by-side – no egos, no BS, just barbers who want to cut hair, hang out, learn, teach and soak up the energy over the weekend,” Paul told me, with Brad smiling, “It’s something I will continue to push.” With the events growing, and the amount of famous barbers who have come out to join in their events, it is clear that pushing for that goal has created something wonderful.

 

The two continue to work on their own goals individually. Paul has taken his AONO brand of urban streetwear to new levels, partnering with companies like Electric and Mishka. As well as opening his new shop. He has AONO poised to delight anyone who takes an interest in the fashion-side of barbering, and has continued to push it as a brand that brings people together. “The interior design was my main focus”, Paul admits on. “I wanted it to represent what I’m all about and display that urban fashion-side of barbering. I wanted it to be an environment that people could talk out on the floors – I’ve had amateur skaters sitting next to professional skaters before, cops sitting next to crime lords; it’s all common ground, and that’s what I wanted to bring to the new shop, that sense of community”.

 

Brad has also opened a new shop with an interesting twist: Epicly Taper’d. Teaming up with his good friend, Dave Allan, Epicly Taper’d is a traditional barbershop that offers well-done traditional and modern cuts to their clients in a social environment. Brad has also admitted that he is interested in moving into the educational side of barbering and helping teach others techniques for barbering and business alike. It goes without saying that these two are going to both continue to push for success, as a team, and as individuals.

 

When it comes down to it, Paul and Brad represent the spirit what the barbering community is all about, and one that I am proud to be a part of. Their recollection of their journeys and adventures, with the ultimate conclusion that they did it for glory and out of love for the barber life, served as a reminder of my own journey to where I am now.

Traveling the world to learn about hair clippers would be what gave me the drive and idea to develop the Frequency60hz so that fellow barbers and clipper enthusiasts could enjoy the quality of American hair clippers without having to suffer through reduced performance or loud complaining from the clipper itself.

 

Like Paul and Brad, I am excited to see where else the adventures and desire to hear the stories of barbers from all over the world. That’s part of what being the Barber Man is all about – living the barber life!

 

My sincerest thanks go out to Paul and Brad for telling me their incredible story and for reminding me what the barber life really means.

 

For more information about their organizations and events, check out their Instagrams here: @aonoxxx and @hbad.

 

For any questions, email me at info@larrythebarberman.com. I also invite you to follow me on Instagram @larrythebarberman.

 

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Tuning & Service your Andis Masters for a kick ass performances

 

This is Larry the Barberman coming at you from barbers.tv with some more ninja tips for your barbering equipment. Today, I want to demonstrate how to perform a full service on an Andis Masters hair clipper. The particular Andis Masters hair clipper that I am working with today has been dropped, so naturally it is suffering from a lousy performance. What I intend to show you is both how it performs now and how it will perform later after we do the full service.

In the video, I demonstrate with a piece of hair. You can see my perspective from another camera, and what you will notice is that the Andis Masters hair clipper has very little cutting power, and its performance is severely lacking. Even after we adjust the power screw, which you can see in the demonstration, and which normally gives it more power, it is not actually causing any kind of change. What that tells me is that the mechanism is out of line.

 

Our first step to perform the service will require a flat head screwdriver so we can open up the Andis Masters. You can see the two screws on the hair clipper in the video – remove them and set them in an area where you will not lose them. I always recommend using a rubber mat, personally. If you lose your screws, you’ll no doubt have to order more from the manufacturer, which will lose you time and, by association, money. To show you a bit of clipper architecture, the part you will first see in this video is the clipper armature. This is the part that is responsible for moving the blade. The next part you will see is the tension screw. As I mentioned before, because the power screw wasn’t responding, that led me to conclude that the tension is out.

Now, when I say tension, what do I mean? In this case, the tension is how tightly squeezed together the bottom blade is, which is the cutting blade, from the comb blade. If the tension is too tight, you won’t be able to move the blades. If it is too loose, it will impair the cutting, even without hair being present. The objective today is to get the tension to the perfect amount and get the power up so it starts to cut properly once more.

 

Because the clipper has been dropped, our second step is to reset the position of the mechanism. For this, you will be using a pointed pair of pliers. As shown in the video, you will guide the pointed pliers into the two holes, and turn it clockwise to get it to the point where it stops moving. Funnily enough, it stops at twelve o’ clock in the video. Now, what I need to do next is turn it counterclockwise one rotation to reset the mechanism – so that is one full turn until it is back on twelve o’clock, or whatever area it landed on for you.

 

With the mechanism in the right place, we are next going to adjust the tension. To adjust the tension, we first need to loosen the screw as shown in the video, which is the tension screw. Next, we will turn the machine one. We want to use our flat head screwdriver, and get it underneath the fork – that is what holds the blade. As you can see in the demonstration, has two Torx screws. Underneath that is a black piece of metal, which is the fork, and it is what holds the blade. We are going to put the screwdriver underneath it. Now that we have loosened the tension screw and lifted it up, we want it to make a loud rattling noise, as you can hear in the video. When you have it making the noise, we want to turn the tension screw until the noise goes away; that is the sweet point for tension. So, keep turning it clockwise until you hear a powerful humming noise, and we are good!

 

Next, turn the machine off. It is time to reassemble it, and play with the power screw so we can get the best maximum power. You’ll remember me mentioning the power screw earlier when deciphering the issue. What we want to do is bring the armature closer to the motor to give the hair clipper more power. Mind, if it gets too close, it will make a loud noise. What we want to do then is turn it the other way to take it off the arm until it stops making said noise. At that point, we know we have maximum power. That means it will be right on the motor. We want it there, and we also want the cutting blades to be covering every single tooth.

 

Now, we return back to our piece of hair. Before our adjustments, it wasn’t cutting at all: there was little sound and the blades were barely moving. As a ninja tip, I also recommend a drop of oil to give it even more of a boost. As you can see in the video, once we give it another attempt, it is cutting beautifully now. There you go! One full service of the Andis Masters by Larry the Barberman. I hope you found this demonstration useful!

 

If you enjoyed this tutorial, please be sure to subscribe to see more interviews, tutorials and content! For more information, you can email me at: info@larrythebarberman.com. I’d also like to invite you to follow me on Instagram @larrythebarberman for other free barbering content. You can also email me at info@larrythebarberman.com

 

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The Best 3 cordless Rotary Motored Hair Clipper Review

Today, I sit down with Champ from Champ’s Barbers and Marc Republic, for something of a different style. Today, we’re going to be looking at rotary motored clippers and providing a bit of insight on them.

To kick-off, we’re starting with the BGR, which is an Andis clipper. Marc weighs in, “I love it. I’ve been using it for two or three years now. One thing I will say: it’s heavier on the backend because the battery is detachable. The clipper is obviously much heavier with the battery in. When I’m cutting, you can still feel the weight in the end – overall, it’s a great clipper.”

Asked about using the BGR with Andis guards, Marc continues, “I like the Andis guards because they have the ceramic under-blade. I love the way they feel, the three lines on the back, as they help my thumb have a better grip. It makes the clipper a little heavier, sure, but for me it is comfortable.”

Champ weighs in once Marc has finished, “To be honest, I started using the BGRs thanks to Marc. He showed me last year’s pair, and said, “Yeah, Champ, this is what you need”. It’s a bit chunky, sure, but it’s also comfortable in your hand. You can probably go on all day when it comes to battery life.” Marc also adds, “One thing I want to touch on, as he said, is the battery life. Even though it’s not the new Ion battery, the battery life is still pretty strong. I use them for a full day of work Friday and Saturday and don’t really have any issues with them going down.” Champ adds that he prefers the ceramic blades when it comes to using his Oster, and tells me that Oster blades do a good job when it comes to bulk; for him, it depends on the texture and thickness of the hair.

But how does it compare to a corded rotary motor e.g the Model 10 and the 76, itself being cordless? Marc tells me that he believes there is little difference, and that outside of the weight, he didn’t feel like he personally lost any power whatsoever. Champ adds, “Power-wise, it’s strong. If you put it on the charge stand, and take it off, it comes out really strong. With regards to a Model 10 or a 76, the 75 is obviously bigger. A Model 10 would be roughly the same size, but you’d have to be holding the cord in your other hand to work properly – there’s the real advantage.

Andis BGR Scores:

Champ: 8/10

Marc: 7.5 – 8 /10

 

Our next clipper is the Lithium Ion Oster Octane. Once again, we start with Marc. “Visually,” he explains, “—it is a beautiful looking clipper. It’s a little lighter than the BGR. If I close my eyes and pick it up off of my station, at least to me, it doesn’t feel that comfortable. The way I hold my fingers and where I place my thumb are at a sort of angle, and it makes holding it just doesn’t feel as natural to me. My only real complaint is the button placement, honestly. It’s a very lightweight and beautiful clipper, otherwise.” We also factor in the sound of the clipper, comparatively. Marc feels it is a little too loud, and also notes that most Osters tend to have a louder noise production than Andis detachables, at least in his experience. Champ adds in his own experience with the Oster Octane, referencing a time when he once on a kid and the noise made him cry straight away. “With this clipper, for some reason I really found that it worked well with comb stuff. When I held it like this, it felt nice, whereas the BGR, if feels like it’s a little bit light for that”

Lithium Ion Oster Octane Scores

Champ: 8 / 10

Marc: 7 / 10

 

Last, but not least, we bring up the new Andis ZR Super. I pass the floor once again to Marc. “Visually, I love it. It’s a beautiful clipper, and I’m big on design. It has five speeds, which is great, and I really love how smooth it is. It feels good to hold in every position. Plus, it’s got the lithium ion battery in it so the power remains consistent.”

“For a novice barber,” he continues, “—you might want lower speeds. You’d want that to add texture to the hair. The blade is a little slower, so you drop it down to a feather action with the shears. Some guys do a point-cut on the top to mimic shear work, for example, and it gives it that great jagged look. Another cool thing about changing speeds up is the effect it has on light. Lower speed, the light goes down, and so on.”

“I like playing with these speeds,” Champ adds. “I find that when I’m tapering at the back, I’ll sometimes hit a lower speed and the textures of the hair will come out a bit more softly. The battery life is unbelievable, and I’d say it is my go to at the moment for bulk.” The Andis ZR Super comes in very highly.

 

Marc: 7 / 10

Andis ZR Super

Champ: 9 / 10

Marc: 9 / 10

 

And there you have it – two barber champs and barber life living professionals weighing in on the top three rotary motored cordless clippers. Be sure to let me know your opinions on the clippers mentioned, whether you agree, disagree, or know of other clippers worth discussing.

 

 

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 or my Website: http://www.larrythebarberman.com

 

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Tuning & Service your Andis Masters for kick ass performances

This is Larry the Barberman coming at you from barbers.tv with some more ninja tips for your barbering equipment. Today, I want to demonstrate how to perform a full service on an Andis Masters hair clipper. The particular Andis Masters hair clipper that I am working with today has been dropped, so naturally it is suffering from a lousy performance. What I intend to show you is both how it performs now and how it will perform later after we do the full service.

In the video, I demonstrate with a piece of hair. You can see my perspective from another camera, and what you will notice is that the Andis Masters hair clipper has very little cutting power, and its performance is severely lacking. Even after we adjust the power screw, which you can see in the demonstration, and which normally gives it more power, it is not actually causing any kind of change. What that tells me is that the mechanism is out of line.

 

Our first step to perform the service will require a flat head screwdriver so we can open up the Andis Masters. You can see the two screws on the hair clipper in the video – remove them and set them in an area where you will not lose them. I always recommend using a rubber mat, personally. If you lose your screws, you’ll no doubt have to order more from the manufacturer, which will lose you time and, by association, money. To show you a bit of clipper architecture, the part you will first see in this video is the clipper armature. This is the part that is responsible for moving the blade. The next part you will see is the tension screw. As I mentioned before, because the power screw wasn’t responding, that led me to conclude that the tension is out.

Now, when I say tension, what do I mean? In this case, the tension is how tightly squeezed together the bottom blade is, which is the cutting blade, from the comb blade. If the tension is too tight, you won’t be able to move the blades. If it is too loose, it will impair the cutting because hair will get inbetween the two blades, even without hair being present. The objective today is to get the tension to the perfect amount and get the power up so it starts to cut properly once more.

 

Because the clipper has been dropped, our second step is to reset the position of the mechanism. For this, you will be using a pointed pair of pliers. As shown in the video, you will guide the pointed pliers into the two holes, and turn it clockwise to get it to the point where it stops moving. Funnily enough, it stops at twelve o’ clock in the video. Now, what I need to do next is turn it counterclockwise one rotation to reset the mechanism – so that is one full turn until it is back on twelve o’clock, or whatever area it landed on for you.

 

With the mechanism in the right place, we are next going to adjust the tension. To adjust the tension, we first need to loosen the screw as shown in the video, which is the tension screw. Next, we will turn the machine one. We want to use our flat head screwdriver, and get it underneath the fork – that is what holds the blade. As you can see in the demonstration, has two Torx screws. Underneath that is a black piece of metal, which is the fork, and it is what holds the blade. We are going to put the screwdriver underneath it and lift upwards. Now that we have loosened the tension screw and lifted it up, we want it to make a loud rattling noise, as you can hear in the video. When you have it making the noise, we want to turn the tension screw until the noise goes away; that is the sweet point for tension. So, keep turning it clockwise until you hear a powerful humming noise, and we are good!

 

Next, turn the machine off. It is time to reassemble it, and play with the power screw so we can get the best maximum power. You’ll remember me mentioning the power screw earlier when deciphering the issue. What we want to do is bring the armature closer to the motor to give the hair clipper more power. Mind, if it gets too close, it will make a loud noise. What we want to do then is turn it the other way to take it off the arm until it stops making said noise. At that point, we know we have maximum power. That means it will be right on the motor. We want it there, and we also want the cutting blades to be covering every single tooth.

 

Now, we return back to our piece of hair. Before our adjustments, it wasn’t cutting at all: there was little sound and the blades were barely moving. As a ninja tip, I also recommend a drop of oil to give it even more of a boost. As you can see in the video, once we give it another attempt, it is cutting beautifully now. There you go! One full service of the Andis Masters by Larry the Barberman. I hope you found this demonstration useful!

 

If you enjoyed this tutorial, please be sure to subscribe to see more interviews, tutorials and content! For more information, you can email me at: info@larrythebarberman.com. I’d also like to invite you to follow me on Instagram @larrythebarberman for other free barbering content. You can also email me at info@larrythebarberman.com

 

 

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Barber Steve Of Diligence Barber Shop West Ealing London Talks Barbering

Barber Steve of Diligence Barbershop In West Ealing started his craft straight out of his bedroom when he was between twenty-three or twenty-four; he has had an interesting ride since then. You might recognize his name from a mention by Barber Luke in a previous interview. Steve is a former employer of Barber Luke, and Luke had fond memories of his time at Steve and Pecker Barbershop.

Though he started out practicing on his brothers and cousins, his self-training led to the opportunity for lots of experience and interesting experiences. Steve gained his initial inspiration and desire to be a barber from a barbershop in Southall that he used to frequent. His journey saw him trading work for experience; it has been a constant state of learning.

Variety is the key with Steve – when it comes to styles, signatures and clients. “It’s all about preference,” he tells me. “Someone might come in and I’ll be cutting their hair for the first time and they might prefer me, or someone might do it better; it’s really all about preference.”

Steve has been using American hair clippers for a solid decade, and has thoroughly enjoyed his experience with them. Prior to discovering the Frequency60hz, he experienced the tell-tale vibrating and loud noise that come with an improperly powered American clipper being used in the UK. “Even with those issues, they were still superior clippers to the British clippers.”

His advice to other barbers? Get the Frequency60hz ASAP!

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 info@larrythebarberman.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.

 

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Master barber Tony Roberts Shares his Knowledge with Larry The Barber Man

Think that barbering is a hard day’s work? If so, then you should spare a thought for the barbers of the past, who mastered techniques such as the fade and the flattop with only the tools that they could operate by hand – no electric clippers to make the job easier of faster! One barber who trained with these methods is Tony from Just Gent’s Barbershop, and he has lived through the transition from hand shears and straight razors to motorised tools that can do all the hard work for you – making him a fascinating authority on the barbering craft.

When Tony first set out there were just a few careers on offer to him: he could have become a gunsmith, a projectionist at the local cinema or a barber, and barbering seemed like the most enticing option. Instead of formal training, he learnt the ropes at a barbershop, progressing quickly and eventually, in 1969, opening his first shop.

I was intrigued by the equipment that they used back when Tony first started – just like modern barbers like to have a whole rack of different clippers to help with specific jobs, they would have a selection of hand shears at the ready! These were operated by repetitively squeezing as quickly as possible, while steadily moving over the hair from bottom to top. Instead of attachments, you could change the heads themselves to get different results, and adjust the tension… making sure that they were still loose enough to keep squeezing!

It’s no wonder that Tony believes barbers today have “got it so easy” – although he’s definitely not complaining, as the new equipment means that after 55 years he is doing the profession he loves with more ease than ever. Although he thinks that barbers could always pull off the styles that are being seen today, especially since many of the classic trends have come back into fashion, he has found the electric clippers to add speed, while US clippers bring power and better build quality.

Of course, to get the American clippers working properly, you’ll need the Frequency60hz Converter – otherwise you’re just left with a loud noise and a juddering machine! Tony recommends the Frequency60hz Converter because, as he says, ‘it’s all about quality’, and with better tools you’ll do a better job.

There are few things more inspiring than barbers like Tony, who have stuck in the game for so long,   a lot of inspiration comes from his son Jamie – the person behind his venture into cutting with US clippers. In his career, Tony has achieved some incredible things, and he tells me that one accomplishment that stands out is having had his flat top work admired by Vidal Sassoon to such an extent that Sassoon asked him to train his staff. Impressive stuff! These days his favourite part of the job comes from soaking up the banter and the barbershop environment: there’s nothing quite like it.

If you want to find out more about the Frequency60hz Converter then please drop me a line at info@larrythebarberman.com. You can also connect with me on social media for more incredible, free barbering content – head to Instagram, Facebook or YouTube!

 

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