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Barbershop Focus – Slicks Barbershop

It’s said that friends make bad business partners. Impersonal decisions become difficult and a souring friendship can cause the downfall of a business, but Eric Begg and Greg Forrest have defied the odds to create the hugely successful Slicks brand. Today, I’m in Glasgow to delve deeper into barbering’s greatest bromance.

The couple met seven years ago at Victoria Barbers in Glasgow. Both were just starting out in the industry but already had big ambitions for the coming years.

“I was a fresh faced little girl and Eric was a bit older than me but had the personality of a fifteen-year-old,” smiles Greg. “We had similar views for our life plans – owning our own business and making a footprint on the barbering scene in Scotland.”

“I was told by my boss I would be working with Greg one day, a fifteen-year-old boy full of nonsense. Not a lot has changed. We worked for about three years in there and then starting planning our own business,” adds Eric.

Like all young people, they both set an age by which they wanted to be making real money – the year is typically pushed back a year or two each time it’s met until deciding money isn’t for you anyway. But before tackling the hardships of real life, however, Eric and Greg completed the rite of passage of all twenty-somethings: travelling around Australia.

Rejuvenated and presumably sunburnt, the young barbers returned to Dear Green Place to begin the eighteen-months of planning their maiden venture. Greg – who may well have been a commercial agent in a previous life – found the location: a unit in Burnside easily accessible from the motorway, by train or bus. They intended to call the shop Slick Rick’s, but knew Glaswegian curiosity would lead to questions about this Rick fella. Slicks was born.

“We’d taken the biggest risks of our lives,” says Greg. “We were petrified we hadn’t made the right choice but also at the same time told ourselves to think positive thoughts. Our motto was to listen to the customers, take our time on cuts, give great customer service and charge a reasonable price. Our clientele started to build and after a few months we started recruiting staff.”

Like it’s owners, the shop itself certainly has tons of character. A monotone exterior – designed by friend Craig Black – is offset by funky stag wallpaper and five chairs. The middle section of shop is all white and festooned with unique artwork. Finally, you come to a zen den, complete with a scent diffuser to add to the relaxed atmosphere.

“I would say our shop is definitely one of the more modern barbershops in Glasgow,” says Eric. “At the moment, the wide variation in cuts means that we have to be up to speed on every modern and classic style. I believe some of our success comes from catering for everybody.”

Eric and Greg have built something they’re rightly proud of in just four short years. I assume picking a highlight will be tricky, but I’m going to ask them nonetheless.

“We’ve had many highlights in our career from the get go,” Eric says.

Fine, a selection will do.

“Being featured in magazines such as BarberEvo of course, being part of a brand like OSMO, having Menspire come to our shop and Josh [Lamonaca] helping us grow in and out of the salon. The biggest one for me is when Garry Spencer gave us the opportunity to showcase in our hometown at the Glasgow Barber Bash. I’ll remember that for the rest of my days.”

“It’s hard to pinpoint what our biggest achievement for the shop would be,” Greg agrees. “But when we started the business me and Eric named a few things we wanted to accomplish. To cut on stage in front of a crowd representing our brand, to teach and educate a workshop or class and to have our own academy one day. We’ve hit two out of three so far!”

As Eric briefly mentioned, Slicks are ambassadors for OSMO.

“To be asked to work with OSMO was something I wasn’t expecting or even thinking about – working with a global product brand.

As ambassadors, Eric and Greg demonstrate how OSMO’s eclectic range of products can be used to create the latest styles, both in store, online and at industry shows across the country. They have products to cover all styles and are always evolving the range to suit the latest trends. Eric says that the Blowdry Potion and Matte Clay are key for current longer, looser looks.

“Working with OSMO this last year has been excellent and opened my eyes to how a massive company operates. Our job is to stay updated on fashions and styles and provide images to match. Working with OSMO has improved the way we go about our images and social media in a more professional manner.”

Back when they met – and Greg was still female – they said they wanted to leave a mark on Scottish barbering. You could argue they already have, but 2018 is already shaping up to be another impressive year.

“Growth is something that is always on our minds and we discuss it regularly. Our future is looking very promising and we feel we’re just getting started.

We’re always looking at ways to drive the brand forward and push our brand. Shop number two is on the horizon and loads of other opportunities, so 2018 is going to be Slick!” says Eric.

Now for the million-dollar question. Psychologists have long theorised the essence of a happy relationship but failed. W.C Fields postulated never work with children, animals or mates. Ok, I may have added the last part but mine could fall into either of the previous two categories. But what do Greg and Eric believe the key is to their partnership?

“The secret to a good partnership in business is trust and honesty. We agreed at the start of the venture to be honest and that loyalty makes the partnership bulletproof. If Eric decides to go to Nando’s with his chums and uses the business card to pay for it he’ll drop me a text: ‘Greg, I bought some chicken off the card, just so you know’. Something as simple as being honest about your chicken purchases keeps us right,” smiles Greg.

“We’ve only ever fallen out once… in Australia. He ate the last ham sandwich,” admits Eric. “Our budget was tighter back then but we came out stronger after the incident.”

Winners of the NHF’s Photographic Stylist of the Year competition are crowned

Last night the finalists of the prestigious Photographic Stylist of the Year competition gathered at the NHF’s fabulous 75th anniversary event in Birmingham to celebrate the highest levels of hair creativity and craftsmanship.

There were five categories for entrants to showcase their styling skills through the creation of a stunning visual image, suitable for a magazine front cover.

The winners of the NHF’s 13th Photographic Stylist of the Year, announced during the glitzy awards ceremony, were:

– Male Fashion Look – Melissa Timperley, Melissa Timperley Salons
– Male Fashion Collection – James Beaumont, Allure
– Female Fashion Look – (students and trainees) – Liberty Clark, Francesco Group
– Female Fashion Look – Caroline Sanderson, Ego Hair Design
– Female Fashion Collection – Royston Blythe, Royston Blythe

NHF president Agnes Leonard commented: “The Photographic Stylist of the Year competition continues to inspire stylists to create exceptional visual imagery. This year’s entries did not disappoint – our expert panel of judges were in awe!

“Winning such a prestigious competition is a true reflection of a stylist’s talent, so we hope that the careers of those who went home with awards last night will benefit.

“The competition is one that continues to go from strength-to-strength, so we’re excited at the thought of what 2018 will bring!”

For the full list of the Photographic Stylist of the Year finalists, visit:

Barbershops of America

Australian men’s grooming brand, Uppercut Deluxe is stoked to announce its latest collaboration with legendary California based photographer, Rob Hammer.

Name sound familiar? Perhaps you’ve admired Rob’s beautifully curated ‘Barbershops of America’ coffee table book? It was our first introduction to Rob’s masterful work with a camera.

With a collection of images inspired by the timeless traditions of the American Barbershop, the latest campaign from Uppercut Deluxe features a mini-series of images and interviews by Rob, with some of the Barber’s behind the most iconic shops from across the country.

Each collection features a look inside a completely unique Barbershop from another era.

Barbershops of America – Part 2 Mack's Barbershop from Uppercut Deluxe on Vimeo.

Whether it’s the collections of cigarette cards on the walls, or the old cinema chairs in the waiting room, the shops featured the latest Uppercut Deluxe campaign speak to a time before ego and social media took over.
With a staged release schedule over the next 8 weeks, Uppercut Deluxe is providing a respectful nod to the traditions of an industry steeped in heritage and nostalgia. Without the shops featured in the campaign, barbering as we know it today simply wouldn’t exist.

Uppercut Deluxe Global Marketing Manager, Tom Woodward, says: “We just couldn’t believe how well Rob Hammer has captured these distinctive and
incredible shops. It’s so inspiring to see Barber’s in their 80’s who are still cutting and showing the new generation how it’s always been done,” said Woodward. “This campaign has been created as a way of reminding the world about what made Barbering great. Without the Mac’s or Tony’s of this world, most Barber’s today wouldn’t have a trade. These guys survived every trend of the past 50 years and still made guys look good every single day.” Woodward continues.


Andis announces a formal partnership with the Great British Barbering Academy – a prestigious UK academy dedicated to raising educational standards and helping barbers acquire career-changing technical skills. Co-created by acclaimed barber, educator and founder of the British Barbers’ Association Mike Taylor and leading cult barber brand The Bluebeards Revenge, Mike has designed and written GBBA courses. Now, with an exclusive licence to deliver Andis and The Bluebeards Revenge courses Mike, on behalf of the GBBA, approached Andis to ensure the highest quality clippers, trimmers and accessories are used in the delivery of its course programme.

‘The quality of tools is essential to execute cuts, fades and patterns with technical precision and accuracy,’ explains Mike Taylor on behalf of the
GBBA. ‘Andis creates innovative world-class products and we felt there was no better brand to complement the quality of our training and the standards we want barbers to reach.’


From January 2018, GBBA educators will deliver courses using Andis tools exclusively, as well as using them at events and trade shows. As part its course programme, the GBBA is presenting two exclusive Andis courses, both of which are VTCT approved:

~ The Andis Clipper & Beard Day, and
~ The Andis & The Bluebeards Revenge Advanced Barbering
~ Fades & Blades

These courses see a collaboration between Andis and The Bluebeards Revenge facilitated and presented by the GBBA, who have six educators dedicated to teaching Andis courses. ‘As with all GBBA courses, the Andis courses will focus on imparting knowledge, perfecting technique and boosting confidence for barbers from beginners to those who’ve completed their NVQs,’ says Mike Taylor.

As a world-leading tool manufacturer, Andis recognises the relationship between education and using quality tools and products. Andis Education Manager Jessica Zeinstra: ’That’s why this is a great collaboration for Andis. It brings together three key elements essential to great barbering; education, tools and product. We are excited to join forces with the GBBA and The Bluebeards Revenge and look forward to an effective partnership.’

On confirming this partnership, Andis Company’s Vice President of Marketing Karen Formico reinforced the value of education to Andis on a global footing. ‘Education has always been at the forefront of our business and we are very excited to develop partnerships with brands and educational organisations that are committed to raising professional and technical standards.

‘As a 95-year-old company, we are proud to share our industry experience as we develop the tools and resources needed to teach the art of clipper cutting and inspire barbers and stylists.’

Armour To Barber Welcomes Matakki As An Official Partner

The Armour to Barber movement is pleased to welcome scissor specialist Matakki as an official partner in its mission to introduce ex-military personnel to the barbering industry.

Founded by former Coldstream Guard Liam Hamilton, Armour to Barber is designed to help ex-servicemen and women find careers as barbers. To do this, the organisation provides those in need with vital work experience in approved barber shops all over the UK.

“As a part of this mission, an abundance of professional tools and products are required,” explained Liam, who works out of Hamilton’s Elite Barbershop in Redruth, Cornwall.

To help meet these demands, Matakki has pledged that it will provide Armour to Barber prospects with refurbished scissors from its ‘trade in’ scheme, while also offering discounts on scissors to Armour to Barber customers.

On the new partnership, Liam said: “It’s fantastic to see industry-leading brands provide their support. Barbering is currently enjoying a renaissance that shows no signs of slowing down, and this has created a shortage of high-quality barbers. At Armour to Barber, we believe that ex-forces personnel have all the attributes to take the trade by storm, and it’s pleasing to see that Matakki agree.

Matakki joins premium men’s grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge in providing support to Armour to Barber, something that David Hildrew – a former Royal Marine and Managing Director of The Bluebeards Revenge – is thrilled with.

David said: “We are proud to work with Matakki to support Armour to Barber and offer comrades-in-arms a fantastic chance to retrain in a lucrative industry with plenty of opportunities. These highly-skilled individuals will make fantastic barbers and deserve a chance to thrive outside of their military past.”

Matakki Founder James Curd added “As an ex service man this is a cause that I can whole heartedly support and believe in. As the youngest serving engineer in the Gulf war I can relate to the adjustment from military to civilian life and have many ex comrades who found this experience a difficult transition for a variety of reasons, often feeling lost and without direction. At Matakki we believe in providing opportunity and acknowledging ambition. I personally believe the mental strength to succeed exhibited by ex-force individuals is a commendable attribute. I look forward to being part of this movement and seeing the many opportunities it provides to those working under it.


Be a part of the most important men’s styling and grooming competition in the world.

Enter today and get the opportunity to take your career global.

Win Global All Star Challenge and receive:

  •  $10,000 (USD) Cash Prize
  • American Crew All-Star Challenge trophy
  • Global press coverage

UK & Ireland Winners receive:

  • Each receive cash prize of £500
  • 3 day mentoring programme with an American Crew All Star
  • American Crew toolkit

UK & Ireland Runners Up receive:

  • 1 day course of your choice



How to Participate

  1. Select a male model to assist in the creation of your All-Star Challenge submission look (Note: professional model not required, but the same model must be used in both images).
  2. Create a look that best represents the American Crew man, cut and style your model using American Crew products.
  3. Select makeup and wardrobe that is appropriate or your style’s overall look and theme.
  4. Set up appropriate photoshoot lighting.
  5. Capture two black and white photos in front of a blank background (with no props visible): – One photo face forward – One photo profile shot – Images should show model from chest-level and above
  6. Prepare a brief explanation of the inspiration behind the look and the products used to achieve the look.
  7. Enter your submission via:

Open for entries until 28th February 2018 For more information and to enter visit

The Bluebeards Revenge releases new sea salt spray

Premium men’s grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge is pleased to announce the launch of its latest hairstyling product – The Bluebeards Revenge Sea Salt Spray.

The new product is available in a professional 400ml bottle (trade only) and a retail-friendly 200ml bottle.

The barbershop-quality spray is being introduced to the barbering industry at a time when longer, natural looks are coming to the forefront of men’s fashion.

“Shorter men’s cuts will always have a place in the barbershop,” said the brand’s Managing Director David Hildrew, “but with longer looks becoming more popular, we want to offer barbers and their clients a product that can handle the demands of these modern styles.”

The Bluebeards Revenge Sea Salt Spray has been specially designed with sea salt minerals to give men a natural look that boasts all of the volume, texture and wave seen in the hair of coastline junkies. Featuring the grooming brand’s classic barbershop fragrance, the spray offers bland hair a crisp hold that can be reworked throughout the day.

How to use The Bluebeards Revenge Sea Salt Spray:

  1. Start by shaking the spray well to activate the sea salt minerals.
  2. Apply the spray to the roots and tips of clean, damp hair and comb it through.
  3. Blow-dry the hair into the desired shape with The Bluebeards Revenge Vent Brush or Quiff Roller to activate the spray’s volumizing properties.
  4. Alternatively, apply the spray to dry hair and ruffle it through to create natural-looking waves and bends.
  5. Enjoy a natural, textured look that will last all day.

UK barbering industry expected to grow…

…but survey reveals there is a lack of quality barbers to meet demand

The UK barbering industry is expected to grow over the next five year years, but there are major concerns over a lack of quality barbers to meet this extra demand, a new survey has found.

The research, by ex-forces skills organisation Armour to Barber and The Bluebeards Revenge premium male grooming brand, revealed that 83% of those working in the industry think the barbering sector will continue to flourish.

However, 63% of the 1,001 respondents believe the industry does not currently have enough quality barbers to cope with the rising demand from consumers.

According to the survey, the overriding reason for this was because of the “conveyor belt” system (64%). Barbers said there is far too much pressure to complete cuts quickly (dubbed the ten-minute haircut) without taking the time to consult with the client on their individual requirements.

Another reason cited was the lack of regulation and licensing within the industry (51%), thus allowing anyone to open up a barbershop without the necessary skills and offer a poor quality of service.

Thirty three per cent said they believed inadequate barber training provided by colleges was the biggest challenge for the industry.

When asked what attributes make a great barber, patience took the top spot (85%), with a good communicator (75%) second, discipline (67%) third and passion (66%) fourth. Other key skills listed included respect, courage and integrity.

The survey also found that 66% of barbershop owners are finding it difficult to hire a quality barber.

Former British army officer Liam Hamilton, the founder of Armour to Barber, hopes his group can help to plug this skills gap and ensure the industry thrives for years to come.

He said: “Barbering is enjoying a renaissance that shows no signs of slowing down, which has created a shortage of high-quality barbers.

“We believe that ex-service men and women have all the attributes to take the trade by storm: patience, people skills, an attention to detail and the ability to stand on their feet all day without a single complaint.

“At Armour to Barber our mission is to enable ex-service personnel to reinvent themselves in an exciting and rewarding industry. No matter how many years of service our prospects have given, we are here to help them transition smoothly into barbering with all the support they need.”

Armour to Barber works closely with The Bluebeards Revenge to deliver its important services. The barbershop brand has a great appreciation for the armed forces, with its managing director David Hildrew having previously served as a Royal Marine’s Commando.

He said: “We are proud to support Armour to Barber and offer comrades-in-arms a fantastic chance to retrain in a lucrative industry with plenty of opportunities. These highly-skilled individuals make fantastic barbers and deserve a chance to thrive outside of their military pasts.”

Armour to Barber are now calling on the industry to help them in their quest to recruit quality barbers. They are looking for barbershops to offer work placements to ex-military personnel.

“Experience is the best teacher, which is why every ex-service man or woman that wants to become a barber needs a stable work placement to help them on their journey,” Liam said.

“It’s our aim to provide this to them with the help of the UK’s finest barbers and barber shops. If you’d like to offer your shop and knowledge to our cause then visit”

A barber since his early 20s, Liam served in the Coldstream Guards for 21-years before returning to the barbershop. Upon leaving the Guards, he faced an adversity that many members of the armed forces are confronted with – a lack of post-service opportunities. Thankfully, barbering gave him a platform to build his own business, learn a respected trade and enjoy a life of creativity.


Renowned barber set to inspire the Andis Nation!

As a leading manufacturer of clippers and trimmers for professional barbers and stylists, Andis recognises the need for world-class education. To expand its already strong team of professional educators, Andis names renowned barber, Sid Sottung, as the latest addition to its global team.

Sottung has captured the imagination of barbers with his distinctive image, creativity and technical precision. Achieving a high industry and media profile, he has risen to celebrity status in the barbering fraternity, and it was a combination of his talents that motivated Andis to secure his expertise as part of their global team.

‘Sid inspires through his natural ability to reach out and engage. His creative work is regarded among the best in the industry and he will quickly become a tremendous asset to our already strong team, as we train hair professionals to master clipper techniques,’ says Andis Education Manager Jessica Zeinstra. ‘To deliver great style and push the boundaries of hair fashion, the best tools and training are essential. Sid and our team of fantastic educators will empower other professionals to take their men’s grooming skills to a whole new level.”


Sid fell in love with barbering at the age of 14 while working as a shop assistant in a traditional Italian barbershop in New York. Eager to make his name, he embarked on a 14-year career with Vidal Sassoon where he rose to Assistant Creative Director, collaborating on editorial work and maintaining a celebrity client base. Sid also worked backstage at revered international fashion shows including crafting hair for Joseph Abboud’s Mens’ Collection at New York Fashion Week. After his time with Sassoon, Sid pursued a freelance career guesting and teaching in exclusive salons and barbershops. Having trained educators and written curriculums for academies, Sid opened his very own academy The Sid Sottung Academy in Nottingham, UK.

milk_shake Energizing Blend haircare system for fine, fragile and thinning hair.

Natural powers of organic rosemary, sage and Fioravanti balm extract purifies and fortifies hair and stimulates the scalp’s microcirculation to create an optimal environment for new hair growth. The blend of botanical extracts and special conditioners invigorates the hair stem and gives softness, Panthenol gives more density to the hair, essential oils and eucalyptus instil a pleasant energizing feeling, leaving the scalp refreshed 

Energizing Blend Shampoo

Energizing shampoo for fine, thinning and fragile hair. cleanses deeply but gently, respecting the scalp and hair. contains organic rosemary and organic sage extracts, Fioravanti balm, naturally derived glycerine, eucalyptol, panthenol and a mix of 11 essential oils.


AVAILABLE FORMATS: 300ml, 1000ml

RSP: £15.39




Energizing Blend Conditioner


Conditioner for fine, thinning and fragile hair. hydrates, detangles and gives softness without weighing the hair down. Contains organic rosemary and organic sage extracts, Fioravanti balm, naturally derived glycerine, naturally derived menthol, panthenol, rice bran oil, vitamin E and a mix of 11 essential oils.



RSP: £16.49



Energizing Blend Scalp Treatment


An energizing and fortifying lotion to restore fullness, thickness, and luster to fine, thinning and fragile hair. contains organic rosemary and organic sage extracts, Fioravanti balm, arnica extract, natural camphor, hydrolysed rice proteins and panthenol.



RSP: £15.39



milk_shake® products are only available through the official website and online store, and selected salons nationwide. Models shots courtesy of Concept for milk_shake®.