BarberEVO Magazine

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Jennifer Paxton

Making a STMNT

As featured in the April edition of BarberEVO North America

Looking to rewrite the standards of grooming and fuelled by the knowledge and artistry from leading barbers, the STMNT brand looks to go beyond the product. We caught up with the co-creators of STMNT to find out a little more about what their brand has to offer.

The STMNT brand is a product of the collaboration between some of the industry’s most innovative and cutting-edge artists: LA based, Julius Cvesar and Sofie Pok, as well as Miguel Gutierrez aka Nomad, from Liverpool, UK. Between the three, they have more than 50 years’ experience in the barbering industry, as well as a wealth of knowledge in hair education, visual arts, fashion and editorial.

We asked the group, how did STMNT come to be?

Miguel said: “STMNT was born out of a vision between three creators who all hold the same standards yet have completely different styles to add into the mix. We originally got started after being approached and slowly realized a dream team was being created, that’s when we all got onboard and decided to fully immerse ourselves into developed the brand to what it’s become. Our whole direction was to become a grooming brand that was performance driven, bold and premium in packaging, fragrance and ingredients.”

Talking to the team, it is so clear how well the three get along and fit together creatively. Julius said: “I believe we were specifically chosen to co-create STMNT because of our multi-faceted roles as not only leaders within our industry, but with the already diverse background in visual arts, film, photography, fashion, and education. We all are still active barbering professionals with clientele in our chairs, yet we’ve truly brought a whole new perspective to being a well-rounded image consultant. I believe my connection to raw imagery inspired by metropolis cityscape and brutalism, alongside my visual delivery that takes a lot from my genuine love for art and fashion made me a standout artist to collaborate with my two fellow co-creators.”

So, what makes STMNT stand out amongst the crowd?

“The beautiful thing about STMNT is that it can work for the girl on-the-go, the guy getting ready for a formal event, the couple at the gym, or the family on vacation. STMNT promotes individuality and acceptance. Barbering has been known as a male dominated field, but we knew how important it was to build a brand that would serve the stylists, cosmetologists, and barbers all the same” says Sofie.

Miguel added that the brand is completely gender neutral, and all of their products are cocktail-able: “We are truly set far above any barber brand in my view for versatility and range of types of product.”

In terms of creative process, unlike other brands that just stick a well-known name to a product, the STMNT creators were involved in every part of the process.

Julius continued, “In creating STMNT, it was important that myself, Sofie, and Miguel as the professional co-creators not only put our combined knowledge and expertise to use in creating the line, but truly worked in unison with our brand development team’s strength to bring the line to full fruition. The storytelling and vision had to be vividly clear across the board with every department.”

The question on everyone’s minds? What statement are they aiming to make?

STMNT is bold, it is demanding, and it’s the definition of how we all choose to live our lives. We hope to inspire others to find their purpose and share their gifts with the world and to get specific! Stand up for who you are and the changes you are trying to make” said Sofie.

“We are really aiming to rewrite the standards of men’s grooming” adds Miguel. “The industry has been and will always be in a transition state from one thing to the next, but I believe what we’ve created will live on way beyond any other trends currently out there.” 

“When co-creating STMNT, one message (or statement) I really wanted to purvey is that being a barber is more than just a hair service – we are so much more. These products were developed with not only acknowledging the core essentials in product styling with the line, but also innovated new iterations of product attributes that can notably be standout to professionals and clients alike.  Bridging the gap between Barbering and Salon ecosystems, the acknowledgement of gender-neutral aesthetics, and a focus on professional grade to lifestyle driven performance were all key points in making our statement.”

To find out more, read about STMNT in our April edition of BarberEVO North America or go to https://www.stmntgrooming.us/

The American Dream: Barber Plans Move to Houston, Texas

Reece (aka @blufadez) started his career in barbering five years ago now and is determined to further his career by moving on to bigger things in the United States.

Reece grew up in the salon environment and wasn’t sure if it was the career for him, at first: “I had been in the salon my whole life! So, I went to college to study media, but in the end, I knew that barbering was my true calling, as it naturally suited me in every way.”

But ever since Reece started in the industry, he says it has been like an addiction: “It’s never felt like work to me because I’m so dedicated to becoming the best that I can, and that’s never ending. Even times when it’s been a little hard, I still enjoy it, if anything I enjoy it more. I’ve grown my client base quite large in a short space of time and I’ve only just started!”

For Reece, the best part of barbering is the feeling it gives you, and the importance behind every cut: “Giving somebody a good cut can be life changing for them, and there’s no better feeling than a client genuinely liking their cut and telling you it’s the best cut they’ve ever had! A barber can be very important in a person’s life, and it’s nice to know people are choosing you to cut their hair. I think that’s a part of the reason improving your cuts is so addictive, you almost feel like you owe it to your clients. It’s such a skilful art, with a lot of variants, so we need to make sure we’re always on our best game. Being consistently able to give perfect haircuts is what we all aim for, and that’s the best part about it. We’re a big part of communities, we’re barbers, therapists, style coaches, advisers and friends all in one.”

But now, Reece feels the need to grow beyond his home boundaries and is determined that the next step in his journey will be America.

“I’ve always wanted to live there,” he said. “But I kind of gave up after becoming a barber as I thought it wasn’t possible. But within six years, I’ve been offered a job in Houston, Texas, by someone who is one of my heroes, and who I personally think is the best barber in the industry (@smashthalegend). The reason why I want to be in America is because of my dedication to progressing, and I just want to be on the front line of my trade.”

For Reece, although he sees the barbering culture in England as progressive and influential, it still hasn’t quite caught up to where it is at in the USA: “Everything starts there, and I just feel like they take it more serious out there and I know that’s where I need to be. I hope to be in an environment where I can work to my full potential and more.”

We asked Reece if he had any long-term goals for once he reached America. But for Reece, it’s about focusing on one goal at a time: “I never look too far ahead I always just go with what I think is the next step for me. If it’s coming back to the UK or staying out in America and continuing my career there, I don’t mind. I just know want to become among the best in the industry. As long as I’m at the best place to progress and achieve.”

Peter Puertas Wins 4th Annual Wahl Online Barber Battle

Barbers performed three cuts in the competition to join the Wahl Education Team.

Wahl Professional is pleased to announce that Peter Puertas (@p.cuts) is the winner of the 4th Annual Online Wahl Barber Battle. Puertas has been awarded an honorary, year-long spot on the Wahl Field and Education Team, a complete 5 Star line of tools and a Wahl Prize Package. The barber calls Provo, Utah home, where he and his wife, Meghan, own a joint barbershop and salon called The Hideaway.

Barbers interested in participating in the battle had to submit a video of themselves performing the three designated cuts: the Afro, the Taper and their own Signature Cut. These cuts were picked by Wahl’s U.S. Director of Education, Lisa Finucane, and her panel of judges. They were chosen to test entrants’ skills and their ability to not only perform day-to-day cuts in the shop but unleash their creativity with their own Signature Cut. Once the submissions were gathered, the judges assessed entries on how the barbers not only showcased their skills but also educated viewers on their technique. Puertas prevailed in the intense judging process and was named champion.

“When Lisa and Byrd (@byrdmena) showed up at my shop, I didn’t realize what was happening until I saw the camera behind them and heard Lisa tell me that I was the winner of the Barber Battle. You couldn’t tell, but under my mask, I was smiling so big,” says Puertas as he recalls the moment, he found out he won the battle. 

Despite his victory, Puertas is new on the barbering scene. He went to Paul Mitchell and graduated in 2019 with a passion for education. He was motivated to submit a video for the battle, not once but twice. Only being a few weeks out of school, Puertas entered Barber Battle 3 in 2019 and cracked the Top 10. Puertas took that encouragement and let it fuel him to do better the next year.

When asked what his winning strategy was, Puertas noted that he wanted to not only create great cuts but also focus on his passion for barbering and education. Despite his early success, Puertas at first wasn’t sure about participating because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It wasn’t until he saw the announcement of the battle on YouTube and had the encouragement of his friends and family that he knew he should take another chance.

“My first clipper ever was Wahl and since then joining the Wahl team has always been a goal of mine. Every day I learn something new about the company, and each day it makes me even more thankful to be a part of the team. I love that Wahl focuses on quality over quantity,” says Puertas.

Finucane is always on the lookout for new talent to bring to the Wahl Education team. Her goal is to continue to propel the clipper manufacturer as a leading education source in the industry. When she saw Puertas’ submission video, she knew he could be a contender to join the Wahl team.

“It’s such a great feeling to know that you’re bringing someone into the industry who can help make a difference and who wants to be a part of something bigger. I’ve had a lot of mentors throughout my time in the industry and it’s going to be great to see Peter bring someone new into the industry himself and be a mentor for them, too,” says Finucane.

Following Puertas is Humberto Vasquez (@chuckyvasqz) in second place, earning a spot on the Wahl Select Team, Wahl tools, and a Wahl Prize Package. Jaida Whitfield (@jfiondrathebarber) placed third and received Wahl’s Barber Combo Set and Clipper and a Wahl Prize Package.

To view all three barber battle winners’ submission videos, go to WahlBarberBattle.com. Follow Wahl Professional on Instagram (@wahlpro) and sign up for their Ambassador Program here to stay up to date with upcoming events and programs.

Post-Lockdown Boosts from Haircuts4Homeless

It’s great to have lockdown eased, especially because charities like Haircuts4Homeless are back up and running, helping those in need. 

Haircuts4Homeless starts again today, the 14th April at Whitechapel Mission as well as 15 other projects reopening across the UK over the next two weeks.

Founder, Stewart Roberts says: 

“I can’t wait to get out there. Big love to everyone in the hairdressing industry and getting back to what we love is going to be so special.”

Homeless people have many challenges to face, one of them often being low self-esteem. A haircut can have a great effect on someone, giving them a real boost (especially after lockdown), however it is often way down on a homeless person’s priorities with what lack of money, so the service proves to be very popular.  One of people’s basic rights is to feel good about themselves, and this service can give this to people and bring a smile back to their lips.

Haircuts4Homeless is a registered charity set up by veteran hairdresser Stewart Roberts. Inspired by the actions of hairdressers in various parts of the world cutting hair for the homeless, Stewart set out not only to do this his self but to build a whole community of skilled hairdresser volunteers who give their time free of charge to give haircuts for homeless people.

Hairdressers have a known empathy and are great communicators. The industry is known for its generosity and willingness to help people therefore there are many that would willingly give some of their time and expertise. Haircuts4Homeless started the project in Havering and, with the right amount of support, plan to roll it out across the UK & beyond. There is something very personal about cutting someone’s hair that can be both enjoyable and therapeutic which is something that many homeless people rarely get.

It may be “just a haircut”, but it’s the kindness shown that makes a homeless person know that people really care.

To find out more, check out their Film with BEAUTY PAPERS or their podcast which they started during lockdown:  Hear Me, See Me

You can donate here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/donation-web/charity?charityId=1017844&utm_source=extbtn&utm_campaign=donatebtn

American Crew Introduces 2021 Collection: HQ

As featured in the April edition of BarberEVO North America

American Crew® has introduced The 2021 Collection: HQ, a trend offering that takes old-school barber techniques to new heights.

This new collection features techniques that fuse clean editorial silhouettes with dramatic, exaggerated shapes. HQ, short for Height Quotient, is inspired by the military crew cut while paying homage to the nineties film and music eras. 

Embodying the perfect harmony between austere aesthetics and solid fundamentals, the curated program consists of six cuts and offers styling options for various hair densities and textures. With a focus on tapered barbered fades, HQ capitalizes on height as a level for disciplines and diverse creative expressions. 

“Men’s style is constantly evolving. By taking a step back from the meticulously groomed look, we are seeing a resurgence of dynamic shapes and texture — and our HQ Collection celebrates just that,” said American Crew Founder David Raccuglia, “HQ is a bold barber-centric collection that allows stylists to adapt any texture or type of hair to achieve the style their client desires. I absolutely love the fact that the shape of a haircut can cross into so many cultures.”

David continued: “Needless to say, our industry has been hit hard by the pandemic with the closures of barbershops, salons and schools. It’s been a challenging year for the Pro community, but their strength and resilience hasn’t kept them down. While their businesses have been shut, they’ve applied themselves to further their learning and precise their techniques – they really are some of the hardest working people out there! As a team, we knew we had to get creative and pivot our educational strategy to support the Pro when they need it the most and HQ has been our creative vehicle for that. We are offering a plethora of digital education with HQ so this is an incredible and very versatile collection that stylists and barbers around the world can utilize to learn new techniques.”

YAH YAH

Highlighting Yah Yah’s incredible texture, this cut features a strong square and tall technical shape throughout the front whilst focusing on a curved silhouette and a blown out, non-textured finish. The razor fade exaggerates a clean blend of skin to hair in the perimeter for strength and scalp exposure. 

Product used: American Crew® Ultra Gliding Shave Oil, Lather Shave Cream, Revitalizing Toner and Prep & Prime Tonic.

ANDREI

Andrei’s silhouette driven cut is a 90’s movies styling journey. Inspired by iconic looks featured in Rocky and Top Gun, and utilizing American Crew Boost Powder for extra volume, the hair is styled using an upward momentum to create the dramatic shape. 

Products used: American Crew® Prep & Prime Tonic and Boost Powder.

VIN

Vin’s structure contains a concave interior to recreate an editorial version of the traditional 50’s flat top. The strong silhouette helps build the exterior, exaggerating the clipper over comb enhanced interior, while the texture and separation results in a structured yet broken finish.

Products used: American Crew® Prep & Prime Tonic, Firm Hold Gel and Molding Clay.

Brand-New Barbershop Offers Beer and Haircuts as England’s Barbershops Allowed to Reopen

With both bars and barbershops back open today, April 12, one brand-new barbershop is taking the pressure off decision making, by offering fresh pints while clients get their post-lockdown cuts.

As of today, April 12, Head Quarters Barbers & Beverages are opening three brand-new shops in Bishop Auckland, Darlington and Middlesbrough.

Wanting to create a traditional barbershop with a modern twist, owner Mike Racz said: “Our mission is to bring one of the oldest professions into the 21st Century.

“We’re introducing new technology across the board from booking systems to the shop floor.”

Booking is available via their app, with live waiting times – so customers know when the next barber is free.

The stunning shop interior features traditional personalised barber chairs from REM as well as have a complete self-serve bar.

So far, some of the first customers of HQ today have been Ben Houchen, Mayor of Tees Valley, Glenn McCrory, former IBF World Cruiserweight Champion, and Leo Percovich Middlesbrough FC Coach.

Richard Bland, HQ managing director, a former director and shareholder of the well-known SAKS Franchise chain, said: “When I heard about this new business idea, I knew I had to be part of it. We’ve had a lot of fun – mixed with a lot of hard work – to perfect what we want to be an exciting change to the way barbers are run.

“Hairdressing has been hit really hard by Covid. We are thrilled to be able to offer 30 jobs across our first three salons. We will also be offering conversion courses for hairdressers wishing to work for HQ – working for us will be a career, not just a job.”

For more information, go to https://head-quarters.co.uk/

UK Barbers Unite to Launch #Ourdoorisopen Campaign

Barbers across the UK will support those willing to discuss their mental health, as millions of men prepare to get their first post-lockdown haircut.

Barbers across the UK have today joined forces to launch a new initiative that aims to inspire men to open up about mental health issues. As hairdressers in England finally reopen their doors to eager customers, barbers from Torquay to Tynemouth and beyond are launching the #OurDoorIsOpen campaign in a bid to ensure those whose mental health has been badly affected by lockdown get the support they need and deserve. The campaign is being led by The Lions Barber Collective which has trained over 2,500 barbers around the UK and beyond to further support their customers, through its clinically backed Barber Talk programme.

This is the latest initiative from the Lions Barber Collective which encourages barbers to create safe places for men to open up and offload, and provides training to empower the barbers themselves to listen, recognise the signs of poor mental health and signpost clients to appropriate support services.

What will you learn from BarberTalk Online training? BarberTalk is an in-depth session that builds on the four pillars of core training to equip you with the skills to help your clients to better mental wellbeing.

BarberTalk Online Training will:

  • Give you the tools to recognise mental health issues in your clients.
  • Equip you to be able to ask direct questions about the emotional wellbeing of your clients.
  • Refine your listening skills to be present at a critical moment for your clients.
  • Provide you with the resources to help your client find support.

After the death of his friend Alex, in 2015 Torquay-based barber Tom Chapman founded the charity ‘The Lions Barber Collective’ to create non-clinical, non-judgmental safe spaces where men feel comfortable to talk about their mental health and can be signposted to support and information.

Recognising that barbers and hair professionals are often a trusted confidant and friendly ear to their customers, Tom collaborated with experts to develop the clinically backed, BarberTalk training programme for hair professionals to support their clients and communities.

The BarberTalk and Hair&BeautyTalk training series aims to arm barbers and hair professionals with the skills to recognise signs of poor mental health in their clients, ask direct questions to facilitate conversation, listen with empathy and no judgement, and help to signpost their clients to the support they need.

Founder and CEO of the Lions Barber Collective, Tom Chapman said: “When we opened up again in July, I cut a friend’s hair, he seemed fine when we had the consultation but once I started cutting his hair he started to cry. I stopped and asked him if there was something he’d like to speak to me about. His reply shocked me. He lived alone and this was the first human contact he had had in months.”

“This made me determined to ensure that others in his position have someone they can talk to when barbers reopen in April, while also giving barbers themselves access to tips and training they need to be able to listen and support those who are still struggling.”

‘A barber can see up to 200 people a week! Although majority of the industry will see about 12 people a day and in a post lockdown world opening hours will be extended to fit in their desperate clients. The hair & beauty industries reach is just phenomenal with an infrastructure that is accessible to most.’

To find out more about the Lions Barber Collective visit https://www.thelionsbarbercollective.com/ or to donate £5 to help train and support more UK barbers, text THELIONS to 70970.

Scottish Barbers Pull Overtime Shifts for Post-Lockdown Reopening

With lockdown restrictions easing in Scotland, barbers are chomping at the bit to get open and start fixing those lockdown manes. Some barbers are even pulling 14+ hour shifts to make up for lost time.

Tony Mann, barbershop owner in Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, opened up at 6am yesterday morning to get cracking on much needed haircuts. With a total of 96 cuts booked in for his 14 hour shift.

Taking it one step further, Georgia Gaffney, owner of House of Handsome in Carnoustie opened at one minute past midnight Monday morning, to get started on a 24-hour shift.

After Nicola Sturgeon announced the slight easing of restrictions from April 2, including allowing hairdressers and barbers to reopen on April 5, it will have been over 100 days since they had been allowed to be open, just before Christmas.

When Tony reopened his shop for the first time back in July 2020, like Georgia, he opened at midnight and pulled a 24-hour shift. But twice in one year is perhaps a bit much.

Tony said: “”It’s been four months since the last day we cut hair so the feeling today is slight anxiety and slight worry, like ‘is everything going to go to plan’, but I’m also feeling really excited and happy because my shop is open again. 

“We start at 6am and finish at 8pm. I didn’t fancy doing another 24-hour shift this time but we’re open long enough. Last time we did 24 hours but what I’ve come to realise is doing shifts like that is not good for you.” 

Shortly after Nicola announced the new guidelines, Georgia decided to go all out. She said: “Georgia said: “I’ll be cutting from 12.01am, Monday April 5, a 24-hour shift right through to 12.01 the next day.

“The last time we went back to work it was a 19-hour shift, this time we’re upping it to 24. It sounded like a good idea at the time!” she laughed.

“The first lockdown was really quite difficult because nobody knew what to do or how to be.

“This time round it has been better because my wife and son have both been at home so we’ve been able to do more together – walks and stuff – so going back this time will be harder!”

Despite both barbershops having a fully-book schedule for their tremendously long days, both have put in measures to ensure their customers’ safety.

Georgia said: “We have an appointment system and have the distancing space taped out and signs on the window so that everyone knows they can’t all pile in. People will have to change the way they come to us usually, the whole family together for example.”

With hope that this will be the last ‘reopening’ from lockdown, both Georgia and Tony are looking forward to seeing their customers again and returning to a sense of normality… Maybe once they have a had a good sleep.

Pandemic threatened America’s ‘Most Iconic Barber Shop’ Until a Few Unlikely Heroes Came to the Rescue

For more than 75 years, the budget-priced barbershop Astor Hair, in the cellar of 2 Astor Place, has been a New York icon. The legendary shop has seen thousands of clients from old and young, from students to stockbrokers.  

Unfortunately even icons such as Astor Hair are not immune to the effects of the pandemic. Due to restrictions, for much of the last year, Astor Hair was forced to close. When the end seemed near for Astor, a group of private investors led by Jonathan Trichter, stepped in to keep the place from closing.

Recently, the men’s grooming brand Harry’s has also stepped in to help keep the legend alive. Harry’s has stocked the place with thousands of its Truman Razors, one free to each of the first thousand people to walk in the shop. Harry’s has also recruited filmmaker and Instagram fave Nicolas “Nico” Heller to shoot a series of short videos about Astor Hair and its merry band of barbers, which will air on IGTV through the middle of April.

Harry’s general manager Jaime Crespo said, “We all thought it was a really important cause, but knew we wanted to do more than just donate product.” After all, free razors do little good when you have no customers.

Trichter was an unlikely savior for an independent hair salon. He’s managed digital startups, worked on large corporate restructurings including Hostess and, in 2018, he ran for state comptroller. But while Trichter’s most comfortable with a Wall Street close crop, he never lost his fondness for Astor Hair where he got his first “grown-up haircut” in 1985.

When he heard that Astor was having a close shave with bankruptcy, Trichter assembled a group of investors to take it over. According to Trichter’s LinkedIn page, Astor Hair—which kept all of its barbers on the payroll—returned to profitability in January of this year. Trichter considers the place to be “the most iconic barber shop in America.”

The last time Astor Hair came close to shutting its doors was during the 1970s, when New York City staggered through a financial crisis and a crime wave as many longtime residents fled for the suburbs. It saved itself by offering mohawks, fades and other cuts that won it a punk clientele. More recently, Astor Hair’s customers have included New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who settled for a little off the top.

Massachusetts Barber Gives Back to Youth Charity

This week marks the fifth anniversary of Jake Hunker’s Barbershop in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. To celebrate, Hunker is donating $5 for every haircut he completes, from March 30 to April 3, to the Railroad Street Youth Project.

Throughout Hunker’s high school career, he said in a recent interview, “I was never one to really be into my books. I was more of a hands-on person.” This characteristic spurred an interest in motorcycle mechanics, but his frequent visits to the barber shop before his basketball games and school dances proved a more promising direction for Hunker’s future.

After the sudden closure of Hunker’s previous employer, Sim’s, the barber shop formerly located on Main Street in Great Barrington, he “was forced to make the choice to either go into business for myself, or find another direction … I took the plunge, and here I am starting my fifth year.”

While Hunker was confident he could make his business successful, he always tried to “pay attention to what made my clients happy and what made people comfortable in the barber shop. It’s definitely been a journey, to say the least, but I’m grateful to say I’ve made it.”

Over the course of his five years in business, Hunker estimates he has acquired 150–200 clients and predicts that, as long as he has a full schedule next week, he should be able to donate $400–$500 to Railroad Street Youth Project.

Hunker decided to go with RSYP because its mission resonated with him. According to the RSYP website, the organization “excels in helping youth find their voice and realize the benefits of their commitment to themselves and their community.”

RSYP is very grateful for the donation Hunker plans to make. “We are so touched that Jake thought to give back to us,” said Tiffany Riva, RSYP director of development. “We send Jake big congratulations on five years of success.”

Riva applauds Hunker’s motivation and his connection to what RSYP stands for. “At the end of the day it’s about Jake, this young person stepping into a leadership position,” Riva said. “These are all the components Railroad Street has in its mission — the intergenerational support, community supporting community — so we are just delighted.”

Hunker’s donation, Riva said, “will go towards helping to keep Railroad Street sustainable. It’s

The residents of Berkshire County seem to truly appreciate Hunker’s work and business in general. Jake’s Barber Shop has earned a five-star rating on Booksy, with over 180 reviews. The page is filled with comments praising his work. Customer Nate C. writes: “Jake’s is the only place I’ll go to get my hair cut. He’s extremely friendly, attentive, and has a clean and relaxed atmosphere in his shop!”

Hunker recognizes the support he’s received over the years from the town of Great Barrington. “I just want to show my appreciation in more ways than just continuing to provide haircuts,” he said. “I want to give back a little bit. This whole town put me where I am now.”

If interested in booking an appointment at Jake’s Barber Shop, visit booksy.com or call 413-717-4238.