Brian Hogan, a father of two, barbershop owner, and film buff in Des Moines, Iowa, found himself fairly miserable in the midst of the pandemic. With his Barbershop business all but obliterated, Brian was looking for a project to keep his sanity.
That’s when he heard that his favourite, childhood video store, Video Warehouse, was going out of business after 34 years.
Buying out the contents of the video store, including the shelves and the ‘Tape Return” sign, Brian embarked on the DIY project to create an in-house video store.
He said, “I spent a lot of days sitting in my chair hoping people would come and get their hair cut. I’d go home and catalogue and start hanging shelves. It took my mind off things.”
With no intension of setting the video store as a business, Brian explained: “It’s more of a time capsule,” meant for family and friends, he said. “Friends who come over get to pick out a movie and we watch it.”
He continued: “I spent a good part of my childhood in the video store. That was a Friday night thing. You didn’t just go to the video store. You wentto the video store.”
Barbers in London are being trained to test the blood of customers to help combat high blood pressure.
Run by London South Bank University, the project was set out in order to raise awareness of high blood pressure, specifically in Black and Asian men, who are statistically more likely to have undiagnosed high blood pressure.
So far, eight barbershops in South London, Croydon, Mitcham, Thornton Heath, Bromley and South Norwood, have signed up to provide on-the-spot checks for customers, which began on Monday.
The idea came from a similar project that took place in Los Angeles between 2016 and 2018. The US project ran from 2016 to 2018 and 68% of people found to have high blood pressure ended the study with healthy levels.
High blood pressure affects more than one in four adults in England, accounts for more than one in 10 visits to GPs and contributes to 75,000 deaths every year – but millions of people are thought to go undiagnosed.
Hugh Benain, from Finishing Touches in Mitcham, said the project could help save lives.
“We’ll be offering our customers on-the-spot blood pressure tests and health information for them to take away,” he said.
“High blood pressure is a silent killer and providing tests and information from our barbershop could save lives.”
Nicola Thomas, an LSBU professor, said: “Sadly, millions of adults in the UK have high blood pressure and half are undiagnosed which can lead to strokes or heart attacks.
“It is the trusting relationship that customers have with their barbers that is so important – we need to take healthcare out into the community.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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’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’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.
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.”
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.’