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Jennifer Paxton

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 or call 413-717-4238.

Ohio Senate is Considering Bill to Reduce Training for Barber and Cosmetology License

Those in Ohio thinking about getting into barbering or cosmetology, might be able qualify more quickly, if a bill that seeks to reduce the number of training hours is enacted into law.

Ohio lawmakers are holding hearings on a bill that would reduce the number of hours required to become a licensed cosmetologist or barber. It’s an issue that’s been debated in the legislature for years. 

Sen. Kristina Roegner  says reducing the required hours of training to become a cosmetologist or barber lowers the hurdles for a person wanting to join the profession in Ohio. 

“Individuals that want to work. A lot of them would be single moms and they want to be able to get a job and not have to incur this huge amount, excessive amount of tuition,” she said. 

Currently to get a license, a barber needs 1,800 hours of training. For a cosmetologist, 1,500 hours of training. The bill, SB133, would cut the hours for both professions to 1,000 hours. Roegner has introduced similar legislation in the past, dating back to 2017 (HB189) when it was a bipartisan bill with a Democratic co-sponsor.

To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau

‘Shave for the Brave:’ Head-Shaving Fundraiser in The Fight Against Youth Cancer Hosted At Marquette Barber Shop

Pete’s Barber Shop in Marquette, Michigan paired up with the Saint Baldrick’s Foundation for their first “Shave for the Brave” fundraiser Saturday.

Volunteer Tim Eagan said he’s been organizing the events for 12 years.

“I wanted to start it here in Marquette because I know what a giving, caring community this is and I thought this would be a perfect place to introduce St. Baldrick’s,” he said.

The event was introduced in one of the city’s longest operating hair salons, Pete’s Barbershop.

“I just think it’s a great cause that can help the kids out. If anybody’s ever had anything like this in their family, they (St. Baldrick’s Foundation) know exactly how you feel,” said Pete’s Barber Shop Owner and Barber Jim Bissonnette.

Saturday’s turnout included community members and local law enforcement from Michigan State Police and Marquette County Sheriff.

The fundraising event provided a chance to support childhood cancer treatment and research – and to spread awareness with your freshly bald head.

During the one day alone, they raised around a thousand dollars through donations from the community.

The next head-shaving fundraiser is on Wednesday, Mar. 24 at 6:00 p.m. (EDT) at the City of Marquette Fire Department.

Learn more about St. Baldrick’s and support the cause locally HERE.

USA Barbers and Hairstylists Call for Vaccine Eligibility

Barbers and hairstylists in New York state are calling for their own eligibility for the COVID vaccine.

Dan Woycik owner of the Center Square Barber Shop on Lark Street in Albany NY.  

He says: “We think about the fact that we are, at a minimum, at close contact with somebody, in their personal space for 20 minutes at a time,” he said. “And if we’re shaving somebody or doing a beard trim, they have their mask off.” 

Dan Woycik added that he, and each barber at his shop sees roughly 15-20 clients every day.

During the pandemic, they shut down for three months. Woycik saw how happy his customers were to return. 

“When we first opened back up, for people to be able to do one normal thing again, to come into the barbershop and get a haircut, it was a big thing for a lot of people to be able to come back.”

He cleans the shop, gets tested regularly, and cuts down on the number of barbers who can work at the same time.  Each customer gets fresh smocks and towels, as well as the usual new razor blade. 

Many people are puzzled about why this industry hasn’t been added to the eligible list, including County Executive Dan McCoy, who spoke about it Monday. 

“The fact that they’re not on that list, they should be, because I’ve learned that people want their nail salons, their hairdressers and their barbershops, but they’re not on there,” said McCoy. 

The governor just lowered the age to 50, but Woycik says there are a lot of young people in this profession. 

“We take all the precautions we have to take, and we do our best to make sure everything is clean and sanitized, but we really feel that we’re being potentially exposed. Not being able to get the vaccine, and not being eligible for it at this point is — we feel like we’re being left out.”

Glasgow Couple Combine Passions to Open Unique Combination Barbershop and Plant Shop.

After the pandemic left married couple, Becky Rawlinson and Chris Mooney, and their new-born baby without financial support, the couple decided to take the leap and create their dream business.

Becky’s job in the third sector got defunded and as a barber, Chris was left without income too.

With Chris taking over childcare for their now one-year-old daughter, Becky dedicated herself to her plant delivery business Little Wilderness.

Becky added “I had already developed my business before Covid into doing doorstep deliveries because I didn’t have a shop.

“So as soon as we went into lockdown, I was ready to bring people the things they wanted to their door.”

Now, they are set to open a store, Tenement, inspired by the idea of tenements serving as “multiple dwellings for lots of different people”.

“We thought the Tenement is a shop which is home to more than one project – it is home to a plant shop, a barber shop and we wanted for people in the community to be able to use it as well.

“We didn’t want too much of a barbershop name or too much of a plant shop name.”

Not wanting to prioritise one of their businesses over the other, they thought up a concept that works for both of them.

The store on Battlefield Avenue 11 will be home to Chris’ barbershop on weekdays and will completely transform to accommodate a plant shop on Sundays.

Custom-build shelving will allow them to create walls and easily pack away the barbershop when needed.

Becky added: “You can browse and shop if you are getting a haircut but the plant shop will not open for the general public to buy plants at the time.

“One of the things Chris really cares about is that his barbershop clients get a bit of privacy when they are getting a haircut. He wants the focus to be on them getting a haircut without people walking in and out.”

The space will also be available for hire in the evenings and will create a fresh community space for the area.

The duo are currently in the process of renovating the unit and ensuring it lives up to their unique vision. However, the recent announcement that hairdressers can reopen from April 5 has pushed them to speed up their work.

The plant store will officially open later in the month in line with the Scottish Government’s coronavirus guidance.

Latest Update on Welsh Hairdressers and Barbers Reopening

As of today, 15th of March, hair and barbering services can resume practicing throughout Wales. Hairdressers and barbershops have been allowed to reopen strictly on an appointment basis, and only for ‘services that relate to cutting or treating hair on the head.’ Other barbering services such as shaving, waxing, threading etc, are still restricted as they fall under the ‘high risk zone.’ Other beauty services are projected to not reopen until the 12th of April.

Mobile services can also resume from Monday 15 March, but only if there is not a ‘reasonable practical alternative to a home appointment,’ such as if the client is unable to physically leave their home, or if leaving their home might have significant detrimental effect on the wellbeing of the client.

Hairdressers/barbers also must wear a Type II mask and face visor for the entire time they are in a client’s home, and salons and barbershops must comply with Coronavirus Regulations set, such as maintaining physical distancing when possible, and using PPE properly and consistently.

For more information see the Welsh Government Guidelines for Hairdressing  and Barbering

Hair and Barber Council Announces Collaboration with Salon Owners United

The Hair and Barber Council have just announced the following regarding their collaboration with Salon Owners United:

The Hair & Barber Council (HBC) together with Salon Owners United (SOU) are forming a collaboration to further strengthen and amplify the voice of Hair Professionals and Barber Professionals throughout the United Kingdom.

As the ONLY Statutory Authority for the sector, campaigning amongst other things for mandatory registration of the industry, the Hair & Barber Council continues it’s work with industry and the Government representing it’s 10,500 registered members, Associate and Corporate members, and together with Salon Owners United 5,500 members, will work closely together to ensure the voice of our sector is heard.

Keith Conniford, Registrar and CEO of the Hair & Barber Council said: “We are delighted to be working closely with Collette Osborne and the members of Salon Owners United who share the same passion and mission to ensure our sector attains the professional status it both needs and deserves. We greatly admire Collette’s huge commitment and energy she has for our industry, together with the knowledge and experience she brings, together with her members, to this collaboration.

“Based upon mutual aims and trust, with no agenda other than the betterment of our great industry, our joint aim is this collaboration will grow and become more formal in the months to come. Our industry has been hugely impacted by Coronavirus, and never before has the industry needed a more united voice for Hair Professionals and Barber Professionals!”

Collette Osborne of Salon Owners United said: “If the pandemic has done anything it has exposed the fault lines and weaknesses in our industry, so I believe if we are to recover stronger, we need to have one collective voice, which we can use to invoke the change much needed to provide us with a sustainable future.

“The Hair & Barber Council and Keith Conniford have been a tower of strength to Salon Owners United throughout this crisis being my one trusted source of support and guidance for our members when they needed it most for which I will be forever grateful.

“I am delighted to be working alongside Keith Conniford for whom I have the utmost respect both personally and professionally and through our collaboration I can honestly say we will work tirelessly for the hair and barbering industry just as Keith has done for many years.”

The Hair and Barber Councils strapline is ‘Shaping the Future Together’

Together we are stronger – One mission – One voice!

American Crew Introduces The 2021 Collection

HQ A trend offering that takes old-school barber techniques to new heights

American Crew®, the Official Supplier to Men, introduces The 2021 Collection: HQ, a new collection of 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.”


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

To learn more about the looks from the HQ Collection tune in to the digital launch on March 1st, 2021. Details to be released on @AmericanCrew on Instagram and Facebook, and

American Crew is also hosting a Facebook event HQ Collection / 2021 Trend Collection Launch at 4pm UTC