BarberEVO Magazine

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Karen Carruth

Building Skills With Afro Hair – Jake Hickey Shares Five Tips

Serving a culturally diverse community means making sure that your skills measure up to the challenges presented by every head of hair. Jake Hickey of MR Barbers in Sawston and MR Barbers Newmarket has been working with afro customers from the very beginning of his career and has quickly built an afro clientele that is happy to trust him with their hair.

Jake says: “I love the way that you can literally sculpt afro hair and my customers are incredibly loyal. A black guy is very likely to stop another black guy in the street and ask them where they get their hair cut, so the word-of-mouth referrals are strong too.

Here’s Jake’s top tips on working with afro texture:

The consultation – spend time on the consultation and go OTT with the questions. There is nowhere to hide with afro, so any mistakes are super obvious. Make sure that you and the client have a VERY clear picture of the look you want to achieve. Discuss everything from height to hairlines.

Combing out – use an afro comb to comb out the whole head to its full length, so that you know what you are working with.

Clipper work warning – if your client asks for a certain number on top then work against the growth. There is a huge difference in length depending on the direction of growth.

Speed – go slow and work methodically. The afro hair follicle is thicker and if you work too fast the hair will catch in your clipper.

Blades – never work with a bare blade. Afro customers commonly have problems with razor bumps and ingrowing hairs.  Always ask how sensitive their skin is and how they have reacted in the past to a foil razor. I recommend Clubman Pinaud ‘No Bumps Gel’ which works really fast.

Images: Liam Oakes Hair by: Jake Hickey


American Crew UK and IE Winners Announced

American Crew™, the Official Supplier to Men™, announced today that Serena Hussain Hill from Toni and Guy Birmingham has been named UK winner and Ciara Madden from Marks Barbers has been named the IE winner of the 2021 All-Star Challenge in the first-round of the brand’s highly-anticipated global grooming competition.

Matt Horder, Revlon Professional Commercial Director for UK & IE explained: “The past year has taught us a thing or two about our community and our American Crew family.  Continuing to strive in the face of adversity is a testament to their dedication, strength and spirit.  We know it’s been so difficult to not only navigate this pandemic and all it encompasses but also stay inspired and energised for the year to come, which is why we  were so excited to run the American Crew All Star Challenge this year.  We are so proud of the winners and runners up who’s passion and skill shone through in their entries and now join our elite All Star Challenge hall of fame winners from years past.’

UK: Serena Hussain Hill – Toni and Guy Birmingham

Serena explained “I’m still in shock from this incredible win! To get recognition for men’s hair which I have a true passion for is overwhelming! It means the absolute world to me to be recognised by such a prestigious brand. The past year has been tough for everyone but entering this competition really helped me channel my creativity and kept me motivated through the difficult times.”

Ireland: Ciara Madden – Marks Barbers

Ciara Explained “It means so much to me I’m still shaking after hearing the news. I’m absolutely delighted with it couldn’t be happier. I’m very honoured and grateful for the opportunity thank you so much American Crew and all the judges.”


UK: George Smith – Toni & Guy Salisbury

Ireland: Keith Quinn – Roches barbers


UK: Kieran Evans – Jacks of London



Adil Ismael – Jacks of London

Jack Mead – Jack & The Wolfe


Anne Marie Mcllwraith – Just For Men

Donata Grigaitiene- Best For Men

The All-Star Challenge encourages barbers and hair stylists from across the globe to showcase their top-tier technique and skill by creating original looks with American Crew® products that capture the trendsetting-yet-timeless spirit of the brand. Providing vast opportunities and industry inspiration, the competition displays the world-class talent driving the trends in men’s grooming.

“Despite the many challenges the grooming community and salon industry faced during the global pandemic, these Professionals never cease to amaze us with their creativity and talent. We are honored to have given professionals an outlet where they could bring their originality and imagination during a challenging year,” said American Crew Founder, David Raccuglia. “These countries’ winners brought their A-game on creating fresh, elevated looks and I, along with the rest of the All-Star Challenge Global Committee have our work cut out for them as we move forward with selecting five global winners of the competition. “

What’s Next?

As the All-Star Challenge progresses, the cut and style created by Serena and Ciara will be submitted to the American Crew™ All-Star Challenge Global Committee, which consists of David Raccuglia, Founder of American Crew™, Paul Wilson, Global Artistic Director; Phoenix Thomson, Global Education Director; and Luke Munn, 2019-2020 Australian All Star Challenge Winner. After careful consideration under the following competencies: Barbering: mastery of clipper skills, fading and shaving; High Texture: ability to display technical skills, shape, and control whilst working with highly textured hair; Length: excellence in cutting and styling hair with length while maintaining a masculine edge; Retro: ability to recreate a classic cut from the past, with technical excellence in cutting and styling; and Trend: ability to be creative and think ahead by producing a shape or style that could become a trend, the committee will name five top competitors as the 2021 Global All-Star Challenge Winners.

Announced in June 2021, the five Global All-Star Challenge winners will receive a number of prizes including a $5,000 monetary award and an all-expense paid trip to Barcelona, Spain to participate in an editorial photo shoot directed and shot by American Crew Founder, and renowned photographer, David Raccuglia.

Simon Shaw Makes MR. Barbers His First Stop

Simon Shaw, Global Creative Director of Wahl made MR. Barbers HQ his first post lockdown stop this week, with a high energy training seminar on Problem Solving with Retail. A select group of MR. Barbers team members gathered at HQ to catch one of the industry’s most well-known figures and hear his wisdom on retail best practice. Simon enjoyed his first in-person (Covid safe) event since before the pandemic almost as much as the MR. Barbers team members enjoyed attending.

Simon said “Everyone hates to be sold to, but everyone wants their problems solved. For barbers, solving hair problems should be part of every service. By focussing on the problem, not the product, it shows the customer that there is a solution available and that the barber has done their job.”

Karl Foster added: “We were so happy to have Simon here, his experience is worth it’s weight in gold. We are constantly seeking ways to help our barbers build their knowledge and upskill and this short seminar was much appreciated after a very tough 14 months for our teams.

Simon dropped golden nuggets of wisdom for three straight hours and the MR. Barbers team were left energised and on track with their retail goals!

Andis’ Copy The Cut Challenge Winners Announced

Andis Company recently hosted the first ever virtual Copy the Cut Challenge, which saw 50 barbers and stylists competing virtually from their own shop or salon. Participants recreated their best version of the Andis Fluid Vol2 Modern Day Frederick Douglass cut for a chance to win up $500 and an Andis Limited Edition Copper ProFoil Shaver.

Top three winners:

  1. Eddieberto Martinez (@_Techneek_)
    • Owner of Techneek Studios in Philidelphia, PA
  2. Louis Rexach Jr. (@earsthebarber)
    • Owner of Always on Point Barbershop in Philidelphia, PA
  3. Manny Weston (@there__e_go)
    • Student at Hair Lab Detroit Barber School

Concern Over Rising Costs For Salons

The NHBF had its annual evidence session with the Low Pay Commissioners this week to discuss the impact of the latest increase in the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage.

The NHBF supports the principle that everyone is entitled to a fair wage, and reinforced the point that there must be a fine balance between increasing wage rates and allowing businesses to recover from one of the worst economic episodes of our lifetime during a very fragile and unpredictable period.

The NHBF representatives who met the government’s Low Pay Commissioners were:

  • Richard Lambert (NHBF chief executive)
  • Paul Elliott (Elliotts Hairdressing, Bedford & Northampton)
  • Edward Hemmings (Alan d Hairdressing Education – London)
  • Amanda Lodge-Stewart (The Link Academy, Huddersfield; NHBF Vice-President)
  • Mikaela Martin (Ginger Rabbit, Farnham)

They made the following key points:

  • As a sector, hair & beauty has been hit worse than most sectors by the pandemic and still faces an uncertain future.
  • Profit margins are already squeezed and there is little expectation that clients will accept an increase in prices.
  • Lowering the threshold for paying the National Living Wage to 23 has already prompted employers to reduce hours or make staff cuts.  We may not see the full impact until furlough ends.
  • Many businesses have either cut apprenticeships or do not plan to offer them because of the increased cost of employing them. 
  • The additional cost when an apprentice turns 19, or is an older starter moving into their second year is a particular issue.

The Commissioners asked specifically about the perception of enforcement – that is the fining or name-shaming of employers who do not pay staff their legal wage. The NHBF responded by saying that the industry view was that this seems to focus more heavily on those who make genuine mistakes rather than pursuing those who actively ignore the law, paying cash in hand and exploiting self-employed hair & beauty professionals who need to earn money above all else.

NHBF chief executive, Richard Lambert says, “It’s a relief that salons and barbershops are re-opened and without wishing to focus on the negative we have a duty of care to our members to lobby all government departments and representatives about the laws that affect them, both now and in the future.

“The National Living Wage is expected to rise to £9.42 an hour in 2022 and to £10.33 by 2024. Employers can’t guarantee that kind of money. Increases in the National Living Wage would mean that the minimum you must pay is nudging up against what is currently offered to more skilled and experienced staff – who will then also expect an increase in their salary to reflect this difference.”

He adds: “Wage costs currently average around 60% of turnover, so increases will add to the squeeze and profitability vanishes completely when wage costs go past 70%.”

The key points raised were taken from the results of the NHBF State of the Industry surveys undertaking throughout the pandemic plus the commissioned report, Hair, beauty and the pandemic: An industry at the sharp end. The impact of coronavirus on business vulnerability and the potential for mitigating measures, undertaking earlier this year.

The Low Pay Commission is due to make its recommendations to the government by October.  The government will then decide on the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates for the following year.

Dark Stag Announces It’s First Ambassadors

Dark Stag are proud to introduce you to Bridey Jo and AJ Rapture, two of the UK’s brightest barbers.

The British-based manufacturers of superior barber tools are making a push to offer barbers superior online services to complement their acclaimed equipment; that starts this month, with the onboarding of two official ambassadors spearheading the company’s online expansion.

With work featured in high-profile publications across the barbering and haircare industries, Bridey and AJ truly reflect the modern face of barbering.

On welcoming the pair to the Dark Stag family, founder Andy Wiseman said, “We are very excited to announce, and get started working with, our Dark Stag UK ambassadors AJ Rapture and Bridey Jo. These two great barbering talents are responsible for some impressive work and we can’t wait to share what we do together going forward!”

Bridey Jo

Of the exciting news, Bridey, who runs her own store – Bridey Jo Barbers in Wombourne, Wolverhampton – shared on her socials: “Been keeping this quiet for a while now… I AM SO EXCITED to announce I’m officially part of Dark Stag’s passionate team! I’ve used their tools since I first started out barbering & I’ve not looked back ever since, so it’s a huge honour to be working with such a growing and trustworthy brand. Buzzing to unlock more creative potential together! 🤘🏻✂️”

AJ Rapture
AJ, who leads the remarkable team at Hayes’ Rapture Barbers said in his social post about the announcement: “I’m absolutely ecstatic to be part of this amazing brand having already been a fan and user of they’re tools for some time due to their undeniable quality!

Dark Stag has integrity and holds true to the heritage of barber tools with a vision to grow and evolve alongside barbers and modern barbering. I am so humbled to have been recognised by them and I am extremely proud to be an ambassador for them!

I’m excited for what’s to come! 🙌🏽”

OSMO Ambassador Justin Carr Launches Chop And Change YouTube Series

OSMO ambassador and celebrity barber, Justin Carr and his team at That Feeling have hung up their clippers (temporarily of course) and turned their hands to television presenting. Chop & Change is the new bi-weekly game and talk show on YouTube bringing you entertainment, fun, and laughter.

Featuring celebrity guests each week, this will be one to watch for sure.
Justin and the That Feeling team are used to making people feel good with their razor-sharp hair-cuts but with lockdown restrictions meaning they were unable to work for the best part of a year, Justin had time to think about channelling his creativity and energy. His plans for That Feeling have always been about creating more than just a barbershop but to become a lifestyle brand – bringing into the mix music, fashion, production, modelling, photography, rappers, and even content creation, so the Chop & Change series was a natural direction for Justin and his team of creatives.

With 14 episodes planned, the new Chop & Change series guests include musicians Aston Merrygold, Dappy, Tion Wayne, One Acen and Gassed Up Lighties, footballers Dele Ali, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and William Ekong, content creator Sarchie, music producer Hargo and radio presenter Jourdan hosted by Justin and the That Feeling team.

“That Feeling is more than just barbering, we’re all creatives and have this energy and passion to really show how barbering can open up opportunities and be a really exciting industry to be a part of. Chop & Change helps us break out of the barbering box and branch into even more creativity. We want to show the next generation of barbers that anything is possible. This was all financed independently and has taken time to write, produce, film, and edit – something we did during lockdown. I know that content creation and social media is where it’s at, so we need to embrace it and play to our creative strengths. I’ve a great network of well-known clients and friends, so it seemed natural to get them involved in the series,” says Justin Carr, owner of That Feeling Barber Shop and OSMO Ambassador.

Check out Chop & Change, airing every Wednesday and Sunday at 8.30pm on the official Chop & Change YouTube page.

NAHA 2022 Call For Entries!

The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) is excited to announce the opening of the 33rd Annual North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA), the most prestigious professional beauty competition and awards,
on June 14, 2021. As the top hair and makeup competition in North America, NAHA is the premiere platform for beauty professionals to push the boundaries and bring their artistic visions to life

This year, NAHA will feature the following categories:
• MASTER HAIRSTYLIST OF THE YEAR (by invitation only)
• BARBERING (replacing Men’s Hairstyling)

“We are thrilled to introduce the category of Barbering to replace Men’s
Hairstyling,” shares PBA Events Brand Manager Sheri Rearick. “NAHA has always broken barriers, and our categories will continue to evolve to reflect the pulse of the industry. Expect more changes soon.”
NAHA is also pleased to announce the return of the NAHA Remix! NAHA Remix allows artists to enter previously submitted collections as long as they were not selected as finalists. Remix collections can be updated and must follow the current category and overall NAHA rules and regulations.
NAHA submissions are judged online, in multiple rounds, by a blind panel of judges.
The judging process is completely anonymous with no contact between judges or knowledge of artist names to ensure anonymity and fairness during the judging process.

Key dates for NAHA 2022 are as follows:
Entries open: June 14, 2021
Entries close: September 10, 2021
Finalist announcement: November 10, 2021
NAHA 2022 Award Ceremony: January 30, 2022—Long Beach, CA
For specific category rules and to enter, please visit Get inspired and learn more about the most prestigious competition in beauty.

Andis Announces Kevin Luchman As International Artistic Team Lead

World-leading manufacturer of grooming tools for barbers and stylists, Andis Company, is delighted to announce that renowned barber, men’s stylist, educator and photographer Kevin Luchmun has joined the brand as ‘International Artistic Team Lead’.


In a newly created role that seeks to accelerate Andis’ international presence by building upon its global reputation for world-class tools, education and creative inspiration, Kevin will play a pivotal role in the development of educational programs and artistic directions for photoshoots. He will also be instrumental in the formation of new programs to continually develop the creative and editorial talents of Andis’ audience of creators.


As one of the UK’s most recognisable and respected men’s stylists, Kevin’s technical hair cutting skills have positioned him as one of the industry’s most inspiring barbers, men’s stylists and educators.            

A multi-award-winning stylist spanning barbering and men’s hairdressing, Kevin’s work on editorial photoshoots and collection photography, and the relationship between hairstyling, fashion and the visual presentation of technical cuts, has seen his creativity extend into a signature photography style. As passionate about photography as he is about hairstyling, both are approached and revered in equal measure with his work appearing on the covers and in the pages of international trade and consumer magazines, on the catwalks, online and across social media where Kevin has amassed a following of over 90k on Instagram alone.

According to Angie Perino, Andis Global Education Manager, it’s Kevin’s multi-faceted skills base, creative vision, technical precision and stage craft both as a hair artist and educator that led to the creation of this new role. “We’re so delighted to be partnering with Kevin as we continue to expand our outreach to barbers and stylists around the world. 

“We pride ourselves in providing world-class educational programs and inspiration that provide the road map to a successful career! Kevin will be working closely with our other internationally renowned educators, including Kenny Duncan – our North American Artistic Team Lead in the USA and Canada – to merge all strands of our educator network into a global vision that empowers barbers and stylists to express their individuality, maximise their creative talents and exceed their artistic potential through hair and imagery.” 


Following the worldwide success of FLUID Vols. 1 & 2 – a combined artistic hair collection and educational concept that integrates with Andis’ groundbreaking Virtual Education resource, Kevin’s first assignment will be to lead the creation of FLUID Vol.3.  Angie Perino: “This program will include educational videos, learning modules and a stunning look book with steps to teach our learners how to create the featured looks.  Kevin will be contributing to creating a vision for the collection, selecting models, orchestrating photography and video and finalising all details of the final edits. I can hardly wait to see Kevin’s inspiration come through in our very first Andis FLUID collection captured in the UK!”


For Kevin Luchmun, joining Andis is a dream come true. Unlike ambassadorships that hinge on commercial arrangements alone, Kevin has long-held a deep rooted respect for Andis and was determined to work with the brand from the outset. “Very early in my career I got the opportunity to work on the Andis stage at Salon International. From that moment I was passionate about Andis and I was always intent on working with the brand. For me there was never an alternative to Andis; I’ve waited a long time for this to come to fruition.

“Now I’ve reached this point in my career and have so many achievements and accolades, the timing and the type of position couldn’t be more perfect. I look forward to working with Angie and the global team to elevate Andis’ brand appeal and educational resource base, as well as highlighting the precision and performance of its industry-leading tools.”

Kevin officially joined Andis on May 1st 2021.

Sign Up For The Texas Barber Battle And Expo

Do you rate yourself enough to compete alongside 120 talented barbers in the Texas Barber Battle and Expo, being held on July 17/18 at the San Antonio Shrine Auditorium in the heart of San Antonio, TX.

The event will be filled with barbers and stylists from all over the United States, competing in a range of battles from the Fastest Fade, Traditional Haircut, Freestyle Design, Fade W/Beard, and a Student Battle (Traditional). 

Attendance at last year’s event was more than 3,500 people, and this year’s event will not only feature the Barber Battle, but will have a range of vendors at the event. There will have educational classes in the morning from several educators/platform artists demonstrating different techniques and products.  

Where:  San Antonio, TX

When:  Sunday, July 18, 2021 with classes starting at 9:30am and the Barber Battle starting at 3pm.

By Who:  Texas Barber Battle & Expo is proudly presented by Wahl Educator and Platform Artist, Rick “Da People’s Barber” Morin.  Rick has traveled all of the United States, Mexico, China, and India educating barbers and stylists different styles of clipper cutting techniques. 

For more details go to:

To register to enter for the Barber Battle click here