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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.

Barbershops Partner Up To Provide Prostate Cancer Education To Black Clients

Barbershops are spaces where men shoot the breeze, hang with friends and get a trim. Thanks to a new Case Western Reserve University program, it’s where they’ll be able to learn about prostate cancer by year’s end.

In Cuyahoga County, Black men have a disproportionate risk of being diagnosed and dying from prostate cancer as compared to white men. Researchers at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center are addressing this health disparity with a community-based program that will disseminate prostate cancer information in the Black community through barbershops.

CWRU’s Cleveland African American Prostate Cancer Project received a new $2.75 million, three-year grant from the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, the university said.

Cancer of the prostate gland — a small, walnut-shaped organ that produces fluid that nourishes and transports sperm — is the second-leading cause of death in American men, behind lung cancer. There will be nearly 250,000 new cases diagnosed n 2021, and about 34,000 deaths, the American Cancer Society estimates.

The Cleveland African American Prostate Cancer Project will train community navigators to visit participating barbershops to pave the way for the businesses to host prostate cancer educational events,said prostate cancer project director Erika Trapl. Attendees will be encouraged to get a prostate cancer screening from their regular doctor.

Urban Kutz Barbershops owner Waverly Willis began encouraging conversations about diet and health years ago, when he realized he was losing clients who refused to go to a doctor until it was too late. “(Men) don’t go to the doctor unless something is falling off,” said Willis, who is a member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Community Advisory Board and executive director of the Urban Barber Association nonprofit group.

Now the conversation in his two Urban Kutz barbershop locations are just as likely to be about veggie recipes and the Keto diet as the Browns and Cavs, he said. Willis wants to get a clinic mobile unit to visit his barbershops to run prostate cancer screenings as part of the CWRU initiative.

“Barbershops are one of the most trusted institutions in our community,” Willis said. “Cancer affects all of us in some way, shape or fashion. I just want to change the conversation.”

Community education events in barbershops will start at the end of the year, if it’s safe to hold in-person events by then. Trapl plans to look for additional funding to allow the education and screening program to continue beyond its initial three years.

She hopes the barbershop outreach program will make it more normal for men to discuss the illness. She finds it curious that men wear pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness, even though they are much more likely to get prostate cancer.

“It doesn’t get talked about,” Trapl said about prostate cancer. “I think there is a growing recognition we need to elevate it as a discussion, because as soon as we do that, having that discussion in a barbershop doesn’t seem quite as weird.”

Win… Your Portrait Painted By Vincent Kamp For Charity

Captain Fawcett and BarbersRide has announced the phenomenal opportunity to own a bespoke work of art by the extraordinary Vincent Kamp, one of Britain’s most exciting and distinctive artists. The subject of the painting will be none other than the winner of this competition who will be invited to sit for their own portrait and as such, be forever immortalised in Vincent’s magnificently imagined world.

The competition opens on 28 April, 2021 and closes 30th June, 2021 at 11:59pm GMT.

Just 1,000 tickets will be made available and the winner will be decided by a raffle. Tickets are just £10 each. There is no limit to how many tickets you can buy, so more tickets means more entries and more chances of winning! All monies raised will be donated to Make-A-Wish.

Vincent Kamp will pick the winner out of a hat live on Instagram TV (date TBC).

This astounding competition is open to all, across the globe. However, the initial photographic studies for the painting will take place at Captain Fawcett’s HQ in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, UK.

All monies raised will be donated to the 2021 BarbersRide Charity Appeal for Make-A-Wish. By entering the draw, you will actively support their excellent work helping make dreams come true for seriously ill children and their families.

Vincent Kamp is known for sequences of highly cinematic paintings that tell a powerful tale. Populating his dark, gritty underground world of urban subculture, friends of the Captain Fawcett will recognise familiar faces, including Fawcett Ambassador Maxwell Newton. Vincent’s esteemed work is of such calibre & high renowned that original paintings sell for upwards of £10K. Good Lord! 

To enter this competition to raise funds for charity, click here.

Aberdeenshire barber to give staff day off when pubs re-open

An Aberdeen barber group is giving its entire workforce the day off when pubs reopen to help boost the local economy.

Sovereign Grooming will close its Aberdeen salon on April 26 – the day lockdown restrictions are eased – to allow its team to support local food and drink businesses.

Kyle Ross, Sovereign Grooming’s managing director, said recent closures on the high street highlighted the importance of businesses standing together this spring.

He stated: “Our city centres are a business eco-system, and when one sector suffers, it has a knock-on effect for everyone.

“That eco-system has been on a knife-edge at various points over the past year and we feel it’s more important than ever to pull together and help our city centres recover.

“We employ 18 people, so in the grand scheme of things, this is a very small gesture. However, we feel it is important to send a message of support and solidarity, and to do our bit to support Scotland’s city centres.”

The barber group is also delaying the official opening of its flagship New Waverley salon in Edinburgh by 24 hours to give staff the chance to support nearby bars and restaurants.

Mr Ross, who launched Sovereign alongside business partner Ryan Crighton, has won a number of industry awards since opening, including Best Barber UK in 2017.

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.

What’s the future of independent businesses?

What is the future of independent businesses? And more importantly, what do you want it to be?

The Retail Mutual has requested the opinions of the UK’s shop owners, retailers, and independent businesses on and off the High Street, just by taking part in their simple survey.

The survey invites independent business owners to say what you think is the future of independent businesses in your local area.

To take the survey: click here

EVOLive with Hannah McKnight

We were joined on Monday 28th September on EVOLive by Hannah McKnight.

EVOLive w/ Hannah McKnight

Hannah is a West Midlands based barber, multiple barbershop owner and platform artist – who kindly agreed to discuss her recent decision to close one of her barbershops.

It was a full and frank discussion around the challenges of stretching yourself too thinly, and the importance of finding the right work/life balance.

We hope you enjoy this EVOLive – feel free to watch in full above.