For those who may not be aware, could you tell us a bit about what Salon International is?Salon international is a hairdressing, barbering and beauty event, where this community can come together and showcase talent. To also teach and learn from one another, and be entered into competitions, buy trade goods such as clippers, scissors, combs and other essential products.
Could you tell us a bit about just how influential and important WAHL are to the barbering industry?WAHL have been so important and influential. They have been creating quality clippers and equipment for barbers and hairdressers for over 100 years now. Their main focus is to develop the best performing tools for the industry.
How important do you think these kind of events are for the barbering industry?These events are huge to the industry. No matter how much experience you have, you can always learn so much more from other barbers showcasing their work. They are also a great opportunity to network with other barbers and companies to get your name out there and make some great relationships.
You won the award for British Barber of the Year! Just how much does it mean to you?Winning British Barber of the Year means the world to me. My career as a barber never just came as a choice or a hobby I took to the next step, I absolutely live for barbering. So to be recognised for my work and my passion and dedication means so much to me and I still can’t believe something like this has happened to me. I’ll relive that day forever.
You dedicated the award to your mum. Are you able to sum up in words how impactful she has been on your career?Losing my mum this year to cancer has really knocked me for six and really stopped me in my tracks at times. I had no motivation after losing my mum. She was and still is everything to me and all I want to do in my life now and forever is make her proud, so I really wanted to take my chance in this competition! My mum was my biggest fan and she said to me that she thought I’d make it in this industry, so I had my motivation to prove her right. When I won I got to say very emotionally “Mum, I did it.” which was just the best feeling because the one person I want to impress is her. (She also said to me that I’ll be the best barber in the world) - I’ll try my hardest to get there one day, it might just take a bit of time…
What was required for your entry and live show?I had actually planned my entry hair a year before the competition opened! I practiced cutting nearly every day. I wanted to do something very classic with a modern twist, something you don’t really see anymore. I did a longer version of a flat top with fenders, a skin taper and shaping. I wanted to do something that was eye catching so I sent in pictures from different angles and was fortunate enough to be picked. I was absolutely over the moon.
Do you enjoy performing live?Yeah I do really enjoy performing live. I love showcasing my work and teaching others and motivating barbers and hairdressers old and new. It’s an amazing feeling and you feel your hard work has paid off to be welcomed on a stage.
What are the differences between stage shows and working from out of the barbershop?
There aren't too many differences you know. We cut hair day in/day out in the shop and we are cutting hair on stage. The only real difference is that on stage we are purely talking just about the haircut and how it’s executed because we are teaching an audience - there’s not so much time for the daily chat! I find I still get the same buzz from doing a great haircut in the shop as when performing on stage. I’ve been given advice when I’ve been nervous in the past and barbers have said “you know how to cut hair, you do it every day in the shop, so treat stage work the same.” and his has helped me massively in executing my stage work and managing any nerves.