Sunday, 18 June 2017

My Brazil Experience

Hello to our fantastic followers, fashionistas, hair fanatics and everyone in-between!

Heres a bit that I wrote while travelling back from my recent Brazil trip...

As I start my long journey back to the UK and another barbering adventure in Cardiff, cutting hair for MasterCard at the Champions League final representing Pall Mall Barbers ( I know, Im still pinching myself) I thought I’d use the time on this first flight to write a quick blog about the last few days in Brazil.
It has been a whistle stop trip as always, only spending four nights in Brazil, working three days and travelling the other two but I have seen some amazing things and the people have definitely made their mark on me. They have all been incredibly friendly, welcoming and very happy and I can see why they are the kings of carnival, its always up beat with plenty of laughing and joking. However they are incredibly respectful and their willingness to learn is pretty much unrivalled, for example we finished the class yesterday at 4pm yet the guys all continued to cut their blocks and each others hair way into the night as we had a BBQ at the academy, truly amazing. If this is an example of the attitude of the barbers of Brazil then I am certain that we will be seeing some amazing barbers rising in the ranks of global barbering recognition. 
Sao Paulo is a crazy busy place with a huge population and you really feel far from home as the culture, language and people are so different, there didn't even seem to be a huge influence from other countries in music either, everywhere I have been the music has been Brazilian and my google translate is feeling a little warn! 
The workshop in Sao Paulo was a new experience for me indeed, having someone translate your demonstration is something I will have to work on as it is a complete different experience. When I demonstrate and teach I have a train of thought and the class all mapped out, having to stop talking to allow Sindi (who was also demonstrating) to translate, as well as giving her time to explain her work meant that something I would normally explain while doing had past and I had moved on. This meant that I had to store up steps and try to revisit and not forget any, as well as explaining my work in a simple way so it can be translated easily. Saying that the class went really well and the people watching the seminar were incredibly engaging. I have never had a reception like the one from the students on this trip, the amount of photos and social media interaction has been incredible, I have even been signing caps, signs, clippers etc which is ridiculous but it was lovely to see how happy it made some of these guys, they were so grateful, which has been very humbling.
Straight after that class we went to the airport to catch a flight to Campo Grande, a much smaller city in the heart of the rainforest. For me personally I preferred the feel of this city, smaller, calmer and laid back, the fact that there were Macaws flying over head all the time and Capybaras wandering around the park was amazing. We didn't arrive until midnight so it was straight to bed then up and ready for the first day of our two day workshop with 13 barbers that had flown in from all over Brazil and even one that came from Paraguay! The whole group were fantastic and it was like they had known each other for years. I asked what the guys wanted to learn and scissor work came up again and again along with long hair, which says a lot. So I demonstrated with a longer hair cut and then they all repeated this on their blocks and the best thing about the whole day was the fact they all worked together and the ones with the stronger long hair skills took it upon themselves to help teach those that struggled. Then whenever we had a break they went back their blocks and practiced and practiced their sections, for me that is really shows passion to learn and the signs they will all progress rapidly. The second day Sindi and I spent most of the day demonstrating back to back giving examples of scissor work and clipper work as well as explaining tools, products and reasons for techniques. When the class finished yesterday at 4pm we stayed at the academy for a BBQ (which was probably THE best steak I have ever eaten)and all the students continued cutting the blocks and each others hair well into the night, it was lovely to see and I also did a few more cuts on the students, it was a great atmosphere. I can honestly say I was sad to see the class end and say good bye to all of the group, although I bumped into two of them at the airport and I think i will have the Chupar la manga (don’t ask) song stuck in my head for weeks yet!
I am currently in the air making the decent into Sao Paulo where I will be meeting some guys from Keune who will be taking me around before my flight tonight at 10pm. I am looking forward to taking in some more of the country before I head home.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Live from Sao Paulo

Hello to our fantastic followers, fashionistas, hair fanatics and everyone in-between!

It has been a while once again as time runs away with me and trying to fit in blogging alongside my entries for Creative Heads Most Wanted Awards with their deadlines and trying to finish the book I am writing too!

I think the last time I wrote something was about a month ago!! 

Sooooo....what have we been up to? Well I thankfully managed to sneak a week of family time into the mix with a break at Disneyland Paris before an incredibly busy few weeks. 
I am actually writing this blog from Sao Paulo, Brazil! I arrived here this morning after a 24 hour journey across a couple of time zones and have about 20 minutes back at the hotel after a fantastic first experience of real Brazilian BBQ, chicken hearts and all!!
Tomorrow I will be working alongside Brazilian barber legend Sindi Devitte delivering a workshop and we have a huge stack of certificates that need signing so I am assuming we will have a decent size class tomorrow, which is very exciting. Then tomorrow evening we are taking a plane to another part of Brazil for a two day class in a much more rural city, which I have been told is in the jungle, which is incredibly exciting! I will report more on all that happens when I return.

Last weekend The Lions Barber Collective had a stand at Barber UK show in the NEC Birmingham. Ashley, a Lions Trustee an myself spent the weekend interacting with so many people in attendance at the show as well as a lot of the exhibitors also.
The support we got was phenomenal with both the British Barbering Association and Captain Fawcett's donating money to the cause and Akito Scissors donating some shears and razors for us to action or raffle of to raise more funds. We cannot thank them all enough for these kind actions and it really took me by surprise!
Both Ash and I collected contact details for those interested in a new upcoming way in which anyone can support The Lions Barber Collective and make a difference in their community, so please keep your eyes peeled for that, which should be released at Barber Connect in a couple of weeks!

Anyway I have to get back to Brazil but I have left a few images below of our last week or so....also I nearly forgot....we got invited to meet Iron Maiden and attend their show with full VIP passes whilst in Birmingham, surreal but awesome!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Busy as always!

Hello to our fantastic followers, fashionistas, hair fanatics and everyone in-between!

It's been a while once again with a very busy few weeks and some great press and coverage for The Lions Barber Collective as well. Last week I was Lucky enough to have the entire Easter weekend off (except for the normal busy Saturday at TCXHD obviously) and it was the recharge that I greatly needed in preparation for all the upcoming events and travels in May and June!

Today however I am currently at Tom Chapman Hair Design prepping for a video and photoshoot with The Bluebeards Revenge. We will be putting together three new how to videos and step by steps that will be released over the coming weeks on BluebeardsTV on YouTube. There will be a some longer styles as well as a very short look too. We have a very productive day ahead and it is always great working with The Bluebeards Revenge team. Watch this space for the finished videos and photos.

Last Wednesday I was honoured to be asked to go down to Plymouth to open the brand new Skills Group high street salon style academy, which was hugely impressive and such a magnificent space for the learners to grow their skills and prepare them for that salon or barbershop environment once they are qualified. As part of the evening I performed a demonstration and spoke about The Lions Barber Collective and the importance of our role as barbers. I want to thank all involved  for making us so welcome on the evening and I look forward to working with them all in the future.

From one education facility to another, I will be working with Exeter College tomorrow for their annual Hair Show which is always great fun and of a hugely high standard. I am lucky enough to have two members of Team TCXHD with me onstage tomorrow demonstrating their colour skills, which is very exciting for me. Nina Chadwick and Gemma Northcott are both extremely talented technicians and will no doubt teach all the people in attendance something. Personally I will do a barbering demo to show some fading techniques and maybe some pattern work depending on the time available. I am looking forward to the show again as it was definitely one of the highlights from 2016 and actually led to myself becoming part of the City & Guilds industry board for barbering.

However I had better get back to this shoot..... oh and we were in the "i" newspaper this weekend too!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Missed a week!

Hello to our fantastic followers, fashionistas, hair fanatics and everyone in-between!

I may have missed last Sundays post because it was Mothers Day so I am trying to make up for it now with a little catch up...

This past Monday was the last day of the TCXHD One of a Kind course, four Mondays in a row I had spent with this group and this was their last day. It had been great fun and they had all impressed me with their progress and understanding, however it had all led to this day, the photoshoot!
The day started with a morning of preparation, I was there to be on hand but the whole group got stuck in and and really showed off some of what they had learnt and it was excellent to see, with each one of them really taking their time, slowing down their work and perfecting what they wanted to achieve. 
After lunch we put their models in front of the camera as we let Rob Grist do his magic, it was great to see the guys starting to get it, the understanding of translating a hairstyle in to an image. With guidance they started to notice small detail they maybe didn't see before, pick out features of the hair that they wanted Rob Grist to capture and even drop in props and pose ideas to the models. Needless to say it was a very fun day and even more excitingly the guys images will all be sent to Barber NV and they will be publishing the image or their choice in the next issue of the magazine, which is truly exciting!
I will insert a couple of their images below but I don't want to give too much away.

Also we have had the images back from our Team TCXHD #PSYCHOLOUR collection It was such fun working with Tenneille and Nina on this shoot and I think the pictures are looking awesome! The OSMO Colour Psycho range is fantastic and it was an absolute pleasure working with them, the possibilities are endless, especially considering the white mixer which allows you to create anything you want! I'll also attach a couple of photos from this too below.

PLEASE take the time to check out BarberPortal on YouTube >>> HERE
Also take a look at this feature on BARBER EVO to see what its all about!

Sunday 2nd April will be our second Walk as Lions event and its already growing with Dominos Pizza supplying food for all attendees and Pier Point offering free tea or coffee! Its amazing how many people are on board and how it has already grown unjust a month! I cannot wait to see how this develops and its all down to an idea from Dean Hamilton.

This coming Monday I will have the pleasure to be teaching at Energy Salon, which is always exciting meeting new people, sharing experiences and making new friends.

Finally there has been a great piece by The Independent which Im not sure if I have linked to or not yet so here it is again ;)

First two pictures.
Hair : Sadie Hughes and Mark Loftin

HAIR COLOUR : Nina Chadwick
HAIR CUT & STYLE : Tom Chapman

Sunday, 19 March 2017


Hello to our fantastic followers, fashionistas, hair fanatics and everyone in-between!

Easy like Sunday morning?  Well today I am heading over to the salon where we will transform it into a studio for the day. Nina and myself will be working on the hair, Tenneille will be doing the make up and Rob Grist behind the camera, I know, what a team!
The shoot will be based around the OSMO Colour Psycho bright colour range and we have three female models and two male, so it will be a little different to the more recent shoots Rob and myself have done together. Nina will be colouring most of the hair and I shall be cutting and styling. We have had trouble with models dropping out last minute but it is not unusual and nothing we cannot get around and we have found two guys willing to come in today and be part of this awesome shoot!
Seeing the prep that Nina has done with the colours is very exciting. Tenneille and myself have sat down and looked though some make up ideas and we have found some great inspiration to tie the whole thing together. I am really excited to see how these shots come out as I know Rob has a few new tricks up his sleeve too!

Tomorrow I will be back in the salon for the third day of the One of A Kind course where we will going through some editorial mens hair in preparation for next weeks photoshoot once again with Rob Grist. The guys have come along and developed in just two weeks so I cannot wait to see their progress tomorrow! They are a great bunch and I'm really excited to see them all again.

This week the Points of Light award that I received from Prime Minister, Theresa May has started to gain some press along with our work with The Lions Barber Collective so I will put the links below if you are interested.
Totally Aesthetic
This Is Money
The Points of Light Award article itself.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

TCXHD Course

Hello to our fantastic followers, fashionistas, hair fanatics and everyone in-between!

After all the miles travelled the previous week to teach, this week I only had to go as far as Tom Chapman Hair Design, Monday was the first day of a four Monday course , culminating in a photoshoot with Rob Grist for all of the students. The first day started off easy as we introduced ourselves to one another and started the day with two demos from myself keeping it simple and showing how much you can achieve with just one pair of clippers and some detailers. The clippers I chose use where the excellent Andis US Pro Li cordless, they are such fantastic all round powerful clipper that can be used for everything. The detailers I chose were the Slimline Pro, hands down my favourite on the market at this time. With these great tools and some scissors and combs we went through a taper and a fade and the difference between them and followed this up with a workshop in the afternoon were all the students performed at a great level leaving me very excited for tomorrows day of education!!

On a side note this week I had a couple of great pieces of news, firstly I was featured in Sorted magazine, which is distributed own 21 countries! The feature was part of the work I have been doing with The Bluebeards Revenge, more of which I'll be doing this evening when I record the voiceover for some upcoming videos.
Secondly I was invited by Simon Bones of Sandyman Chop Shop to work at this years Download festival! For me this is incredibly exciting as I haven't been for many years, mostly because of work. So to be asked to attend and work at the biggest rock festival in the country how could I say no!

Its been a great week and I am looking forward to tomorrow with all the guys on the TCXHD course but now its time for a day off with Tenneille and Abel. :)


Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Oh Canada!

Hello to our fantastic followers, fashionistas, hair fanatics and everyone in-between!

I am writing this blog as I sit at Halifax International Airport after 3 very full days hanging out with Mark Peyton, the owner of Sailor Bup's Barbershop and his amazing team! 
I have known mark for a while now and when he said to I wanna come and hang out with him and his team for a couple of days to share some knowledge and discuss The Lions Barber Collective as a possible Canadian chapter, I jumped at the chance! 
After an incredibly long journey, due to delays because of a storm the day before I left I arrived in Nova Scotia late Friday night were I was greeted by my buddy mark and taken to the beautiful Lord Nelson Hotel in Downtown Halifax where I feel asleep as my head hit the pillow!
Saturday I woke up refreshed and ready to take in some of the local areas. Mark picked me up and we headed out to his cool little walk in shop opposite the military base. The place was kitted out so good and I loved the traditional feel of the place. Once we finished up there we headed over to Dartmouth to see another shop of his where four guys worked and once again a beautiful  shop with a great team. Driving through the snowy woods and past frozen lakes Mark thought he would surprise another local barber who has been incredibly interested in The Lions Barber Collective by taking me over to her shop to spend some time hanging out with her team. Stevie barbershop was a cool little location in the middle of the woods surrounded by residential. 
When we had finished up there we headed back to Downtown Halifax and checked out his Downtown shop, the shop in which I would spend the next two days teaching the team. I wanted to grab Tenneille and Abel Mooseheads hockey shirts but  both the shops were shut when Mark and I headed into town, which was a shame! 
That evening we headed to the Downtown shop to hang out and have a few drinks and some dinner with the team. I had an awesome day and night and really got a feel for team which got me excited for the two days of education.

Sunday morning I woke up early and took a stroll in the fresh air to get a coffee and try and psych myself up for the day. Its no secret that I do suffer with anxiety and self doubt when it comes to these things. I was worried if I could be able to teach these guys something. Mark is a well respected amazing barber and a phenomenal educator, I wanted to meet his expectations and exceed them. It's always something in the back of my mind before any of these events or training days and I made my way over to the shop with stupid thoughts in my head like "what if I slipped on ice and hurt my arm, then I wouldn't have to disappoint anyone with bad teaching" brief thoughts, but silly none the less. 
At the shop I had six guys that were totally engaged and excited in what I was going to teach and after the first couple of cuts with a shaky hand I managed to get through the two models I had. I showed the team a lot of scissor work and sectioning as this is something Mark had specified to me. The guys took it all in and when we got round to the afternoon they all had 3 models each and really really showed off their new found skills. After the training had finished I had a really lovely response and everyone seemed hyped about what they had learn. If people get one new thing from a day with me then I am more then happy, life is all about marginal gains. That night we got some food and I was introduced to Caesers and Banana Martinis. 

Monday morning was much the same, even though I had received a great response from Sunday's class I was still doubting myself and a little nervous, especially as I had some of the guys in that day who I thought were excellent barbers already. Needless to say after a few shaky hands we got off to a flying start and I think the guys once again came away with some techniques they hadn't had before, especially texturising and personalising. We all got to hang out again after the day with a few local beers thanks to Stan, I was happy to get a cut from Mark and I gave the man himself Jeremy and trim and taper! I got some footage for the BarberPortal project so hopefully we can do something with that too!
For dinner I had THE best mac n cheese ever followed by another Banana Martini thanks to Mark. 
This morning I was taken to breakfast by Mark and Stand and had my first Poutine, which was delicious! Its an absolutely beautiful day here, clear sky and a little fresh but beautiful. I have a long journey ahead of me via Boston and Amsterdam but I cannot wait to get back home to my family!!!