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 ;)
CLICK HERE

First two pictures.
Hair : Sadie Hughes and Mark Loftin



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



Sunday, 19 March 2017

OSMO #PSHYCOLOUR Photoshoot

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.
BBC NEWS
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. :)

#TCXHD



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!!!

#TCXHD








Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Great British Barber Bash

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

Today we are in London for the biggest Great British Barber Bash to date! Today Hackney will be taken over by some of the best barbers in the world and the TCXHD team are lucky enough to be part of the event! 
The Lions Barber Collective will have a stand and we will be spreading the word and raising awareness for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health to around 500+ barbers at the Wringer & Mangle and I can't wait!

I will also be doing some work for the upcoming Barber Portal, I am hoping to catch a few barbers and interview them for the intriguing virtual reality based barbering channel. I will have a 360 degree VR camera which will allow the viewer to watch the interview as if they are in the room with us! Along with these interviews we will be getting some content in 180 POV VR and 4K GoPro footage which we will compile into an all round interactive experience for the great event!

Tomorrow I will be holding a class at Phab Wholesale in Exeter, It is the first of the year for me and it is always a great day with fantastic students as well as the Phab team. I will also be filming some of the class in VR so you will be able to get a taster into what goes on in a TCXHD education day!

Anyway Id better get ready as we have to go and set up the lions stand and get prepared for the big day ahead!!!


#TCXHD

Sunday, 12 February 2017

BBC Radio Pause For Thought

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

This week has been quite an eventful one! It all started on Monday morning with a trip to the BBC Studios in Plymouth where I was invited to record this past weeks Pause For Thought. It was an honour to be asked to do this as it seemed all previous guests were all well respected and intelligent people, only God knows why they asked me! I was a little nervous being on live radio and also about what i had written for each, would it be good enough? These seven stories were played out every morning this week at 6:20am and are now available on the BBC Radio Devon iPlayer, if you'd like to listen back. I have also put all the stories here below.

Tuesday I was again early and on my way to the National Suicide Prevention conference at The Oval cricket ground. This was obviously for my role as Founder of The Lions Barber Collective and was also a little out of my comfort zone. There was a huge room of tables full of professionals and charities in this area of work and not a single barber or pair of clippers in sight! We listened to a couple of speakers, one of which, MP Norman Lamb was absolutely amazing and inspiring. Then it was time for Gerry and myself to give our seminar/workshop. We had a box of our own looking over the wicket in which we were presenting. The room filled up fast and some of the crowd included The Samaritans, who were live tweeting our session and Movember Foundation who wanted to learn a lot about us and what we are doing. I feel that it went well and our time went by incredibly fast. After the workshop we interacted with a lot of great people form around the country and made great connections to move The Lions Barber Collective forward. 

Also this week, Gerry and Sean, who are trustees for The Lions Barber Collective have headed to Dubai for the World Government Summit! They should have arrived by now but I am awaiting contact to see how it is all going, I cannot wait to hear from them and see the photos!

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday, It's my birthday tomorrow so I'm off to spend time with the family (Y) 

#TCXHD






Pause for Thought
Goals.
Surely this is something we all have, something we maybe should all have? Especially considering that it is the beginning of a new fresh year, 2017 is only 37 days old and a new years resolution can already be long forgotten by now. 
At work i am lucky enough to meet and talk to many people of all ages and backgrounds on a daily basis, I have developed into a kind of social chameleon, adapting to whoever i am with, by listening to and learning from them. 
However it has been to my surprise that when conversing with a huge majority about goals and plans for 2017 they seemed to have none, nor had they even considered it. One person who i have known for some time seemed to have little motivation and no vision into their own future at all, other than the day to day routine of going to work at a job they didn't like, to receive a wage they weren't happy with and no where to progress within their current organisation. 
When i asked about their aspirations and goals there seemed to be none, when i asked “what is your dream? no matter how crazy, what would you love to do?” there was a silence. They replied “that is quite hard when you are actually asked”. This made me feel devastated that a young person of 21 didn't seem to have a dream, let alone a goal or even a resolution.
 “What are your interests, hobbies or loves? You could do something to do with any of them? Today we are so connected globally you could start a niche business in YOUR interest from your own bedroom!” i said.
I hoped this may have sparked something in them when there was a reply “ Id never thought about it like that before”
We are so lucky to live in a world today were we have so many opportunities that the generations before us did not have and i believe goal setting can get you on route to achieving your dreams. My Action Day planner states the up to 97% of people do not set goals which seems like too many, Decide what you want, this is your direction, now set yourself goals to reach your destination and you may be surprised how quickly you reach each one.
Im looking forward to seeing this particular client for their next appointment.



DISNEY
So there i was, stood in a crowd, turning away from the point of focus and staring into the faces of those who gathered behind me. I saw people singing out loud at` the top of their voice with smiles that their face could barely contain. Grown men with tattoos and beards with a tear in their eye and their excited son or daughter on their shoulders. Everyone in this one place united in happiness by their connection and love for something created by one mans dream. And all this before breakfast!
It is no secret i am a self confessed Disney fan, I love the films, the theme parks, their culture and the man himself. I proposed to my wife on the Big Thunder Mountain rollercoaster. I had my stag do in Disneyland Paris and we honeymooned in Walt disney World Florida with our first child who has a Disney reference in his name. Needless to say Disney has had a huge Impact on mine and my families life.
On my last visit to Florida all of the magic, escapism and love that surrounded the location was more apparent than ever. I have visited this place ten times now but this was a first with a child of my own. Many have said to me, “once you see it through their eyes you will really appreciate it!” they were right.
It is amazing to me that one mans dream, passion, hard work and no surrender attitude has left such a legacy that can effect so many people in a positive way over 50 years past his death. From bankruptcy to losing his animation team and first successful character to Universal he created Mickey mouse and came up with the idea of a safe, clean place where adults and children could escape the world and have fun together amongst many other firsts. All things he was told he could never do, laughed at and hugely discouraged to even attempt. He was incredible at focusing on his dreams and not the opinions of others around him. I wonder what he could have done with another 10 years if not for his early death.

FAILURE
I spend most my days behind the chair in conversation with many different people from all walks of life. Recently I was told about a childs birthday party, where a game of musical chairs took place. Only they did not remove a single chair, ensuring that each child had a chair of they own, every time the music stopped. 
This made me wonder, why was this necessary? To avoid disappointment, breakdowns or tantrums? When would the game end? Was their a winner and losers? And are we so afraid of failure? 
Contemplating this more, I recalled when I was training to become an assessor and on that course the lecturer said “If the student doesn't pass, they…”
“fail” I thought.
“…set up a scheduled learning plan for the next assessment.” she continued.
What is so wrong with failure and why are we avoiding it with our children and students, because as soon as we are adults failure is common place in most walks of life, and its not a bad thing. 
Have you ever wondered why air travel is the safest form of transport? It all comes down to the black box. The Black Box records all the information between the plane and the air control team as well as the complete sound and dialogue of the cockpit. If there was any mistakes, accidents of god forbid a crash. All that content is available to anybody from any nation to assess, research and investigate, and they do every time. The crew are held accountable and the blame is not shifted to others or avoided all together.
In fact, they see failure as the very best way to learn. Rather than denying their mistakes, blaming others or attempting to spin their way out of trouble, these institutions and individuals interrogate errors as part of their future strategy for success. Which has lead to air travel being incredibly safe and improving all the time. In 2015 there were 560 deaths in air travel, however 374 of these were in deliberate crashes or bombs, meaning only 186 deaths globally were through accidents. Which when considering there are over 88,000 separate passenger flights each day is a staggeringly low percentage. Especially when you consider there are around 585,000 deaths by medical error annually in the USA alone. 
Zig Ziglar always said “Failure is an event, not a person” 

TIME TO TALK

A couple of years ago we lost a young man, an old friend of mine. It was a terrible shock and an incredibly upsetting ordeal. I have never seen a funeral so full of people, love and sadness, there was literally not enough space in the crematorium for all the mourners. At the wake we gathered, old friends that had drifted apart due to family, responsibilities and relocation. While in conversation I mentioned to a small group that we must do something and that we will do something.
Fast forward to September 2015 and this manifested itself in the form of The Lions Barber Collective. While in a conversation on what we would raise money and awareness for with our upcoming photo collection of mens hair cuts by some of the industries finest, Paul Mac, an Irish barber suggested Suicide Prevention.
That was it! I knew nothing about suicide prevention, I wasn't aware of any charity or organisation that existed. Which, as someone effected by such a tragedy I found ridiculous. Also, IF I didn't know about these charities, as a person effected then I was sure there were plenty more people out there in the same posistion. 
This grew rapidly and so did the ideas. It didn't take long to realise that as barbers we have a unique position within society. There is a huge level of trust between a client and their barber, an intimacy of personal space, a friendship which often stays within those walls and time out from the world in a one to one situation, which seems to be becoming a rarity.
Although we are developing our own training programme for barbers and trying to raise awareness to lower the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide. The biggest thing that has meant so many people have spoken to me about their mental state and problems is publicly saying that is is OK to talk to me, because of this many old friends, clients both new and old have shared some of their secrets and feelings with me. Often the only skill required is that of non judgemental listening.
 There seems to be a lot of fear and shame surrounding men when opening up about their feelings, maybe people still believe it is a weakness. Last week we had Time to Talk day, Id like to believe that we can talk to one another any day, any time as long as we let each other know, its ok to talk.

TIME MANAGEMENT

In the past 5 years my life has changed an awful lot. I have become a business owner, a husband, a father, an educator, a mentor and even starting a charity. Needless to say I am quite busy and time is a very precious commodity. I am often asked where I “Get the time” ? 
One of the best lessons i have learnt in my 32 years is Time Management. I am not saying i am a master and i am sure there is plenty of wasted time which i could manage more efficiently, however I have achieved more in the last couple of years due to this than anything else. 
The first thing I cut down on was the use of social media and television as a distraction, endless scrolling and watching funny videos while racking up hours and hours of boxset binges with no real benefit or achievement. Now i am not saying TV and the Internet are a bad thing, in fact the complete opposite, they are a library of information and knowledge as well as a form of escapism and relaxation, which is incredibly important for your wellbeing. However if there is a great Ted talk with some fantastic information and facts about mental health or business then i will tend to watch that over some reality TV. Social media is incredibly important to my business and my career as it is a fantastic way to network within my industry as well as share news and promote our team, scrolling endlessly is not. 
Learning to schedule my life and carrying my Action Day Planner journal with me everywhere allows me to keep track of my time and goals from attending the gym each week day before work, to meetings, allocating time to write a book project i am working on, competing admin, managing a business, photoshoots, events, video shoots, travel with work and even spending time with my family.
Simple things like listening to audio books in the car every day whilst on my way too and from work adds up to around four and a half hours a week of extra education.
We all have 168 hours a week, even the likes of Richard Branson. Even he, with his vast wealth cannot buy anymore time, however I'm sure you would agree he has achieved quite a lot with those hours. If for example we allocate just 30 minutes a day to something whether that be your career or playing an instrument, by the end of the year you would have spent an extra 182 hours on the subject.                                


POWER OF THE MIND

I have heard two similar stories recently, one about elephants, the other about Houdini.
Firstly, a man was passing a group of elephants, he noticed that all the fully grown elephants where tie up by a small piece of rope around one leg. A piece of rope which, if they wanted to they could easily escape with little force. The man recognised that the gentleman near by was their trainer and asked “why do these elephants not break free?”
The trainer replied by saying “The elephants are tied up with the same size rope when they are young and much smaller. At that age this rope is more than strong enough to prevent them from escaping. As the grow up they are conditioned to believe that the same piece of rope is strong enough to contain them and therefore do not attempt to break free”
The next story is about Houdini, a famous escapologist and believed to be the worlds greatest ever locksmith. Although i am unaware if this story is fact or legend there is still a lesson within. He was once invited here to the UK to try and break free from a supposedly break out secure prison cell. Now Houdini had done this many a time and agreed to the challenge as long as he could wear his street clothes into the cell. Once he was inside the cell he pulled a lock pick from his waist belt and went to work on the lock. After 30 minutes his confidence dwindled, an hour passed and still he was no closer. Then finally after two hours of trying to break this lock, the great houdini collapsed against the door in frustration and defeat. To his surprise the door swung open. The door had never been locked, except inside Houdini’s mind.
Both these stories demonstrate the power of the mind, if we believe something enough it must be true, right?


PARENTHOOD

They say becoming a parent will change you forever, and they are right. Nothing can prepare you for that love and connection you have with that tiny person. You are introduced to a whole new world, a world of pride, love, fear and a whole new concoction  of emotions I never thought possible. Being brought to tears of pride by the simplest of things for one.
This love and connection has grown especially over the last 12 months. I will be honest and admit at first it was love, no doubt, but there was not the connection I saw between mother and baby. There was an urge and want for that bond that seems so special, especially as my wife was breastfeeding I sometimes felt a little on the outside through no fault of anyone. However as my son has grown so has the bond and talking to other men I found that i was not alone in feeling this way. The time with him is so important and I know that in this busy lifestyle we lead full of consumerism it is easy to be distracted by work and even buy him everything he wants, or what i think he wants and needs. 
As the bond has grown and he is now capable of showing his love in return I am incredibly conscious that what he really desires is my time and attention. I look back to what an amazing childhood I had, when times were hard we had some of the best fun because my parents spent a lot of time being creative and spending time with us doing some amazing things. When times were good i was lucky enough to be part of their businesses whether that was helping wait tables in their restaurant or being an extra in a film and attending a night shoot with my dad when he had his film transport company.
This has made realise, my best memories of my child hood are of times spent, not things owned. 
No one says “ I wish Id spent less time with my family and worked more” on their death bed.