We had the opportunity recently to put on a hands on men’s barbering education class with O’Ba Men. The line is relatively new and imports many of their natural ingredients that go into their products from Brazil. O’Ba is company that strictly supports the salons and barbershops and does not sell anywhere else. That means your clients will not find these excellent hair care products in drug stores or grocery markets.
The class was attended by numerous salons and we had a great time. We demonstrated the various barbering techniques as well as some of the most popular haircuts. After the demonstration the salons came on stage on groups and worked on live models. It was very impressive how well the staffs from the different salons worked as a team to give some great haircuts. As usual with our classes we teach how to eliminate the blending step from the haircuts which is always the most stressful and hardest part of the haircut. We were also extremely impressed how quickly the attendees picked up the concept of starting at the top first and working down instead of from the bottom up. Our mantra has always been and always will be, “If you don’t put the line in, you don’t have to blend it out!”
We finished up the class with a shaving demonstration using O’Ba’s high quality shaving gel which is in the final stages of development. We covered the 14 strokes of the shave as well as the four different hand positions for holding the straight razor properly. We also demonstrated a shave with a safety razor as well for the states who only allow cosmetologists to shave with that type of razor.
We can’t say enough about the professionalism of the owners of O’Ba Men and their commitment to support salons and barbershops by selling their products exclusively in their places of business as well as providing ongoing educational support as well.
HowToCutHair.tv will be providing more barbering classes in conjunction with O’Ba Men in the future. We will be announcing upcoming class dates and locations as they become available. We look forward to seeing you there and encourage you to give this excellent product line a try in your barbershop or salon.
We are very excited to release our newest video: The Medium Fade Haircut with a longer textured top. Anytime you are leaving a longer top and cutting the sides very close it can be very challenging. Some of the important things to remember are not to fade higher than the widest point of the head and make sure the blending area is never higher than the front length. These are the two most important instructions in providing a balanced medium fade or any fade for that matter.
In this blog series I will be explaining the different types of barber shears, barber shear cutting techniques, how to hold them correctly, and how to maintain them properly. Your barber shears are your go to tool for a lot of what you will be doing in men’s hair cutting. When I did my apprenticeship in New York State I wasn’t allowed to use clippers until I could do all haircuts including a flattop with short sides with the barber shears.
Barber Tool Tips – Barber Shears:
How To Hold Your Shears Correctly:
Insert thumb just below the nail and just above the knuckle.
Insert the ring finger to halfway between the knuckles. Apply pressure with your middle finger and forefinger and rest your pinky on the lever or on top of the finger hole.
Keep your hand still and open and close the scissor with just your thumb. Keeping your hand still and just moving your thumb applies the necessary pressure to the cutting blade so the scissor can cut properly.
Keep your hand a short distance in front of you and your elbow up in the air. This will allow you to open and close the scissor properly. Once you drop your elbow you won’t be able to open the scissor without moving both blades.
Proper use of your barber shears will ensure you produce the optimum quality of haircuts.
I had the pleasure of training a small group of incredible barbers dedicated to perfecting their craft this past weekend at our latest barber training class at Ricci’s Academy of Barbering in Connecticut.
The class consisted of barbers from New Jersey, New York City, and Connecticut. The hands on barber class covered a wide range of barbering topics from the basics to the advanced. We started out learning how to break the head shape down into 5 easy to remember sections. Then we moved on to the four basic barbering techniques: scissor over fingers, scissor over comb, clipper over comb, and blade on skin.
After becoming more familiar with the correct way to perform these techniques we performed 4 haircuts on male manikin heads. We started out with the popular disconnected long layer cut focusing on sectioning techniques and over directing hair to create longer bang lengths. After that we moved on to the ever popular Pompadour. With this haircut we focused on the square shape haircut with a longer front and most importantly how to use a hair dryer and brush together to get the desired finish. Next up was the classic business side part haircut. Again focusing on the square shape haircut. Due to the shorter length we focused on the scissor and clipper over comb techniques. Last but not least was the flattop haircut. This is what I have found to be the hardest haircut to learn. You are cutting a square shape on a round object. Also, the hair is extremely short so any imperfection shows. With this haircut we focused on fading techniques using clipper attachments and the clipper over comb technique.
I had a great time teaching a wonderful group of people and am happy to say I have made some new friends in the industry that I look forward to staying in touch with and keeping up on their progress.
What it means to be a barber goes far beyond just giving a good haircut. Yes, to be a successful barber you need to have a clean barbershop, give a quality service, have a convenient location, ample parking, and affordable pricing. What I am talking about is what makes your customers and community look at you in a different light. In my opinion the most important aspect of any barber’s job is your communication skills and your ability to build relationships. You can get away with being an average barber if you posses these skills. If you have outstanding talent but do not posses these skills you will have a difficult time becoming a successful barber with the potential for a long career.
I have been reflecting on my two decades in barbering as a technician, shop owner, and educator a lot recently. All of the sudden it hit me: As I am working on so many college kids many of them have been customers since they were 3 or 4 years old or in some cases since their first haircut. Throughout the years a strong relationship has built to the point where some of these guys are asking me advice on all different kinds of topics and life decisions which I consider a huge honor (and great responsibility)! On the other hand I cut many of their father’s hair who often tell me stories about their son’s, what they are up to, and in some cases ask for my opinion on some of their decisions. Again, a huge honor and great responsibility not to be taken lightly!
The best advice I can give is to make sure to always come to work with a smile on your face (even on the bad days), always have a positive attitude, never use bad language, never talk about controversial topics, work on having superior listening skills, and most importantly HAVE FUN! The last one being the most important because if you are laughing, joking around, and having fun it is contagious. Your customers will leave feeling great and keep coming back for more. Add a first class haircut to the mix and you have a combination that can’t be beat!