Male grooming is all the rage right now, with more men pruning themselves in front of mirrors than ever before. As a result, the demand and excitement surrounding the fine art of barbering is booming. But, before you go out and buy yourself clippers, combs, scissors and a book on small talk, is barbering the right career for you?
To help you make a decision, The Bluebeards Revenge spoke with ambassador, friend, and top-quality barber Mike Taylor.
Taylor’s barbering career is an excellent example of how fulfilling the job can be. Having previously founded the British Barbers’ Association, Taylor now owns several barbershops across the Dorset and Hampshire area, runs his own academy (Mike Taylor Education), and has been labelled as the first master craftsman barber in the UK, awarded by the Hair Council.
Below, he explains why he still chops mops with a smile 25 years into his lustrous career:
A love of fashion:
“Fashion is constantly evolving. As a result, every few months, we blokes want a fresh cut that fits the current trend. I love fashion, which makes it easier for me to deal with an industry that never really rests. And what better way to have an impact on fashion than through a bloke’s hair? A haircut is the easiest, cheapest way to make a man feel and look better from month to month”.
Be your own boss:
“Let’s face it; at some point in our lives we’ve all had a boss that tested our patience.
“The chance to work for myself (in my own shop) and be my own boss always appealed to me. Being self-employed means I can choose the hours I work, the prices I charge, heck – I can even pick my own dress code and listen to whatever music I like.
“There are plenty of options on how you become your own boss too; from renting a chair in a salon/barbershop that allows you to set your own prices, to working as a mobile barber, or opening your own place for full control. As a barber I feel like I can really express myself daily.”
“Being a barber gives me a platform to showcase my artistic side and express myself through my work.
“As haircuts go, some of today’s trends definitely require an artistic touch. And making these styles work for men who lead various lifestyles is a rewarding feeling. Seeing people react positively to my work on the streets and through social media really does leave me feeling satisfied at the end of a day’s work.”
Making good money:
“As your talents grow, and your client base broadens, barbering can definitely provide you with a wage that’ll leave your wallet feeling thick and well looked after. Growing up, my brother’s best friend was a barber and he always had nice motors and fresh clothes, so I knew you could make a decent living from it.
“Obviously, like all work, the more effort you put in to your craft, the more cash you can expect to make from it. Nobody gets rich by sitting on their arse, except pro poker players maybe…”
Chewing the fat:
“There aren’t many jobs that allow you to talk to such a variety of people. I’ve made many friends in my profession and built a contact list that can rival even the local pub landlord’s.
“You can’t really be shy as a barber, though. Most of your day’s spent talking to fellow men. There’s a lot of chat about sport, particularly football, but there’s also a really strong bond between barber and client. As a barber you’re trusted with a lot of secrets (good and bad). The best barbers keep those secrets locked away.”
“Barbering is a skill, and that means that no matter where you are in the world, people are always going to need you. Barbering has taken me to some amazing locations around the world. Once you’ve got your qualifications, you can practically go wherever you want.”
A real passion for what you do:
“Like all work, if you enjoy it, you’re going to find it a damn site easier to manage in the future.
“I love cutting hair. I used to cut my friends hair at school for next to nothing, just because I liked to make them look and feel amazing. I can honestly say that if I won the lottery tomorrow, I would still find time to cut hair at some point each month.”