Last Friday I had my first day's work experience in the barbershop here. I'm doing one day a week there, every Friday, as part of my barbering course. I chose the barber shop very carefully as I wanted a placement somewhere with a good reputation and with great barbers whom I could learn a lot from. I'm only one day in and I'm already happy I made the right choice! One of the barbers is from Turkey and he's amazing at head designs, hot towel shaves, ear singing etc. His name is Billy and I nearlysqueeled when he told me he uses Arko shaving soap squished into a bowl as the soap for his shaves -I LOVE ARKO! Arko is a slightly soft shave stick, however Billy told me he pops it into the microwave for a couple of seconds to soften it a touch more before pressing it into the bowl. He also uses a horse-hair brush with a lovely handle. I must remember to sneak a peek at the make. All the barbers use Sedef shavettes too! These are a Turkish shavette style razor. A shavette looks like a straight but uses disposable blades. Most barbershops use these for hygiene reason and in fact you can not use real straights under health and safety regulations here in Ireland. I found out that new Sedefs, like the one I got earlier this year as a gift from Turkey, come a bit too tight which is why so many people have trouble putting the blade in. (Seriously, loading a new Sedef can be hazardous to your health... unless of course you don't need all of your fingertips!) You need to loosen the opening with a very thin pin or something and the blade slides inmucheasier. I recently made a photo tutorial on how to load a Sedef and posted it here if anyone would like to know more about them: How To Load A Sedef Razor
Billy also taught me how to do threading and ear singeing. Here is a video of traditional Turkish ear singeing for those who do not know it. The flame can really scare people but it is a very effective method of removing outer ear hair and very common practice in Turkey. You can see this technique at 0:38 seconds into this video.
Threading is another method of hair removal that involves catching the hairs in between thread and twisting it out. I need to practice obviously but I know the basic techniques of both now. It was a great first day there and VERY productive. Sure I was making coffee and sweeping lots of hair, but it was so fun to watch everything going on. I'm going to just be a human sponge in there and watch and learn as much as I can. Also when I get further on in my course the owner told me I can bring models in and he'll get the barbers to give me some one-on-one training too which is great. It's all very exciting and I'm only one week in!