My First Day In The Barbers

September 26, 2010

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 nearly squeeled 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 in much easier. 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!


Randy said...

I love the ear singeing video! I've never heard of this before, much less seen it. Awesome! I hope you'll show us the threading, too.

Barber Eile's Blog said...

Thanks Randy! I'll have a look for a threading video to post up too.

Janna said...

OMG...that was amazing...I have never heard of ear singeing before and loved it. Can they do that for nose hair too??? LOL!!! My hubbie needs that, but dont tell him I said so. ;)

Barber Eile's Blog said...

Some barbers use it for nose and eyebrow hair. But in general they'd be more likely to use a clippers for those areas. Oh and don't worry Janna - my lips are sealed!

Anonymous said...

hi i'm a barber living in Belfast & i can,t seem to find any of the proper old school turkish cut throat razors (Sedef) does anyone know were i could buy them from?

Barber Eile's Blog said...

Hi Anonymous... Any of the barbers I know who use them, myself included, got them from Turkey. To be honest though you can use any shavette... Dovo and Parker both do ones reasonably priced. If your heart is set on a Sedef then perhaps try ebay.

Anonymous said...

Wow, it is surprising how many people find these things hard to come by! I live in london, albeit a very turkish neighborhood, and the only razors I can find are these sedefs!!

Would be happy to send some in the post, drop me an email.

Anonymous said...

numerous sedefs cheap

Barber Eile's Blog said...

Thanks Anon! Normally I don't keep comments with links like this but I have had some people asking me where to get these so it's good to have an option here!

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