July 17, 2011

(AKA: How I Learnt Very Quickly To Never Wear Wool When Cutting Hair!)
The barber shop I work in now doesn't have a uniform, which I like, as it means you can express a bit of your personality in what you wear. One barber wears light summer dresses with Doc Martin boots. Most of the guys wear jeans and a t-shirt. However when going through my own wardrobe I noted that I have an awful lot of black clothes as in barbering college, as well as my last job, I had to wear all black. In college I would have theory one day a week and be cutting for the rest so I knew that on the theory day I could wear a healed shoe or jewellery etc... something that would be impractical on the shop floor. One day, when we were due to do theory class, I wore in a lovely woollen dress. Clients were booked in however, and I ended up cutting, and it felt like every single hair I cut got stuck in that bloomin' dress! I've never been so itchy!

Then back when I did my first barber training (the basic evening course) I bought a white tunic to wear. Here's a picture of me wearing it giving one of my models a hug! Its a nurse's tunic as the chef's ones which they wore in this barbers didn't come in my size:
When cutting hair most barbers will have a set of clothes they wear in work only. Because no matter how many times you wash a top you'll still find little cuttings caught in the fabric. Polyester is a popular choice however it's not as breathable as cotton in my opinion. While most of the barbers I work with wear t-shirts, one of them wears a smart looking black tunic top that looks like the one of the left below, however I quite like to look of the one on the right as it looks like a bowling shirt!:
I need to think about my image, but to also balance that with comfort and practicality. I have some things that I'd love to wear in work but once I do then they'll be come a "work item"! Forever banished to the Land Of Trapped Hairs Shorn From The Head's Of Many-A-Man! The same goes for shoes. While I do work with one woman who wears open-toed sandals, personally, for health and safety as well as comfort reasons, I prefer flat-soled, closed-toe shoes or boots. As a barber are on your feet all day so comfort is key. One girl only wears high heals and says her feet hurt when she wears flats! Madness! 
I'd love to hear any of your opinions on how important you think appearance is in the barbering profession.


Clarke Cunningham said...

I don't think a barber needs to wear a uniform, but I do feel a neat appearance gives the customer more confidence in the barber. I suppose the particular garb would depend upon the clientele. However, the barber's skill is most important to me.

Barber Eile's Blog said...

Thanks Clarke - I agree. Neat, clean dress and good personal hygiene are key. However the freedom to personalise your "look" is also good too.

tele said...

I think a classy barber-eile like yourself needs a classy watch to match her overall demeanor ;)

Anonymous said...

i think the classic Barber tunic has clean lines,and it says cleanliness organization and gives your customers a sense that you care about your job and the work you for them. Ive cut hair for eight years in a t shirt and its comfortable but started wearing coat cotton and it makes me feel more professionial

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