Articles and Interviews

April 27, 2012

I was going to save posting an entry about these articles until I had my TV appearance on IrelandAM - it was meant to be this Monday but they have had to postpone it until June!
Regardless, I've been receiving quite a bit of media attention lately as a result of my medal-winning, which has been both an exciting and a very new experience for me. When I was at the awards ceremony in the Law Society there was a photographer from the Irish Hairdresser International Magazine: http://irishhairdressermagazine.ie/ and they did a really lovely two page spread in this month's issue about myself, and the winner the Medal Of Excellence in Hairdressing, Michelle Silke. I like how out of the 109 medalists, only 2 were Irish and we got the ones for hairdressing and barbering! If I get a chance to take a better picture of the article I'll put a link to it on here so you can read it but here's a snapshot I took on my phone:
Then I was asked to do a phone interview for the Education Section in The Sunday Times Paper as they were doing a piece on how City & Guilds have their European Headquarters in Ireland now. They sent a photographer around to my workplace to take a photo too! I was just about to start doing a hot towel shave on my friend Jim so the back of his head gets it's moment of fame too!:
And finally The Irish Times Newspaper interviewed me also. This one was an unusual as I met the reporter for a coffee and we just chatted for about half an hour with his dictaphone sitting on the table. Mainly the interview consisted of him asking a few things and me just waffling on about everything I could think of. You can read the interview online (the link is below). It's funny to see the bits he chose to print and how it was all edited together to sound a little more ... "juicy" I guess? For instance, the whole thing about me saying "Hitler Youth Haircut" was not phrased like that and some of the questions he asked were not said at all, rather written to match some of the things I mentioned - but I'm guessing that's how journalism works. Here's the article online: Irish Times Interview , it was also put in print in the magazine suppliment on Saturday, and here's a photo from it:
So there you go! Who knew that I would get this far when I started this blog huh? It all seems a bit unreal to be honest. I wonder if any of my readers out there have been following from the start and what do you all think? It's been quite a journey and it's really only beginning when I think about it. I hope to have exciting news in a couple of weeks!
- BE

View From Behind

April 23, 2012

Ah yes, you know that moment when your barber has finished up. When they ask you if you are happy with your haircut... you look on top, everything looks good and both ears are intact...
And then the mirror comes out. Yes, so you can see the back of your head. A place where you will never see again until your next haircut. 
Now I know this is so you can see that we haven't shaved our initials into your neckline or left you with a mullet, but every time I pick up my back mirror to show my client my handiwork (and sometimes my neck fade will be my proudest part of the cut for me! Unsurprisingly though I've yet to have a client go "oh lovely fade out on the neckline there... My word, my nape looks at least 200% sexier now, let me be sure to get your name so I can put you in my will"...) I can't help but think of this funny rant by the great English comedian David Mitchell where he approves of the mirror (but not much else!):
The bit at 1.35 in about the "plant squirter" is also hilarious as I'm sure some client's feel that way! I hope this gave you a giggle!

Caution: Floor Slippery When Hairy!

April 16, 2012

The title pretty much says it all!
I was in work today cutting a client's hair from very long to quite short and so there was large chunks of hair on the ground - when I slipped! Luckily I regained my balance quickly by leaning on the chair (and apologising to the client for nearly having an Austin Powers style "oops, I fell again" moment!).
So this is just a short note to say be careful out there! Barbering is dangerous business!
(Get up off the floor woman - you'll cause an accident!)
- BE


Young At Heart

April 9, 2012

I want to just give a little shout out to one of my favourite customers. 
He's a really cool guy, just comes in, hops straight into my chair and asks for the usual. It doesn't matter how long it's been since I last did his hair, he'll start to chat to me like an old friend and we catch up on everything going on in his life by the time I'm dusting him off and he's good to go. He's a real talker, and greets me like you would meeting your best friend for a drink in your local. He'll tell me all about his family, his holidays, his friends. Who's doing what and when, even if I don't know who he's talking about! He always remembers where we left off our last conversation and will always have a new interesting adventure to tell me about. He's funny, clever, intelligent and charming. When he leaves I'll have my smile on my face for the day.
Oh yeah, and he's nine years old.
I can't wait until his next haircut when I get to hear about all the fun he had at DisneyWorld with his family over Easter, and I get to be young at heart and live through all of the experiences as if I were there as he tells me all about them in detail. 
Thanks little dude.
- BE

Blue Light Special

April 2, 2012

Okay this might turn into a rant as it's been a serious pet peeve of mine since day one:
The Blue Light Special, also known as Chopshop Haircuts.
Those horrible, cheap "barbershops" that have blue lights inside and have prices so low there is no way they are paying tax (and I know for a fact that some of them aren't...). Maybe we only have them in Ireland, but they are the barbershops that look like this on the inside:
All the lighting in the main window, and inside, are those horrible blue florescent strip lights that look like they will make anything white you wear glow. I have tried to guess as to why on earth someone would think this is sufficient light in any kind of building, with the possibly exception of some trippy psychedelia shop. Perhaps they are installed for the same reason they put them in public toilets - to stop drug users going in as they can't see their veins under the light? But this seems unlikely. Maybe they are giant UV sanitation lights... though honestly if you need them that much I'd just have the place condemned! 
I mean how on earth can you cut in this light? It's gloomy and must put a huge strain on the barber's eyes. 
In short, I don't think you can give a decent haircut in this light. Not for the price of a cup of coffee. Which leads me to my more plausible reason for why I think they are installed: to disguise the bad haircut from the customer. 
These chopshops are the fast food of haircutting. The more clients the better and, again I know from people who have worked in these places, the management actively encourage you to get the client in and out as quickly as possible, spending a maximum of 8 minutes per client... because at their prices it's the number of clients, and not results, that count. Here's my artistic interpretation of what happens:
I hope I never have to work in one of these places, where every day I would feel like I'm walking into a giant tanning bed and my eyesight would probably get up and leave after 6 months. Were I male I would go into one once just to see what the experience is like - does anyone know? Please leave a comment above if you do!
- BE