Barbershop Year 13 Issue 1

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barber shop

Year 13 Issue 1
AAB Fashion Pty Ltd 2 Ardena Crt Bentleigh East VIC 3165 Australia Phone: +61 3 9575 0600 ANDISCLIPPERS.COM.AU
CONTENTS ANDISCLIPPERS.COM.AU ON THE COVER 50 ANDIS: Your Destination For Education, Innovation and Inspiration REGULARS 08 Editor’s Note 28 News & Gear 72 Dateline Imports FEATURE 10 Being On Top Of You’re A-Game By Frank Ciccone 12 He’s with the Crew By Julie Bellinger-Gibb 14 The Epitome of Evolution, Mohamad Hamze By Rex A.C. Silver 16 10 Minutes with Sean Hayes By Louise May 18 Thinking Outside the Box – Suzi O’Brien By Rex A.C. Silver 20 Spotlight on Benny Hogan, Fēniks Barber Studio By Frank Ciccone 24-26 Chasing the Internal – Fliss Downes AKA The Yoga Barber By Collette Saunders 32-34 The Dynamic World of Robert Braid By Rex A.C. Silver 58 Men’s 2024 Beard & Facial Hair Trend Predictions By Jim Shaw EVENTS 30 Expo 4 Barbers GC24 52 Frank Da Barber Joins Barber Josh O.P For Babyliss Pro Australian Tour 60 Naked Tan Launches Alpha Male PROFILE 36-38 All About ATTABOY By Louise May 40 When Two Worlds Collide By Rex. A.C. Silver 42 Discovering Sonder By Louise May 44 Cultivating Community By Louise May 46 Iconic Melbourne Barbershop Uncle Rocco’s By Louise May 53 The Hair Academy Australia 56 Behind the Chair with Kobi Rayner By Gareth Philpott PRODUCT PROFILE 54 A Game Changer – JRL Onyx Clipper COLLECTIONS 62-63 Scala Collection By Jose Garcia Peluqueros 64 Timeless Collection By Olga García 65 Light Years By Aaron Chan BLOGS 66 Brand Ambassador. Is It A Saturated Market? By Frank Ciccone 67 Creating an Award-Winning Hair Collection By Matt Clarke 68 The Tomorrow of Barbering in Australia By Jimmy Rod 70 For Those Trying to Stand Out From the Rest… Listen Up By Lance Liufau BUSINESS 74 Business Old School By Maria Fallace 75 3 Skills Successful Salon Owners Have Mastered By Dwight Hodge 76 How To Manage the Competition By Liz McKeon 78 Where do I Start to Negotiate with a Market Rent with the Landlord By Kelly Cunningham 80 Hello 2024, What the hell have you got in store for us this time? By Hayley Mears 82 How I Built my Confidence By Simon Doyle 14 20 30 60 COVER

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Julie Bellinger-Gibb, Collette Saunders, Jim Shaw, Gareth Philpott, Jose Garcia Peluqueros, Olga García, Aaron Chan, Matt Clarke, Jimmy Rod, Lance Liufau, Maria Fallace, Dwight Hodge, Liz McKeon, Kelly Cunningham, Hayley Mears and Simon Doyle OFFICE

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Welcome to the first edition of Barbershop Magazine… and one that has a slight twist! This year we have decided to invite some key players in the Barbering industry to contribute to each magazine in the role of Guest Editor. We will be asking them to reach out to their network and supply some key features for the magazine to run alongside all of your usual and well-loved interviews, profiles, news, product launches, business articles and blogs. We are so excited about this new initiative allowing us to have a far greater reach, when it comes to sourcing great material for you.

The first cab off the rank is none other than Frank Ciccone, known and admired as a business owner, product developer, barber to the stars and owner of the ‘Barbers of Australia’ Facebook group and Instagram page, a space designed to connect barbers to share information on jobs, products and barbering knowledge.

Don’t forget the 2024 AMBA’s are now open for entry at

Enjoy this edition of Barber shop with our first special guest editor

Louise May Editor in Chief

GUEST EDITOR Frank Ciccone

Barbershop set a light in me and inspired me to revisit how I look at the hair industry…. True story!

When I won the Social Media, Hair & Beauty Awards (SMHBA) International Barber of the Year award in 2021, mocha group owner Linda and former editor Rex were the first ones to reach out and cover the story with a two-page article in Barbershop magazine. I will never forget their generosity and support.

When the new head editor-in-chief Louise May asked if I would like to be part of this amazing magazine as a guest editor, I didn’t hesitate. Who wouldn’t want to be a guest editor? It was such a huge honour.

The way the team supports barbers from all parts of the country is what I love about Mocha. They encourage new barbers, inspire old ones, and are here to support everyone. They provide recognition by celebrating the achievements of barbers everywhere and this is the reason why I wanted to be a guest editor.

Now, a little about me…

I thank my beautiful wife and my two gorgeous girls for where I am at in my career. The confidence and support they gave me in every decision I make helped me get myself out there. They still continue to support and guide me, and I don’t know where I would be without them.

I have had a great career: I’ve run a very successful business (Hair by Ciccone) for 28 years, won a few awards along the way and I have looked after some of the biggest profiles in the world. I didn’t think things could get better.

I am a proud ambassador of Heiniger and Excellent Edges, and to top it all off, after 10 years of selling our product SMASH IT to a few barber shops and via our salon and online store, we were recently named and voted as the 2023 AMBA Best Men’s Styling Product of the Year. To be nominated for this award was an absolute honour, but to win, was a career highlight for my family, my team and me.

So, for this edition, I was asked by Louise May to write an article about a person of interest. I decided to go with high profile AFL player Tom De Koning as I wanted to pick his brain about his career and professionalism, specifically to understand the comparison and similarities between us barbers and a person constantly in the limelight.

I was also tasked with writing a barber profile, which was so difficult to do as there are so many incredible and inspirational barbers within our local communities and our industry. I wanted to follow the principles that are similar to Mocha group, as they support all barbers, so I decided to profile someone who just went out on his own recently and who is also a supporter of the Mocha Barber family.

I met Benny Hogan via the Barbers of Australia Instagram page that I run. Benny has supported the page from day one and I wanted to show him my support in return.

Lastly, I was given the opportunity to write a blog detailing my thoughts in relation to the topic of brand ambassadorship, a topic which is becoming a major part of the barbering industry. Within this blog, I provide my own advice and tips when it comes to ambassadorship.

A new year always brings with it new opportunities, new ideas, new adventures, and new connections. I’m glad and grateful that Barbershop reached out to me to connect when I won International Barber of the Year and I’m so honoured to consider them family.

I hope you enjoy this first issue of Barbershop Magazine 2024, and I can’t wait to see you all at the next Australian Modern Barber Awards. Remember to apply and celebrate your nominations. or Phone: 0402085648

Post - Print Post 100005498 PRINTING Printcraft PUBLISHED BY PUBLISHERS OF HAIR BIZ, Beauty Biz and Barber Shop Barber Shop is published four times a year by mocha publishing ABN 65 091 846 189 No Part of the publication may be reproduced in any manner or form without written permission. Barber Shop does not accept responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, transparencies, original artwork or other material. The views expressed in Barber Shop are not necessarily those of the publisher. No responsibility will be accepted if the publication is delayed or prevented by factors beyong the control of the publisher. No responsibility will be accepted for errors in copy, or for any loss arising from the failure of an advertisement or any part thereof to appear. © 2023 mochgroup All rights reserved. Frank Ciccone

APRIL 21 & 22










being on top of your a-game!

When I was asked by Mocha’s Editor-In-Chief, Louise May, to write this article about a person of interest, I didn’t even hesitate, as I knew exactly who I wanted to profile. Many of us in this industry need to be on top of our game and be professional in our barbershops, salons and within the education sector.

A few barbers around the country look after high profile AFL/A league/ NRL players, which in turn helps our profiles and businesses grow.

I wanted to see how professionalism and the pressures of presentation affect a high-profile performer and how they deal with it while being in the public eye.


We at Hair By Ciccone sponsor Carlton Football Club and star player Tom De Koning, who has been a client of ours for the past 6 years.

We were very fortunate to sit down with Tom after a training session at the club. I wanted to pick his brain about his career and especially being in the limelight and how his experiences and professionalism can relate to all of us in the hair industry.

Many of us who played sport as a kid dreamt of playing at an elite level. What were your first thoughts when you discovered you were going to be an AFL player?

Thinking back on it now – it’s been a while since the draft, I think I’m in my 7th year now – the moment that I first got the call up that I was going to be playing for Carlton was amazing and the whole family was absolutely stoked, just for the amount of work that went through to getting me there. It was an absolute thrill to be able to say I’m part of an AFL list and to be able to play for Carlton Football Club, a massive club.

How do you remain in the game when there’s so much cheering and yelling from a crowd of 60 thousand plus ? How do you stay present and collected?

Good question! I think starting my career it probably rattled me a bit walking out in front of big crowds, but I think off the back of last season we saw some of our biggest numbers and especially in the finals, being able to play our first finals series in 10 years in front of 90,000 plus a few weeks in a row. It’s funny - I was talking to someone about this yesterday - you walk out there, and you take in all the fans, take in everything and as soon as that siren goes it’s all out the window and you just focus on the game. You don’t really notice the crowd until there’s a big moment or a goal or something like that where you can kind of really take it all in. We’re so focused on the game that it kind of all just goes out of your head until the final siren goes, and hopefully you get the win!

I know that when you have spare time you pull out the surfboard… Tell us about Tom outside of AFL ?

I think you’re all over it there. For me, if I need a chance to kind of take my head away from footy, I’m straight down the coast, whether it be the peninsula where I grew up or down at the surf coast where all my family is now. I really love getting in the ocean, using that as a chance to reset, get my mind off footy, and then once the time comes, where I have to go back to the club and really focus, then I feel refreshed and ready to go.

Like myself, many Carlton fans hope that you are playing for the Blues for many years to come, but what about life after AFL? Are you studying at the moment and is there a career path in mind? It’s funny, we talk about this a lot don’t we Chica [Frank’s nickname amongst most of the players] At the moment I’m studying a Bachelor of Business at

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ACU and slowly ticking those boxes and trying to kind of figure out what my interests are. For me at this period, footy is number one but I know that that’s not going to last forever. I always have to have something to fall back on and that’s a really big focus of mine; to get something done on the outside. I try and kind of work my interests into that. I love surfing, I love being outdoors, and I love business and real estate, so I try and kind of just work and learn as much as I can at the moment and then get a degree under my belt and then sort of figure it out from there, because who knows what I’ll be doing in 10 years. FRANK: Open up a surf shop! TOM: Yeah, that’s it!

Many of us barbers have to be on top of our game every haircut or when we are demonstrating haircuts on stage at Barber expos. I want to touch on professionalism in your industry such as when you guys attend schools, meet, and greets or are in front of media. Do you prepare for these yourself or are you given a brief to follow?

For us, we’re lucky, we’ve got our media team who brief us before we go out in front of media. But in the first initial years where you get drafted you do media training, learning how to speak, learning what to say. But bringing out your own personality as well is important because you don’t want to just be a robot and answer everything the same. You want to be able to express yourself and show people what you’re interested in. It’s interesting because you can relate that to footy or your industry as well as a barber, but you have to be able to get up on stage and perform, and preparation is key for all those things.

Now you know when it comes to hairstyling, I always talk to you about SMASH IT. You basically have no choice on the matter when you are in my chair, but what’s your routine with your hair before a game especially when your hair has some length?

Mine’s grown out a bit now, it always has been pretty long. I think there was only one year where I shaved it. Before a game, I like to have a shower, brush it straight and then put Smash It in to hold it, and then I wear a headband. I feel like that really holds it in place and then I’m able to go out there and not have to worry about it getting in my eyes or anything like that. It’s funny, ever since I’ve met you, I’ve used Smash It pretty much every day of my life, I reckon! I think most of the boys here as well use it. It‘s a great product that we love using, which is great!

Now, let’s talk about the famous “De Koning’s in the air “ viral video posted by the legend Robbie Williams. How did you hear about it and what was going through head when you saw it ?

I think it was after the Melbourne game. I think it came up on my family group chat or someone sent it through. I thought it was a joke at first, I didn’t really know what I was watching and then I realised that Robbie posted it himself. It was a bit of a star-struck moment for me. I just felt so lucky that he was watching the game. Initially, I was already so happy that we had won the game, and we were going on to a Prelim, so it was mixed emotions and pure excitement and joy. You can’t really beat that. He’s a “rippa”!

In this issue I’ve touched on brand ambassadors and influencers. With having so many sponsors, is there an expectation from your sponsors or your club about posting or doing promotions on their behalf?

It’s kind of dependent on the brand. Our sponsors pay money to be on our uniform and we choose clubs we like to represent, which the club does behind the scenes, like Puma, we all love wearing Puma, and then we all have our own individual sponsors. For me, I wear Nike shoes. That’s just who I choose, that’s who I like to wear. Then it’s pretty much up to the individual what sort of deal they have as to what they post and how often. The bigger dogs probably post a bit more because they’ve got a better following. You’re a human billboard so whatever brand you wear is one you like to represent. That’s the way I think about it, but I don’t have too many sponsorships yet, so maybe I’ll try and get a few more! You gotta choose brands that you like. I think the worst thing about seeing influencers who just promote anything is you get sick of it, because they’re promoting everything and anything. If you really just promote what you’re interested in, then that’s the key, I think.



he's with the

You’d be hard pushed to meet a barber as accomplished as Ian Harrold. Like many, Ian started his hair career at the age of 16 and his devotion to men’s hair has not wavered since. He’s the founder of two brands of barbershop, an in-house academy and is also an American Crew All Star. Today, you’ll find him right at the forefront of UK barbering as the lead UK educator for American Crew. We went to meet him…

Ian recounts his story with the down to earth openness of someone who isn’t just admired for his work but is also known as a resoundingly nice guy. “I left school in 1991 with no GCSEs,” Ian admits. “My mum told me I needed a job, or it was re-sits. So, I applied for everything you could think of and never got anywhere. My mum had spotted a job for an apprentice barber at the local barber shop. I thought there was no way I was going to do that, but I didn’t want to go back to school. We made a deal - if I went for the interview and I didn’t get the job I would get the first week of school off to keep looking. I went for the interview and when asked ‘Why do you want to be a Barber?’ I said I didn’t and told him why. He laughed and said I was the most honest 16-year-old he had spoken to and gave me a trial the following day. And that’s how it started. It took time but I grew to love the barber shop.”

At the age of 21, Ian left his job there and with the help of The Prince’s Trust, opened his own Barber Shop in 1996 called Traditions. Within the first year he was doing well and needed staff. “I decided the best thing to do was to take on an apprentice who was younger than me so I would have the confidence to teach them how I liked to work,” says Ian. “28 years on, we still only take on apprentices and we encourage, develop and nurture them to become part of our team.”

Developing apprentices has always been at the heart of Ian’s business and seeing a lack of tutors in the male specific side of hairdressing, he decided to go to night school and gained his assessor’s qualifications to teach and deliver NVQ qualifications. Ian worked for an independent college in Liverpool for the next two years one day a week delivering the Level 2 NVQ in Barbering. He developed his educating skills further in 2012 when he graduated from Bolton University with a Professional Diploma in Education.

With training the next generation always in mind, Ian has been part of the UK Government Route Panel since August 2022 to advise on the new T level qualifications for the Barbering, Hair, and Beauty sector to help them to become fit for purpose. And while education is clearly a key driver in Ian’s career, his creative side burns no less brightly. “In 1999 I also became a competitive Barber for the NHBF team competing in classic competitions,” says Ian. “I did this for the next four years competing in Strasbourg in 2002 and in 2003 in Paris.”

Spotting a shift in the male grooming market in 2004 due in part to the rise of David Beckham transcending football and becoming a grooming icon and the rise of the ‘metrosexual’, Ian embarked on his next chapter. He decided that to develop both himself and his business, he would open a men’s salon called Attitude Men’s Hair offering appointments and also including additional services such as colour to his menu - a trailblazing jump at the time. In 2014, the Arcadia Group approached Ian to bring the Attitude brand into their Topman Liverpool Store. This was a fortuitous and highly successful addition to his company until Arcadia closed its doors in February 2021.

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Photography credit Liam Oakes Photography credit Liam Oakes

A thread that has run throughout Ian’s more recent career trajectory is a link with American Crew. “I became an All Star for American Crew in 2004 - the term American Crew use for their Global Artistic Education Team,” says Ian. “In 2008, I became the first non-American Educator to be given the All Star of the Year award as voted by my peers. I have delivered American Crew Education in multiple countries across Europe and America and also worked on the cutting team at the Revlon Style Masters stage shows for American Crew in Prague, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona and also the 10-year anniversary show in Palma and the 25 Years celebration show in New York in 2019. More recently in 2023, I headed the cutting team for the anniversary show for the Serbian distributor in Belgrade.”

In June 2016, American Crew were asked to provide a styling team for the opening of the Paul Smith Flagship Store in London, which Ian headed up as the Lead Educator in the UK. Whether it’s education, photoshoots or brand development, Ian approaches each opportunity with relish. “Every year American Crew has a global photographic competition, and the three winners get to do a photo shoot with the founder of American Crew David Raccuglia. In August 2022, I was asked to support the previous two year’s winners with hair direction on their London photo shoot, creating two collections for magazines and their individual portfolios,” Ian recalls with pride.

In December 2022, Ian was chosen to be on the cutting team for the American Crew 2023 collection Ac-iD, a collection that was seen on runways and taught in American Crew academies around the world. At the beginning of 2023, Ian took a team of delegates, made up of hairdressers and barbers that have taken part in the ACED Academy courses by American Crew, to Paris to celebrate the launch of the new Revlon Professional and American Crew Academy. The team took part in a photo shoot to create a style book made from students’ work from across Europe and Ian played a vital role, helping with everything from product selection to teaching budding barbers how to work with a photographer. More recently American Crew’s Global Education Director, Phoenix Thomson selected Ian to assist the Global Technical Director in delivering the 2024 technical team training for the European American Crew All Star team and Team Crew in Barcelona.

Ian loves creating collections, whether for American Crew or to fulfil his own creative vision. “Collections are important in men’s hair,” Ian muses. “We look to them with the same psychology as clothing retailers do. When men

go shopping, what is on the mannequin is what they buy, as men are visually motivated. If they see a combination that works that is what they trust to make themselves look and feel good. We believe it is the same with their hair, so with a collection shoot it is about being commercial and creating hair that they would like to try with a strong product story to also encourage product sales.”

The collection Ian shot last year for Attitude was a tribute to the rise of the customer he’s seen emerge more and more throughout his career. He explains; “I didn’t want models with authentic masculinity, more a natural self-assurance and confidence gained from their ability not to fit with a stereotype. My thinking took me to a young Mick Jagger. Fast forward to present and think Harry Styles - the cheeky confidence that the paparazzi and women love, and most young men deep down admire. When I was sourcing inspiration for the collection, I was reminded of the confidence of the young up and coming models that get dressed up every year and stand outside the Pitti Uomo Fair in Florence. These men are nicknamed ‘The Peacocks’ due to the way they parade up and down.”

The result is a versatile and well-received statement on modern men’s hair - technically adept and with mileage to be broken down into a styling program for the team. “We look to add new techniques to our repertoire with each collection as a way of keeping our team evolving and developing new ideas,” explains Ian. A taster of this collection was featured in the January 2024 issue of Modern Barber magazine.

A million miles from the lad who said he didn’t want a job in barbering all those years ago, Ian has proved himself to be creative, technical and a brilliant educator. In fact, though this humble guy would likely be the last to admit it, he’s one of the world’s most accomplished all-rounders in men’s hair. As his long-standing link with American Crew proves, if you need a safe pair of hands, Ian Harrold’s your man.


Hair: Ian Harrold @ Attitude Men’s Hairdressing

Products: American Crew

Grooming: Maddie Austin

Styling: Agnese Picchio

Photography: Tom Lee

Ian Harrold


Iranian barber, Mohamad Hamze is an L3VEL3 Global Ambassador who epitomises the evolution of modern barbering. With 9 years in the field, he has mastered an array of skills, including hair styling, colouring, and even photography.

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His expertise doesn’t end at his studio; Mohamad has extended his knowledge through online education courses, notably a comprehensive 12-month program that attracts students globally, including from Russia and Greece.

Additionally, his workshops in Turkey reflect his commitment to education, which is a testament to the dynamic and global nature of the barbering industry, showcasing how traditional barbering can blend with digital education and international influence.

It’s been a few years since we have been blessed with a series from this fantastic artist.

It took me a while to connect with Mo when I first attempted to reach out and see if he would let me publish his work and get to know him a bit better around 2 or more years ago.

To my surprise, I was the first hair and barber journalist Mohamad agreed to work with.

Since then, we have stayed in contact and refer to each other as barber brothers when we communicate. This might say something about us as individuals, both Mo and I, but it also speaks volumes about how our craft and chosen profession can connect barbers on this planet and give us licence to refuse to acknowledge politics, distance, borders and boundaries.

He has only let one other magazine publish his work, and for that, I feel very privileged.

This is a selection of his latest work where he “hair painted” freehand, the fantastic designs unique to the talents of this great hair artist. He won’t tell me the brand of colour he uses, only that the outlines are done with an L3VEL3 pen.

Hair: Styling: Photography: Mohamad Hamze


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Mohamad Hamze


sean hayes

Get ready to dive into the world of Sean Hayes, a talented barber, educator, and brand ambassador based in Burleigh Heads, Australia. Hailing from the picturesque village of Drimoleague in West Cork, Ireland, Sean’s journey from an electrical apprentice to a celebrated figure in the barbering industry is nothing short of inspiring.

With a passion for hair ignited during his adventurous travels and honed through dedicated education, Sean’s commitment to his craft and his down-to-earth attitude makes him a beloved figure in the industry.

Join us as we spend 10 minutes with Sean Hayes, exploring his remarkable career, proudest achievements, and exciting plans for the future.

Please share a little about your upbringing?

I grew up in a small village in West Cork in Ireland called Drimoleague. Dad is a chippy and mum worked in the bank at the time. It was a brilliant place for my younger sister and brother and I to grow up, with so much freedom for us to roam around and get up to all sorts. We spent our free time in the holidays playing any sort of sport, riding our bikes and swimming in the river. Those were the days.

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When I left school, I started an electrical apprenticeship and as soon as I got qualified, I hopped on a plane to Australia for a holiday. 10 years later I’m still here, time flies!

Tell us what you do in the industry today?

Currently I’m a Barber, Educator, and Brand Ambassador, working out of Mayday Barber studio in Burleigh Heads. Owned by 2 weapons, Dayna, and Bobby, they have created a brilliant space with a really special atmosphere and to put the cherry on top, Noah Lockwood, my old apprentice who moved to London for a year, has just started in the shop too.

I haven’t done much education in the last year or so, but watch this space, some exciting news is hopefully coming this year.

How did you first get involved in the industry and what inspired you to start?

I always remember having a keen interest in hair and hairstyles growing up, I tried lots of questionable hairstyles in my teens and into my twenties (red tips being the standout) and becoming a barber was at the back of my mind, but the industry hadn’t taken off yet when I was leaving school and I passed it up for an electrical apprenticeship instead.

I was working in remote northern territory as a sparky doing some very dodgy haircuts on my friends when my interest really sparked, and I started watching Menspire videos and really getting into it. I decided to book myself into Thomas Lloyd’s barber academy in Cardiff in Wales and stated learning properly on January 2019 and I loved every minute of it. I have to give massive credit to Lloyd for his teaching on that course, he is an amazing teacher and mentor and I still chat to him these days and have continued to seek his advice through the years.

What achievements are you most proud of in your life or career?

Being a bit older starting this career, I was very driven from the start to make an impact in the industry over here. I set up my Instagram and got to work on trying to build that. In 2019 I was part of the first Australian Wahl ambassador program, to be honest I got complacent with that, and I let it slip away.

I have been nominated for the AMBA awards in 2021 and 2023 for the classic collection category and in 2022 was nominated for Barber Of The Year which I was so happy with.

In 2023 I became an ambassador for JRL Australia which I was approached for, this was great as I felt like my work was paying off and the JRL team is so strong, I’m so happy to be part of it. My proudest career achievement is becoming an ambassador for Charlie Grey’s education platform hair in motion. After watching Charlie through the years while he was at Menspire, it was a huge deal for me to be part of his brand and when I went to Manchester to meet him and other members of the hair in motion team and see his studio and the way he shoots his content and approach haircuts, was a very surreal moment for me.

My partner Jena and I had our first child Fintan in June of last year and that is definitely my biggest life achievement so far, it’s a massive game changer and brings so much joy to our life.

If you could change one thing with the Barber industry, what would it be?

Industry egos! This is a bit of a tough one as I love the industry. I love the extra things we can do other than the daily work of cutting hair in the shop, like photoshoots, awards nights, and expos. It’s so great to meet the super talented people at these events and it’s even better when those people who I look up to and admire turn out to be absolute legends when you meet them. But christ there are some flops out there that think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread, relax lads at the end of it all were not performing lifesaving surgery, were cutting hair.

Three things you’re passionate about:

Family, sports and as corny as it sounds, I’m actually passionate about the barbering industry as a whole.

Describe your ideal Sunday:

Decent breakfast, walk down the beach, head for a swim, UFC, and a few beers. Perfect

What’s on your bucket list?

Old firm derby, northern lights, see Ireland win the world cup, in anything.

What’s playing on your Spotify right now?

Sam fender, Hozier, Paolo Nutini, the national

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Have a little more patience

If you could leave this industry having achieved just one thing, what would that legacy be?

Win barber of the year and just be known as good lad in the industry.

Do you have a motto or signature life philosophy?

Very simply, don’t be a dick.

If you’re on time, you’re late

What is on the agenda for this year? Any exciting plans?

This year brings a lot of excitement, I’m going home to get married in July, it will be the first time my boy goes to Ireland too so that’s really special.

I’ve invested a lot in education with different people this year so I’m looking forward to that.

Big things happening with hair in motion, hopefully.

I have also sought advice from some people I really admire in the industry about photoshoots, and they have kindly offered for me to be part of their annual one this year, which hopefully I can take a lot from and apply it to my own AMBA barber of the year entry. So, lots to look forward to.

@seanhayeshair @hairinmotioneducation @jrl.aus

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AMBA classic shot from 2023 Sean with Jena and Fintan The Mayday barber studio crew

thinking OUtside THE BOX!Suzi O’Brien

2023 AMBA BTS Team Winner and serial AMBA Finalist nominee

Suzi O’Brien is an astute businesswoman who thinks outside the box and is always a ‘big picture’ visionary regarding her ideas. Where you focus your energy and decide to allocate your time to best balance your interests, including yourself, is critical to having the best outcome in all areas of life, Suzi believes.

She weighs in on these principles with how she operates her successful business, Studio X, not only in terms of her team’s rostering but also how she manages the space for the entire 24 hours a day, seven days a week she pays rent for. Suzi’s principles and beliefs pay dividends to her staff and students, and she is now experiencing other business owners knocking on her door for guidance and advice.

Suzi expands on this for us…

Yes, I decided to move to a four-day week firstly to benefit the health of my team. I believe we work to live, not live to work, so having a four-day workweek allows us to have a longer break to live our lives and come back to work energised. I think this is fundamental in keeping team members long-term and helps avoid burnout, which, in my experience, I have seen happen a lot, and people end up leaving our industry.

Our productivity has improved, and the overall morale of my team has also improved. I often hear that they couldn’t imagine going back to a 5-day week now. We truly value working smarter, not harder. We speak a lot about delayed gratification and what we are willing to sacrifice in the short term to reap the benefits in the future. This gives my team more time to think, learn and plan for their future also.

Another benefit was I could then make use of the other days that we didn’t open, by leasing the studio out for events and education. One Zero One Education, Eoin and Leigh have announced The Studio X is now their home (it always has been!) and are only running their infamous 3-day course from my studio this year. Gareth Philpott and I have also joined ventures where we are now the Sydney location for his RTO, The Barber

Academy, and have a full-time barbering academy running each week where I am the head educator. Positive energy like Suzi’s is infectious, and those who wish to improve themselves, their lives and their businesses are naturally drawn to this beacon of light in people who show passion and knowledge in their chosen fields. Suzi has been approached by other business owners on this level and found herself being helpful to their individual concerns, a process Suzi found happened organically.

Right now, all that I’m offering is a different perspective. I believe I’ve always had the ability to see the bigger picture and think outside the box in business and if I can share some of my experience with other business owners or anyone for that matter, I would gladly help. I feel like I have a unique positioning within the industry as I’ve been cutting for so long. I have respect from the old school, as that’s where I’ve come from. But I’m also young enough to still be in the same conversations of the new generation of barbers, or, as Tim Ferris calls them, the “new rich”, and be willing to learn and adapt to new ideas and be open to new ways of marketing and thinking. It puts me in a great place to observe and appreciate all sides of the hair industry. Thus, allowing me to communicate and appeal to a broader audience of barbers.

As for my time management, I’ve realised that my time is not best spent cutting more hair in my business. It’s most valuably spent focusing on business development and growth. This allows me to set up systems and procedures to allow it to work independently and ensure I have long-term success. My role is just evolving; the more I learn about business, the more I’ve realised this, and now that I have such a big team, it’s a crucial part of ensuring longevity. This is something I wish more business owners had understood earlier in their careers and something I’d love to help people understand.

You are obviously drawn to help guide the young minds entering our craft, is there the same drive for fellow business owners?

I wish to help business owners because now that I know better, I feel a responsibility to do better and to share what I’ve learned. Business is hard. I’ve experienced all the highs and all of the lows and everything in between I

18 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1

Your immediate plans…

think many people seriously underestimate how much work goes into being successful. But if people were just willing to do “the work”, take a look in the mirror and realise that their business and team are a direct reflection of themselves and their leadership. It all starts with you. As Steven Bartlett explains in his book “The Diary of a CEO” (definitely recommend btw) It’s the ostrich effect. I see many people bury their head in the sand and hope for the best. Not knowing their numbers, running from the truth working themselves to the bone. But there is a way, you can find more flexibility and freedom and business can become so much easier, if you just ask for help.

What might that look like?

I think first we would need to have a conversation to see where you believe you’d like some help. But I believe I can help a lot of people just by giving them different perspectives and changing how you view things or situations. Looking for different opportunities within your business that you could capitalise on or maybe just doing some work on your own mindset and limiting beliefs.

Currently, I am in the process of shaping my future direction and I haven’t fully decided which way I want to go since I announced I won’t be cutting hair anymore at The Studio. I’m going to take this time to work on maximising my own business to its full potential but I’m open to the idea of formulating an offering that may lead to helping other business owners soon. Over time I’ve felt more and more people are seeking my advice on business, leadership and creating a strong culture which is naturally leading me to assume a coaching role if you will. Still, I’m not entirely sure what that will look like or if it’s something I want to commit to fully however, I’m happy with how things are naturally and organically unfolding.

Great news here….

I have worked with business owners, where we have discussed their roadblocks and I curated a program where collaboratively, we navigate through the program, and I share my insights via Zoom. The positive feedback I have received from this experience has been truly gratifying as it has allowed me to help business owners have greater autonomy in their lives and have more control of their businesses. I feel this type of work is more aligned to where I’m at right now and if more people were seeking this then it would be something I would consider.

Every leader has a mentor or two…

I take great inspiration from Eoin McCarthy and Leigh Winsor, who I consider brothers of mine at this point. They are true thought leaders and are so far beyond their years in thinking it’s frightening. Everything they say comes from a place of love and wanting to help people and I resonate with that. They have helped mt tremendously throughout my career from cutting to life and business and I hope to pay that forward by sharing my journey and making bold moves in the hope that, that inspires others business owners and makes them realise what is possible. @suzi_thestudiox

Benny HoganSpotlight on


In Melbourne, on Sunday 5th of November 2023. I was sitting in the foyer of a hotel across the road from the Australian Modern Barber Awards. This guy walks in and introduces himself to me. He calls out “Frank Ciccone”, I put my hand out to shake his hand, he reaches out and gives me the biggest bear hug.

“It’s me Benny Hogan!...I feel like I’ve known ya for ages”

20 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1

The day earlier, Benny reached out to me via the Barbers of Australia Instagram page that I run, saying that he wanted to meet me and pick my brain about the industry.

Never met this bloke before.

Now fast forward about 3 months and he’s just opened his own shop, Fēniks Barber Studio. This puts a massive smile on my face.

I had a great chat with Benny about the industry and what he’s up to.

Here is Benny’s story!

How did you get into barbering?

After working as a teacher’s aide in a special education school for 5 years, I wanted a change and I had always loved the experience of going to a good barbershop. I decided to quit my secure government job and start my qualification in barbering, and I’ve never looked back.

Tell me, what is life is like outside of barbering?

My time outside of the studio is spent with my family. 1-year-old daughter; Olive, my wife; Ashleigh and our Labrador; Cali. My girls are everything to me. We always have music playing at home and most days I’ll play guitar for Olive while she sings and dances along.

Who inspired you back in the day when you were first starting out, and which barbers or industry peers inspire you now?

I started out looking up to the Schorem Barbers,

Leen & Bertus as I loved their classic cuts. I studied their work religiously. The deeper I went into the rabbit hole of barbering the more people I came across that inspired me. At the moment I’m watching a lot of Josh O.P. and Alexandr Cherepovich, and their ultramodern styles of cutting.

Realistically I think almost every barber I’ve met or worked alongside of has inspired me in one way or another.

You recently opened your new barbershop shop. Can you give some advice and tips to people thinking of going out on their own and opening their own shop?

It was a massive jump to take, becoming my own boss, but I can genuinely say that it has been the greatest thing I’ve ever done. The best advice I can give, would be to have an open mind, lean on other industry professionals and collaborate! You don’t have to do it alone, surround yourself with like-minded professionals and build your support network and you will know when you’re ready.

How do you believe this industry can continue to thrive and what other assistance can be provided by other members of the industry?

We really need to continue to support each other no matter what our role in the industry is, from apprentices to master’s and from barbers to stylists, we each have an opportunity to do something amazing every day and I think it’s important that we always acknowledge the success of the people around us. I’m also very passionate about supporting the next generation

of barbers, we need to continue to pass on our knowledge to the next sets of hands.

Describe the path you will be taking in 2024: Will it be awards-based, have a heavier focus on marketing, utilise both, or will you incorporate another business concept?

2024 for me is going to be a massive focus on my shop Fēniks Barber Studio and giving my clients the best experience humanely possible. In saying that, I had an amazing time at the AMBA Awards last year and I just might throw my hat in the ring again this year!

Benny Hogan, Townsville QLD @bennyhbarber @feniksbarberstudio

21 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1



You have woken early, hydrated, consumed some nutritious breakfast, meditated on some expectations for the day, done some stretches or had a run. You feel fresh. You put on your favourite comfy work clothes, check your own hair in the mirror with a thumbs up, grab the keys and out the door.

You don’t mind the traffic at all because you are already 20 minutes ahead of time and your next favourite podcast is playing while you sip the coffee you made on the way out. Your bookings look amazing as more of your favourite people are coming in today and you can’t wait to catch up after the last conversations you had. You’re prepared for anything really. That resilience you trained into yourself, that skillset fine-tuned over the years, and the knowledge you’ve gained to be able to engage in the most intriguing, scandalous, or even devastating conversations has you confident. You know your projections for the week dollar-wise money in and out, that bank account is looking greener by the day thanks to that coaching you invested in. Your mental and physical health has never looked better, and your aspirations for your future are right on track!

Large numbers of people in our creative environments are living, or aspiring to live, a better work way. No longer are we sitting back allowing auto pilot to navigate us through our working lives. Truthfully, there was a period when I was one who was swept along like a raft in a river, working endless hours in a business for a quarter of a century that toward the end felt like a weight around my neck. Travel forward to the here and now in our Industry I am listening to the purpose, focus and truths of young minds who leave indelible marks on people in their worlds.

Life doesn’t have to be hard! We have to brush that “life wasn’t meant to be easy” off ourselves because we live in a world of possibility. Make the most of it! Purpose is caught up in understanding ourselves better, and pursuing that knowledge is key. Education in our hair industry doesn’t just stop at mechanics any more. There is a shift that has been evolving. Whole, holistic, transformative, mindset, self-awareness, blueprints, limitless, are just some of the describing words that are thrown into our spheres as we scroll daily looking for something that makes sense out of our lived experience. Our constructed realities are being pierced by those whose validated experience brings those who “belong” and those who are “other” together.

Fliss Downes aka The Yoga Barber has built rhythm and cadence, edging her closer to realising her deepest dream. That of helping others realise theirs! She provides a healthy home for hair professionals and their clients within “A WHOLENESS PODCAST” which has entered 2024 with its 32nd episode! A hairdresser turned barber, yogi, and meditation teacher; she invites you to come on in!

More than a decade of industry experience had brought with it the price of her health… mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Having navigated all that and morphing through it, her podcast breaks it down with conversations with other hair professionals and specialists in the field of health and well-being. She dives deeper into what this industry does to our minds, bodies, and souls, by empowering and inspiring not only fellow hair professionals, but our clients too. Honest, truthful, fun, and informative she gets stuck into some “juicy topics” every Wednesday. Community and connection, no judgement or neglect, through collaboration not competition she knows exactly what she can provide the hair industry. She has changed lives based on one conversation and has learned first-hand the psychology of people.

We all base our actions on the knowledge that we hold within ourselves. So, with that in mind, let’s get into some lessons with this self-described “tough cookie” as she enhances through MOVEMENT, MEDITATION and MINDSET growth.

Who is Fliss Downes and what is your vision?

Despite myself experiencing poor mental health through mid 20’s to early 30’s, I always knew I was more than the label hairdresser/ barber. I am a deep hearted, vibrant deep thinker, resilient, crazy go-getter. I love to adventure and explore. I’m a lover of cats, cafe crawling, travel, psychology, and I’m raising my vibrations to fall in love with life all over again.

My vision for the industry is for all hair professionals to be fully aware of who they are, know their core values, beliefs, and ethics. A place where we all look out for one another, cheer each other on and help each other grow. This heightened state is oozed out onto our clients, impacting them and their life which passes on to their friends and family generating a movement for the greater good, for the planet. It wasn’t until my own early days of self-growth in 2015 that I began to see that there was more! Now I am bringing this energy to the hair industry. This is UNLIMITED! My personal vision is to podcast and create retreats worldwide for those inside and outside the hair industry. Online courses, teaching, leading, and speaking. Creating events where we move our bodies through yoga, walking, getting in the sea, saunas and cold plunges and then getting into meditation. I have started putting things into action to have a location free business. More time, freedom, and money. The rest of the time I’ll be with the people I love doing the things I love.

How are you going to wake up the hair industry?

Now note, I have been saying “I am going to wake up the hair industry”, but the true question is, how are we collectively going to wake up the hair industry?! Through hair professionals consciously choosing to engage with what I have to offer and, in turn, what they have to offer to themselves and the world. Think what unification that will bring to the workplace! The relationships between hairstylists and barbers! The connection between hair professionals and clients.

I see people such as Eoin McCarthy, Leigh Windsor, Jake Putan, Jack Case, some of whom have already been on my Podcast and one who will feature in the coming months, taking people on journeys of self, and self-realisation. I am only one of the many catalysts to the hair industry waking up.

The 3M Method?


It’s all about the morning. Putting yourself in a positive, upbeat energetic level. Putting yourself in a higher opportunistic position to have an impactful day for yourself and for others.

To become the strongest, I have ever been mentally started with my mindset. I found the awareness that I had to change something in my life. It was recognition that I am not my anxiety, I am not my depression or suicidal thoughts. It was my mindset that I needed to shift. From that awareness came the Meditation. I have changed the frequency. I had become unclogged by starting with small affirmations and short mindfulness meditations. That pushed me to the realisation that this is so sustainable, so tangible and it was free. I reached a point where I realised that I needed to move my body. Short walks became longer, after that gym then adding swimming.

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The 3M method is something anyone can carry with them and work with at any time of the day. Whether you’ve been in the industry for one year or for decades, this system does not discriminate. The 3M method will “unmask”. It is such a gift, because we all play a roll, we all have different versions of ourselves, and yet we have to show up every day and be the same person day in day out for our clients and colleagues.

Through this system I want to break down the stigma of always having to put on the mask. For anyone who is struggling with keeping things down in the workplace. To feel confident to open up and feel supported amongst teams around them, instead of crashing at home at the end of the day. Being our authentic selves through Mindset, Meditation and Movement over time allows us to go deeper into each area. It scientifically changes neural pathways. Our bodies respond.

You worry about how we treat each other in the industry. How do you want to see that portrayed differently?

Yeah, I do worry about that a lot, through my own personal experience and others expressing their personal experience. Feelings around silent topics and unhealthiness. Bullying, favouritism, unhealthy competition. I believe this happens due to people being unhappy, not self-aware, on guard, insecure, unfulfilled, or just not satisfied with life. And I’m not saying this is only restricted to the hair industy, or to all salons or barber shops. It’s because I have lived and breathed the hair industy for so long that I know there will be many in our industry who will relate. I believe that if we start seeing ourselves through consciousness and love, seeing others as a reflection of ourselves, then good things can happen.

Your direction of energy and envoking is expressed at a relatable level. You are intentional of what you want to project. What results do you want from your presence for people as individuals?

I wish to see individuals realising that they are not their thoughts, feelings, or emotions. That they are in control of their minds. I want to know that I have generated a shift in people’s mindsets from a state of uncertainty, unfulfillment, unsatisfied or unhappy, to a state of feeling alive again. Having a sense of direction. Being able to live in the here and now, not in the past or the future.

Your podcast is full of a variety of speakers as well as your own solo episodes. The width of topics will resonate with hair stylist and barbers alike. Where do you want your podcast to go?

The conversations my role models are publishing and putting out there are electrifying to me. Listening to podcasts has catapulted my life in a direction I never thought it would go. I want my listeners to be utterly engaged in what my guests and myself have to share. To create thought provoking content, communication and conversations which will transpire out to humanity.

I would love to do live podcasts at Hair Industry Events, as well as live yoga and meditation classes in these settings. This would allow full engagement for those who wish to experience what I have to give. My role models are a Rich Role, Aubrey Marcus, Steven Bartlett, Tom Bilyeu, Simon Sinek, Blind Boy Podcast, Dr Joe Dispenza, Joe Rogan, and Tony Robbin’s. I vision my podcast being among my role models, listened to all over the world, not just hair professionals but anyone and everyone.

At our first meeting in 2019 I immediately felt that this young woman possessed an innate magnetism that draws people from diverse backgrounds toward her. Whether through her compelling story telling, infectious enthusiasm, or genuine empathy, she effortlessly captivates and inspires those around her. Her ability to connect with individuals from all walks of life stems from her authenticity and unwavering commitment to making positive impact on others.

Sign up with your email address at to receive news on upcoming podcasts, people, events, and free meditation program.

Fliss Downes @flourishwithfliss @theyogabarber

Collette Saunders @collettesaundershair

Founder @australianfemalebarbers @afb_recruit

Erin Matthews Photography @erinmatthews_photography



JRL Australia presents the eagerly awaited JRL Onyx SF Pro-Shaver - a meticulously crafted addition to the JRL lineup that sets a new standard in grooming innovation.

What you’ll love:

Magnetic Levitation Blade Technology: Experience the revolutionary Magnetic Levitation Technology - where the blades are suspended effortlessly in mid-air, without any physical support. This frictionless and highly efficient technology transforms the shaving experience.


He is the night. He is the Bat man. Inspired by the dark crusader, the bat man is a super strong and sleek barbers chair for the dark knights who love everything black. With all Matte Black Metal details, the design features horizontal stripes upholstery while the comfortable and supportive seat is firm and well supported. Available from Comfortel Salon Furniture.

Ultra-thin, sleek-designed Foil: The shaver boasts an ultrathin, sleek-designed foil for a close and pressure-free shave, ensuring a comfortable and precise grooming session. The single foil on the Onyx Foil Shaver boasts the width equivalent to that of a double foil shaver, ensuring extensive coverage and durability despite its singular design.

Durable and Powerful 8000 RPM Motor: Equipped with a robust 8000 rpm motor, the JRL Onyx SF Pro-Shaver offers durability and power, ensuring optimal performance with every use.

3 Hours of Battery Life: Enjoy the convenience of extended use with a remarkable 3 hours of battery life, providing sustained power throughout your grooming sessions.

LED Display: Stay informed about the remaining charge with the integrated LED display, offering a clear indication of the shaver’s battery status.

Cordless or Corded Operation: Whether you prefer cordless convenience or need to power up with a cord, the JRL Onyx SF Pro-Shaver accommodates both preferences.

Low Noise Levels: Elevate your grooming experience with low noise levels, creating a peaceful environment for your clients during each session.

Discover unparalleled precision and efficiency as you achieve a smooth and even shave with the Magnetic Levitation Blade System. The JRL Onyx SF Pro-Shaver is not just a product; it’s a testament to JRL’s commitment to delivering cutting-edge tools that redefine the grooming landscape.


This 7 Drawer 360 degree rotating unit is the embodiment of functionality and style for all your Salon storage needs! This innovative unit is designed to seamlessly blend practicality with a touch of modern elegance, offering a perfect solution for organizing your Salon space.

Constructed with durability in mind, the Aries 7 Tier Hairdressing Beauty Salon Trolley boasts a sturdy framework made of high-quality tinted clear ABS plastic, ensuring both transparency and resilience. The inclusion of the tinted clear ABS plastic adds a sleek and contemporary look to the unit. The joining tube, a crucial component of the trolley allows the draws to rotate 360 degree is crafted from robust stainless steel, providing stability and longevity.

One of the standout features of this drawer unit is the 7-tier design, offering a generous amount of storage space for all your essentials. The 360-degree rotating trays provide easy access to your items from any angle, allowing for efficient organization and retrieval.

Whether you’re a professional looking to streamline your workspace or a home organizer in search of a chic solution, the Aries 7 Tier Hairdressing Beauty Salon Trolley on Wheels is the perfect choice. With its clear ABS construction, stainless steel joining tube, and 7-tier rotating trays, this trolley is not just a storage solution – it’s a statement piece that combines functionality with a touch of sophistication.

Upgrade your organizational game with the Aries 7 Tier Hairdressing Beauty Salon Trolley – where style meets practicality, and convenience meets elegance!


Globally loved grooming brand American Crew has expanded its iconic 3-in-1 range, introducing two new scents that evoke the senses whilst working hard to cleanse and refresh. The launch of the Ginger + Tea, and Chamomile + Pine products takes place just in time for the southern hemisphere summer, adding to the existing range of Classic and Tea Tree products.


Meet Simon Doyle, a 25-year-old Irish barber whose passion for precision and style has taken him from the streets of Melbourne to the shores of the Gold Coast. Recently, Simon had the opportunity to showcase his exceptional talent at a barber masterclass which was hosted by The Barber Academy, where he wowed audiences with his expertise in both long and short hairstyles.

Simon captivated attendees with his mastery of both classic and contemporary haircutting techniques. From sleek fades to textured layers, Simon demonstrated his versatility and creativity, leaving a lasting impression on all who witnessed his work.

Originally hailing from Dublin, Simon’s journey into the world of barbering began at a young age, fuelled by a fascination with the artistry and craftsmanship of traditional Irish barbers. Now, as a resident of Melbourne, Simon has made a name for himself as a master of his craft, earning a reputation for his impeccable attention to detail and commitment to customer satisfaction. @thebarberacademyaus @simondoylehair


Dateline Imports is proud to announce BaBylissPRO and Silver Bullet are major sponsors of EXPO4BARBERS, most anticipated barber expo to hit Australia. This unprecedent convergence of top-tier grooming professionals, cutting-edge technology showcases and live demonstrations with renowned barbers from across the world will happen on the 20th, 21st and 22nd April 2024 at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Dateline Imports x BaBylissPRO is also sponsoring the unmissable education sessions from the incredible Josh O’meara-Patel (@barber. josh.o.p) Immerse yourself in a once in a lifetime learning experience to elevate your skills and revolutionise your approach to barbering. Explore innovative techniques, master the art of styling and uncover the secrets of crafting impeccable fades and designs. Get ready to unlock your full potential under the guidance of one of the industry’s most revered educators.

Throughout April 2024, Josh’s Australian tour will also take him to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.


Don’t miss this game-changing event, destined to redefine the boundaries of style and innovation in the world of barbering, and give barbers the voice and respect they have always deserved.

EXPO4BARBERS will be the biggest Barber event in Australia & New Zealand history where you can witness an unprecedented convergence of top-tier grooming professionals, cutting-edge technology showcases, and live demonstrations by renowned barbers from around the globe.

Immerse yourself in the latest trends, techniques, and tools shaping the future of the industry, and be part of an experience that will revolutionise the art of barbering. And meet our proud Media Partner mocha group and Barbershop Magazine at the event!

April 20th — Barber Battle & Open Party, Mobile Barbershop Depot, Bundall, GC


April 21st & 22nd — Full Expo, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach, GC


As the world of barbering continues to evolve and expand, EXPO4BARBERS emerges as a pivotal event, bringing together enthusiasts, professionals, and industry pioneers. For those planning to attend, the expo promises a comprehensive experience that is both enriching and exciting. Here’s what you can expect from this monumental event:

1. Networking Opportunities

EXPO4BARBERS serves as a melting pot for barbers, stylists, and industry professionals from various backgrounds and skill levels. Attendees can expect to mingle with a diverse crowd, from local talents to internationally recognized names. This is a golden opportunity to exchange ideas, share experiences, and build connections that could open new doors for your career or business.

2. Educational Workshops and Forum’s

Education is at the heart of EXPO4BARBERS. Prepare to engage in a wide array of workshops and seminars led by seasoned professionals and celebrity barbers. These sessions cover a range of topics, from cutting-edge barbering techniques and trends to business management and digital marketing strategies tailored for the grooming industry. Whether you’re a novice looking to sharpen your skills or a seasoned pro aiming to stay ahead of the curve, there’s something for everyone.

3. Live Demonstrations

One of the highlights of the expo is the live demonstrations where master Barbers & Educators showcase their skills in real-time. These demonstrations not only provide visual and practical learning opportunities but also inspire creativity and innovation and real time in how the tools & products work. Watching these artists at work is a unique experience that can offer fresh perspectives and techniques you can incorporate into your own practice.

4. Product Launches and Exhibitions

EXPO4BARBERS is a launchpad for the latest products and innovations in the barbering industry. Attendees get the first look at new tools, products, and technologies designed to revolutionize the way professionals work. Exhibitors from leading brands to emerging startups offer hands-on experiences, allowing you to test and compare a wide range of products. This is also an excellent chance to snag exclusive deals and discounts offered only at the expo.

5. Competition and Awards

The competitive spirit of barbering comes alive at EXPO4BARBERS

through Barber Battle contest and awards ceremony. This competition will not only recognize talent and skill but also celebrate creativity and artistry in the field. Participating in or even just witnessing this contest can be incredibly motivating, providing benchmarks of excellence and showcasing the industry’s top talent.

6. Entertainment and Social Events

Beyond the workshops, seminars, and exhibitions, EXPO4BARBERS knows how to keep the vibe upbeat with a mix of entertainment and social events. From live music performances to barber battles, the expo ensures that there’s never a dull moment. These social gatherings provide a relaxed atmosphere to unwind, enjoy and foster friendships within the community.

Attending EXPO4BARBERS is more than just an opportunity to learn and network; it’s an immersive experience that celebrates the art and science of barbering. Whether you’re there to build your skillset, find inspiration, or simply soak in the vibrant atmosphere, the expo promises to deliver a memorable experience. Get ready to be part of an event that not only shapes the present landscape of barbering but also charts the future of this dynamic industry.


The main stage at EXPO4BARBERS is set to be the pulsating heart of the event, showcasing an electrifying lineup of showcases, demonstrations & leading business forums that encapsulate the spirit and innovation of the barbering industry. As attendees gather around this central hub of creativity and expertise, they can expect a dazzling array of activities designed to entertain, educate, and inspire. From awe-inspiring hair artistry performed by some of the countries most renowned barbers, and inspiring runway photoshoots the main stage promises an unforgettable experience that highlights the cutting edge of barbering culture and craftsmanship.

Main Stage RUN DOWN

1. JRL Australia Education Team

2. BaByliss Australian Education Team

3. Heiniger Nation Team

4. TEKMATIX – Female Entrepreneur of The Year 2023’, Sarah Cordiner, ‘’10 Ways To Put Your Salon, Barber & Hair Business on Auto-Pilot and Get Simple Tech To Do Your Admin & Marketing FOR You!”

5. Business Forum (Linda Woodhead, Fraser Forsey, Jarred Stedman, Mark Rabone, Jimmythehairdresser, Tony Alessi, Michele Kannis, Lino Dadderio, Frankdabarber)

6. Naked Accounting – Michael Jeffriess (How to manage your business for success)

7. Barber Brands International – Styling Level UP

+ Many more

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1. General admission tickets – 1 Day $79 / 2 Day $99

Include your entry to the Exhibition floor for access to the best deals and newest drops in the industry, Entertainment on the show floor, main stage education and forums, live demonstrations from all the participating brands at their booths.

2. Josh OP & Frank Da Barber Education workshop – 1 Day $349/2 Day $499. All of the above is included in this ticket with access to the EXPO floor along with 2 to 4 exclusive Education workshops catered by 2 of the World’s most renowned Educators in a private education room within the convention centre.

3. EXPO VIP – $1100 Value for ONLY $699

Not for the faint hearted BUT for the Creative that wants the royal treatment with all the perks! This is an ALL-ACCESS pass with front row seats at Main Stage and in Josh OP & Frank Da Barber’s Education room! With a VIP ONLY lounge on the show floor to wind back, network and soak in the atmosphere with FREE FOOD & A COUPLE DRINKS to ensure the 2-day event is done in style! Did we mention every VIP ticket holder gets their own VIP SWAG BAG with over $300 worth of goodies from EXPO sponsors!

4. OPENING PARTY & BARBER BATTLE – Entry Fee $39 Contestant Fee $59

Saturday 20th April from 5:30pm we are kicking off “The Barber Battle and Opening Party” which is set to be an electrifying event that will capture the essence of creativity and camaraderie in the barbering community. Picture a vibrant venue pulsating with the energy of passionate professionals, all gathered to showcase their exceptional skills in a thrilling BATTLE that pushes the boundaries of hair artistry. Imagine the air filled with the buzz of clippers and the scent of pomade as barbers from various backgrounds transform ordinary hair into extraordinary masterpieces. As the evening unfolds, the party kicks into high gear, with live music setting the rhythm, and attendees mingling, sharing stories, and celebrating the art of barbering. It’s not just an event; it’s a spectacle of talent and a testament to the barbering culture, promising an unforgettable experience that will leave everyone in awe of the creativity and spirit of this unique community.



Robert Braid


32 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1

If you’ve been a part of the barbering scene for even a short while, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the iconic stories and collections of Robert in previous issues of barbershop, a mastermind in the world of hair. Recently, he dazzled Australia as Artistic Director for Heiniger during their grand Australian launch shows, showcasing the Swiss-made high-end machines and demonstrating their unique capabilities to amazed audiences alongside our homegrown maestros of hair AMBA Modern Barber of the Year Matt Clarke and 3 x AHIA Best Men’s and 5 x AHIA Best Educator Jules Tognini.

Embark on a thrilling journey through the life and artistry of Robert Braid, a name synonymous with avant-garde barbering and audacious creativity. 1 2 3

I stumbled upon Robert’s genius about five years ago while scouting for extraordinary talents to spotlight in my articles. It’s rare to find artists whose work is instantly identifiable, but Robert Braid is a standout in this elite group. In 2021, his work was selected by the esteemed publishers of the Barbering Bible, which celebrated the top 12 barbers globally at the time. This illustrious list included industry titans like Sofie Pok, Robert-Jan Rietveld (The Bloody Butcher), and Roberto Ferrel (Rob the Original), whose creations are also recognised in the blink of an eye.

Since his rise to fame, Robert has graced stages worldwide, rubbing shoulders with these legends and imparting his unique techniques to eager barbers keen on honing their craft.

So, who is Robert Braid, you ask?

He’s a prominent figure in both the UK and US barbering industries, a recipient of the British Barber Association Judges Choice Hall of Fame, and a man born with a pair of shears in his hand. Alongside his brother David, he co-owns ‘Braid Barbers’ across two locations, continuing the legacy started by their father, Phillip, who opened the first Braid salon in Birmingham in 1976.

But wait, there’s more to Robert than just his clippers!

Robert has also made his mark in the world of martial arts, clinching a World Championship Title in Stick Fighting (Kali) at the WEKAF World Championships in 2008. The fact that Robert had the focus and determination to perfect his skills to that level and then have the confidence to fly to the Philippines and beat them at their own ancient fighting discipline speaks volumes about him.

And his talents don’t stop there:

For commissioned work, his partner in crime is world-renowned hair photographer Liam Oaks, but in Rob’s own time, he captures his creations through his own lens, a style he refers to as ‘Street,’ his efforts have graced the covers and pages of global magazines.

Let’s check that out!!

Prepare to be captivated as we present 10 of Robert Braid’s most cherished individual images from the past four years, accompanied by his very own personal comments and insights.

1. 1st image This is one of my favourites and the most complicated haircuts I’ve ever done; Aztec symmetry is perfectly spaced and angled, and the planning and design of this cut was akin to an architect designing the blueprints of a building…I thoroughly enjoyed it.

2. I love this as it shows the texture in silhouette form on one side and true form on the other. We also had heaps of fun experimenting with this shadow effect in the studio; It was a great day. This is the only image in this selection shot by Liam Oakes (Roberts’s long-time collaborator for commissioned work)

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3. This was the image that won me the Judges Choice Hall of Fame. Yes, it’s the same model from image one, but a few years earlier, it’s such a strong image and shows the simplistic beauty of a drop fade.

4. This is one of my favs not only because it is my son but also because his attitude perfectly matches the mod style he is rocking’… with no prompting or direction from, I have to add…. Straight-up pro!! Ha-ha

5. One of my favourites is the step fade shown on one of my favourite models, Jan, aka Eagle. The natural shape of his skull combined with his ability to pull off classic vintage style with his facial hair allowed me to paradox modern and vintage. I can always do this with Eagle… a phenomenal image and a phenomenal model to work with.

6. Jess is ideal to work with; her natural, symmetrical appearance is the perfect muse to showcase a box crop on one side and a textured crop on the other. I love this cut so much. I replicated it for Heiniger. It doesn’t age….

7. Dangeruss!…International Moustache of the Year winner two times in a row… Russ also can rock modern and classic at the same time… effortlessly. Here, I resurrected the 80’s mullet and incorporated that with a contemporary twist with the top cropped; Russ seamlessly adds vintage with his unique mo, rumoured to be insured for more than Kim K’s bottom I’ll have you know!

8. I love this as it represents me very acutely, mainly because I often work with the model’s natural physical attributes; in many cases, the features and curves nature gave them are very subtle; in this instance though, it is Kai’s tattoo. It’s dictating an invisible landscape from which I can create and build shapes and bring those to the forefront.

9. My version of a feminine mod crop, Victoria just booked to me before going out one evening; her make-up inspired me, as she had these fantastic silver teardrops, and after the cut, I just had to shoot her and document what we did. You will see I love working with the same models until I run out of ideas on how I can best present the thing, and I will call it a thing because words don’t describe what you see in a muse; you see infinite magic and have to bring these looks to life.

10. Victoria, again, I went full tribal cyberpunk. As you can see, she has no trouble rocking the vision I knew would suit her and my art.

Image 2 Photography Liam Oakes / Hair Robert Braid

All other images: Hair/ Photography Robert Braid


34 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1
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Crafted with Swiss engineering excellence, the all-new Heiniger clipper range embodies unparalleled quality - each one delivering power, precision and performance when results matter.

ALL ABOuT attaboy

Robby Lippett was born and raised in Adelaide, and is just entering his 7th year in the industry. His stepmother, Debbie, has been a hairdresser for 48 years and was a co-owner of a hairdressing chain for 42 years and a private RTO for 20 years, called Cemons Hair & Beauty in the Eastern suburbs of Adelaide, so Robby grew up surrounded by the hair industry.

When he finished school, he was deeply interested in becoming a hairdresser, but at the time, he was working in hospitality and had also convinced himself that he could make it as a soccer player. However, his stepmother laid down a condition: if Robby wanted to pursue hairdressing, he had to work late on Thursdays and all day on Saturdays, which conflicted with his soccer commitments. Refusing to compromise, he stubbornly remained in hospitality and stumbled into a semi-professional soccer career.

Climbing the ranks, Robby became a General Manager by the age of 21 and held that position for 7 years. Then, in 2017, Debbie invited him to a barber look-and-learn event, and within three minutes, Robby was certain he wanted to dive headfirst into the barbering industry. His close friend, Mat Johnson, the owner of MJ Hair and a member of the Matrix Global team, played a significant role in shaping his decision. Witnessing Mat’s accomplishments was incredibly inspiring to Robby. On his 28th birthday, Robby formally committed to his apprenticeship at Debbie’s salon.

Barbershop Editor Louise May chats with Robby about his Industry journey…

Can you tell us about your vision when first starting Attaboy?

Having managed large hotels with over 50 staff, I naturally developed a strong understanding of day-to-day business operations, staff management, promotions, With that in my back pocket, I knew I was going to open my own barbershop as soon as I could, and I wasted no time once I completed my apprenticeship. I ran ‘appointments only’ throughout my apprenticeship and my clients absolutely loved the ability to walk in and sit in the chair straight away without waiting. I wanted Attaboy to be a personalised experience, similar to how hairdressing salons operated, but for men. My clients loved the studio environment, which didn’t feel intimidating, they loved the app-based appointments and consistency with their preferred qualified barber. Attaboy always has and always will be about the quality, not the quantity.

You have recently opened your 4th store, and just celebrated 5 years in business, that is a massive achievement! What do you put your success down to?

I can hardly believe the growth Attaboy has experienced in a short time. If someone had told me five years ago that this would

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be happening, I would have laughed it off. I’ve never been one to pause and reflect on my achievements; instead, I’m always focused on moving forward and finding ways to enhance and strengthen the business. I strongly believe in the importance of positive culture. When you ask any business owner about the toughest aspect of running a business, I guarantee they’ll mention “staff.” Realistically, my key job in the business is to make sure my staff are happy and coming to work happy. Each individual at Attaboy is a wonderful person, and I take immense pride in each of them. I often remind my staff that “Attaboy is everything but the haircut”. If we excel in every aspect outside of haircutting—such as providing a memorable experience, a positive environment, nurturing staff culture, engaging with the community, and building a strong brand—then the haircutting part becomes the easy bit.

Are all 4 stores the same as each other, or are they unique? (if so, how?) And will there be more?

We try to keep them very similar with sage green chairs and large free-standing mirrors. The colour palate is neutral with an industrial feel and an abundance of plants. For example, our Kent Town shop is attached to Loxley café (which we also own), previously a car garage workshop, so has more of an industrial look and feel due to the existing structure. On the flip side, our Hilton shop layout also has an area designed for our hairdresser staff member, Abi. Then you head to our newest shop down at Henley Beach, and you’re greeted with stone coloured French wash feature walls and natural timber cabinetry to fit the beachside vibe.

What have your challenges been throughout the journey, and how have you overcome them?

Currently, the industry challenges are navigating this ongoing economic downturn and the rising cost of living. It’s evident that our clients are closely monitoring their spending habits, resulting in longer intervals between haircuts. Now we have to bridge the gap caused by reduced client frequency, we recognised this, and we simply need to increase our customer base. As a team, we have brainstormed strategies aimed at attracting new clientele and ensuring the sustained growth of our business, without putting too much stress back on the clients average spend per visit.

With a team of 19 staff members across your locations, how do you foster a positive and cohesive team dynamic within Attaboy?

Together with our sister shop, Boy Oh Boy, located in Perth, we have a team of 20. I’m a strong believer in a healthy work-life balance for my staff, prioritising their well-being and ensuring their roster offers flexibility to accommodate their life outside of work. I have one-on-one discussions with each team member, to find mutually beneficial solutions that support both their personal needs and the success of our business. You are a colour salon also, and partner with NAK, which is not the norm when It comes to Barbering. Can you tell us how this evolved and how it has impacted the business?

Tom Wynn joined Attaboy during our first year, bringing with him a strong background in hairdressing. At that time, the concept of barbers offering colouring services was relatively unheard of, presenting us with a unique market opportunity that we eagerly jumped on. Introducing colour services has not only diversified our offerings but has also exposed us to a whole new clientele beyond traditional clipper work. Fast forward five years, and colour services is now 30% of our business. Our partnership with NAK has played a huge role in our journey into colouring and Tom and I have been a part of the NAK artist team for four years, in their national educational program.

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How do you ensure that your team consistently delivers high-quality services and maintains a standard level of customer experience across all Attaboy locations?

Our daily operating procedures need to be high and consistent, which outline: the client experience, the business’s expectations of our team, and what our team expects from the business. Continuous investment in our team’s education is a priority, whether through hands-on internal training sessions or by hosting guest artists or attending educational events. Barbering as a craft, and we understand that not everyone will cut hair in the same manner. Each of our team are talented in their own way, but we still work closely with our team to identify their strengths and weaknesses. For areas needing improvement, we develop tailored training sessions to enhance their confidence and skills.

Can you tell us about your education platform?

It’s essentially a comedy show with a hint of barbering. Our education program is tailored for hairdressers and apprentices wanting to boost their confidence in men’s haircuts and increase their male clientele percentage in salons. We cover a range of techniques including fades, tapers, beard grooming, mullets, sectioning, product sales, photography skills, social media presentation, and, of course, men’s colouring techniques.

Can you tell us about your product range and what inspired you to create it?

Our products are made by a small company based in the Whitsundays, ensuring high quality, and tailored to our client feedback over the years. We stepped away from your everyday branding and essentially wanted to have some fun with it. Currently, we offer “Holy Water” Sea Salt and “Soft Yes” Matte Paste, both smelling like lemonade ice blocks. We’re about to introducing “Light Weight” Natural Paste and “Soup Strainer” Beard Oil to expand our range. Creating our own product line has always been a goal of mine, but I didn’t see it working or profitable with just one salon. However, with the expansion to four salons, it became a logical step from a business perspective, plus it keeps the Attaboy brand in front of our clients daily.

You also have a really cool clothing line; can you tell us more about this?

Yes, all barbers have merch for fun, and look, we do too. But from a business perspective, I look at “apparel” as an additional revenue stream. When we developed our initial branding, I aimed to steer clear of the traditional barber-associated logos. It was essential that our branding looked appealing on shirts, without overtly indicating that it was linked to a barbershop. I’m lucky enough to have a wizard of an operations manager, Marc, who comes from a background in apparel, and have given him free rein…

What is on the agenda for next 12 months?

Ha-ha! Look, for those who know me know that I’m always working on something… and I’m very excited about our next project. That’s all I can say for now, sorry.


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When Two WORLDS Collide!!

When Dr Jonathan Hopkirk entered Maria Dillon’s Grand Royal Barber Shop in Liverpool Street Darlinghurst for a haircut, he got more than he was expecting. It was soon discovered that they both shared an interest in the treatments available for men who were balding or thinning with, preferably, non-evasive techniques over surgical.

They both share a common passion for improving the mental health of men who suffer from the adverse psychological effects of losing their hair, low self-esteem, confidence issues and more.

That bond has led them to start working in tandem, and the results speak for themselves.

Not just in terms of the physical and visual changes the treatments are having on their clients on the outer…. the improvements the ‘inner man’ is experiencing are probably even more remarkable.

Maria, what got you interested in hair loss conditions and solutions and treatments for these conditions?

When my clients started asking me to leave their hair a little longer around the hair line or around the crown, I felt it was time to research what was out there on the market for hair restoration and what worked and what didn’t. Some of my clients were already having success with micro doses of Proscar, a drug prescribed for prostate cancer.

How important is it do you think that barbers have a general knowledge of hair loss and the solutions available?

I think if you call yourself a professional barber and have your client’s best interest at heart, then it’s essential to be able to identify early signs of hair loss and have some level of general knowledge and what initial steps can be taken by clients on how to keep their scalp and hair follicles healthy. If you, as a Barber, want to initiate the conversation of hair loss, this can be a touchy subject to raise. Some clients might feel embarrassed, so for me, it’s very important to be armed with correct information on what hair loss solutions are available, how they work, how long it takes and if there are any known side effects.

Can you tell us how you met Dr Jonathan, learned about his techniques, and decided to incorporate him into your business?

Jonathan was a first-time customer of my barbershop and was my last client of the day. During our consultation, Jonathan pointed out he had micro pigmentation on his scalp to thicken the appearance of his hair. I was stunned at how good it looked. We started discussing why he had it done, and I asked many questions regarding the process. We spent his entire appointment discussing hair restoration treatments, from Proscar to Finasteride to PRP injections to Turkey transplants and everything in between.

I think it’s fair to say we found each other had a mutual passion for finding the best non-invasive hair loss solutions for our clients and patients.

Jonathan spoke about his background in medicine, that he was finalising a new treatment called Hair Restoration Protocol, and that he was looking for a place to practice. It so happened that the 1st-floor level of my Darlinghurst barbershop was vacant and up for lease, so it seemed a perfect solution for me, the barber looking for a solution for my client’s hair loss & the Dr who had found the solution.

Dr Jonathan and I now work in unison with me recommending my clients

who are ready for some non-invasive medical help on their hair loss journey; it starts with a consultation by Jonathan followed by 6 treatments, then a follow-up with Jonathan at 14 weeks. In the interim, at my client’s hair appointments, I get to see the progress of new hair regrowth and report back to Jonathan.

We have seen excellent results in our clients’ hair regrowth in as little as 6 weeks and 4 months in, and I can give my clients hairstyles they never thought possible, Dr Jonathan included!

Dr Jonathan, please tell us in broad terms about yourself, your background and why you chose to specialise in this area.

I have been a cosmetic doctor since 2016 when I originally started my own cosmetic injectable business. Ironically, back then I walked the streets knocking on barber stores and hair salon doors to see if they would refer customers to me who may be interested in anti-ageing treatments. I then moved into a more prominent company (Laser Clinics Australia) to gain a better experience. I managed to grow with the company as it grew nationally and then internationally to over 200 clinics. I was offered the medical director role before its global expansion in 2018, then, I became global medical director in early 2019, managing about 520 doctors, nurses, and dentists across seven countries. The focus was always on the skin, cosmetic injectables and hair; however, the focus was on removing hair. I surreptitiously had an eye out at global conferences on innovations and technologies that could also help support hair growth as I was losing mine at a rapid pace from the stress of the role, especially navigating the company through a global pandemic! I was still working with patients privately as a cosmetic doctor during my time with Laser Clinics, which allowed me to trial new treatments and research exciting new approaches to things that I had been taught by other doctors from around the globe. During this time, I performed treatments like PRP for hair loss and supported patients with the usual medications like Minoxidil, but I was never overwhelmed by the results.

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After my hair loss got to a point where nothing was helping it, I was desperate to find or build a better solution. So, I reached out to a few well-renowned hair doctors I had met at conferences abroad and formed a local medical advisory board in Australia with an Associate Professor of Dermatology (Dr Michael Freeman) and a cosmetic and hair doctor (Dr Nik Davies). The mission was to review all the available non-invasive treatment options and simply do better. The key criteria were to design a protocol that was low risk, highly efficacious and didn’t come with any significant downtime or burden to the patient whilst, of course, achieving great results.

We hand-chose various ingredients from other already proven protocols and additionally produced a compounded serum locally. Then, we went to work doing split-head consumer trials in the Professor’s clinic on the Gold Coast. The results of our trials were really promising (including on ourselves). So, from there, we rolled out our Hair Restoration Protocol (HRP) in our respective clinic spaces across Gold Coast, Central Coast and Sydney. From there, our company, ‘Levels Of You,’ was born, as our mission is simply to help people reach new levels of confidence within themselves.

Let’s dig a little deeper, and break it down further for our readers.

Firstly, the ingredient list doesn’t include stem cells, but some of the ingredients can act like parts of stem cells in that they support cell-cell signalling, which we know is immensely important when it comes to hair growth. There are no live cells, and everything we use is evidence-backed and shown to be safe across wide population bases across the globe. Our ingredient list has over 90 different types of amino acids, vitamins, peptides, and growth factors. Our goal was to create a super-ingredient list, so to speak, where all the ingredients were used in one single protocol. The ingredients, in short, are proven to prolong the growth phase of the hair growth cycle, reduce the number of hairs entering the telogen phase (shedding phase), recruit some of the dormant follicles that are no longer producing hair and, interestingly in some patients, to re-pigment the hair through improved melanocyte function.

Another key benefit we see is the reduction in inflammation of the scalp, so patients who have had chronic dandruff-like issues have seen some improvements in the health of their scalp. The protocol is split into three phases (or levels as we like to refer to it); the first 2-month phase is in the clinic with one treatment each week for six weeks, and this is the ‘Regain’ phase. The second is the 2-8 month ‘Rebuild’ phase with a tailored home maintenance program for the patient to carry out, which takes 2 minutes/


day before going to bed each night. Finally, the ‘Retain’ phase is the final phase and is an ongoing simple adaptation of the two initial phases to ensure ongoing retention and enjoyment of the previously achieved results. The in-clinic treatment itself combines the benefits of a 15–20-minute micro-needling treatment to the scalp first, followed by topical application of the serum to the scalp. The treatment is suitable for patients of all ages with mild to moderate hair loss that is not due to autoimmune conditions or scarring alopecia. It’s also important to note that the patients who have the best results are those who start when there is more hair already on the head, as it thickens up the existing hair fibres, as well as prolongs how long they remain on the head. As far as a timeline goes concerning seeing results, prompt responders are seeing results as early as two months. Still, we always set the expectation that between three to six months is when positive changes are mostly appreciated. Like anything in medicine, this process needs to start with a full review of the patient’s medical and hair loss history in a consultation with me (or one of our other doctors in the other locations). Patients can also elect to do the consultation online if they prefer.

Finally can you tell us your experiences in witnessing the improvement of your client’s mental health as they see themselves experiencing changes in their appearance with the success of the treatment.

This is what drives me to offer these treatments, as having gone through the hair loss journey myself, I know exactly what it’s like not to want to leave the house on account of your worsening hairline. I have patients who have suffered hair loss due to myriad different reasons, including stress, COVID-induced, androgenic alopecia, and chemical-induced hair loss. One thing all these patients have in common is that it impacts their confidence daily. A patient recently came to me after going through chemo-induced hair loss years ago; however, after they recovered, their hair did not grow back as thick. After going through the initial ‘Regain’ phase of the hair restoration protocol, his hair has grown to become so much thicker and darker, and his confidence is beaming. Daily I get to see people’s confidence build, as ultimately, we are treating the hair, but what we are really treating is the person behind the scalp, and that is incredibly powerful. Furthermore, we see the benefits of patients choosing to come off hair loss medications that have given them side effects which further worsens their confidence. It then becomes an added bonus that they can grow their confidence back through their scalp without suffering confidence blows in other departments. One thing I’ve learnt is just how important hair is to men, and to be able to help men go to new levels of confidence is a real privilege.


DiscoVERing sondeR


Ji Ratnagopal and Sam Raffaele - born and bred on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, have been cutting hair since they were 15 years old. After years of working together they finally realised their dream of opening a salon in their hometown of Dee Why.

Their mission was to create a one-of-a-kind space that’s unmatched by anything else around – a fusion of a classic barbershop and a luxury salon.

Now, 4 years on and 3 more salon locations added to the brand, they’ve made that dream come true and much more, launching their own hairstyling range, Blak Haircare, and an educational platform to create the next generation of barbers.

Louise May, Editor of Barbershop Magazine, chats with Sam, coowner of Sonder and finds out more about the Sonder brand and what the boys have been up to.

Tell us about Sonder Men’s, how did it all begin, what inspired you to create the brand and go into a business partnership?

Ji and I both got introduced to each other when we were 12 years old by playing rugby league for the same team. Even though we went to different high schools and had different friend groups, we

both went to the same Barber growing up. We loved the atmosphere that the barber created in his shop, how he was the only one doing sharp haircuts in the area we lived in, which included line ups, box cuts, mohawks and mullets.

We started cutting hair because of our barber’s influence and our passion for having a sharp haircut ourselves. We started practicing on our friends and family at home. Ji finished school a year before me, he then started working for a barbershop company in the northern beaches of Sydney. One year later I asked if he could get me a Job for the same company. We both worked there for roughly 5 or so years, Ji was always working and then travelling overseas for extensive periods of time.

During the time when things weren’t going how I was hoping for with the company I was at, I knew Ji was coming back from overseas and wanting to open his own shop. I approached him and we had one of the most impactful conversations of our lives, Sonder was created. The dream for both of us was to always own a salon, we both shared the exact same passion for hair, a strong work ethic and being honest and transparent people. Which made the partnership make so much sense for us.

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We always wanted to create a brand that was bigger than ourselves, providing a premium experience to our clients. Focusing heavily on customer service, delivering high quality haircuts, and servicing every hair style, texture, and length. We want to create a salon structure within our space whilst fusing it with the classic barbershop, community feel.

What are your roles each in the business?

Today our company is multi-faceted, which does require different roles being implemented from the both of us.

Ji is the head of Education for our teams and our brand-new academy, he is also the numbers guy, focusing on our finances and is very business savvy. He is a creative and has a great eye for design when it comes to our salons, merch, and products. Ji is a natural entrepreneur and calls me 40 times a day with random ideas always popping into his head.

I’m the operations manager and have always been people focused. I’m passionate about building teams and working alongside our managers/ staff to get our salons and teams performing to their highest ability, whilst creating opportunities and pathways for growth.

I also focus a lot of my time into building our product line which is a separate business from our salons - Blak Haircare. I’m truly passionate about this venture and am excited to be in a completely different business that requires a whole new set of skills and focus.

You have a large team across the 4 stores, how do you keep everyone focused, boost team morale and maintain a positive work atmosphere?

There has to be meaning and purpose behind what you do and where you are going. Sonder is a platform of opportunity for whatever avenue someone wants to go down in their career. We sit down with all our staff to truly find out their ambitions and goals then create a roadmap to help them achieve them.

For us everything has always come down to culture, creating a space where everyone feels valued and are constantly encouraged to become better versions of themselves inside and outside the salon. This will include weekly staff training for constant development and progression, training at the gym together, the Sonder Run Club which is held every Saturday at 5am, we are up to our 191st this coming Saturday and extracurricular activities. A lot of our team members also spend time together away from work.

You have just launched Sonder Academy; can you tell us about this?

Yes, we launched Sonder Academy in January this year. The academy is connected to our Neutral Bay location which is one suburb on the North shore of Sydney city. This has been part of the vision since the launch of Sonder . We have always been passionate about education, and it has been a cornerstone of growth. We are now ready to share it with the world. We run various classes including Clipper work, Scissor work, team training, one on one and more personalised classes as well.

Can you tell us about your product range and merch?

The vision for Blak was to always create a separate brand that wasn’t attached to Sonder. We felt the compelling need to create a range of styling products that could cater for all the diverse styles and trends we were facing every day in the salon. We launched Blak inside our salons in 2022 and the response and feedback from our customers has been great. We’ve now got multiple wholesalers on board in different states of Australia. One of our passion is to empower business owners by not only giving them a premium high-quality range of products but also equip them with the set of tools to sell the products. This has helped our business drive revenue without increasing wage costs and have a high retention on staff by implementing rewarding commission structures. Our Merchandise was another way of strengthening our community. We aimed to give our clients and audience another method to feel connected to our brand. Allowing them to show support and be a representation of the brand in public.

What is your vision for the Sonder Brand?

The vision for us is to be a leader in the men’s hair industry in Australia by continuing to push the boundaries with everything we do. We want to be on the forefront of men’s hair education and build a much larger Academy to be the one stop shop to help elevate and raise the standard in our industry.

We want to continue to partner with individuals who share the same passion & drive we have and continue to open doors to create opportunities within our business.

The next 12 months you will see a lot more of Sonder Academy, Blak Haircare and possibly a couple more locations. Watch this space!

@sondermens @blakhaircare

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Cultivating COmmunity


Sam Squires was inspired to change careers at 26 into the barber industry, after falling out of love with the corporate world. He studied business at university and worked in marketing for a number of years and was at a loss for passion, for the path he was on.

A friend was backpacking, and so Sam decided to head out on a solo trip and discovered the bug for travel. Whilst in a hostel in the Atacama Desert, one of the people in my room asked if I would use his clippers and give him a haircut. Never one to turn down a challenge, I thought why not. The buzz that one haircut gave me to release my creative side, was enough to know that I had to explore the barbering industry. As soon as my now wife Loren and I returned to the UK, I began my training and haven’t looked back since.

Editor of Barbershop mag – Louise May, recently caught up with Sam, to chat and find out more about his story.

What inspired you to open Backbone Barbers?

Anyone that knows me, knows that I don’t do things in halves. I always knew that the aim was to have my own business one day, not only to be my own boss, but also to allow me to create a community where I could teach and inspire other people to explore their passion for barbering. I opened our Currumbin store in 2018, with very little, but I knew that it was the right move for me. I worked in the shop alone for a while, building up a clientele and slowly attracted the right team to join and grow the business.

Launching a haircare range, Larrikin, is a significant step. Could you tell us more about the products in the Larrikin range and the inspiration behind their formulations?

Starting with one store and now expanding to two locations in QLD, what challenges did you face in establishing and growing Backbone Barbers?

I expanded into a second location in the height of COVID taking on a larger space in an area with established barbers. The idea was to grow the shop and branch into an arm of some kind of barber education academy. I definitely bit off more than I could chew, and we also welcomed the birth of our daughter at that time which flipped our world and changed where I was able to put my energy. We made the second location work for two years and made the decision to relocate to our Burleigh location which was the best move for our business. I learnt that in business you need to be prepared to pivot, I don’t see closing one store as a step back or a failure, I see it as huge growth for my personal development and for the business. I was able to step back emotionally from the decision to relocate and look at it objectively. In hindsight it has been the best decision, as the Burleigh location has allowed our community-based approach to continue. The location is down the road from my daughter’s kindy and my wife’s workplace, meaning I am now able to be a part of the drop offs and pick-ups, which is really important to me.

Yes, it’s been something I’ve been toying with for years and developed from the early days of blending and formulating my own beard oils by hand, which became an absolute nightmare. I’ve always enjoyed exploring all aspects of the barbering industry and having multiple projects on the go at one time. Larrikin has been an amazing creative outlet for me to explore. Styling hair is a huge part of the haircutting process and it’s really important to ensure you are working with products that aid you in creating the final look.

Larrikin has three products in the line so far.

Morning Glory Matte Paste

Unruly Pomade

Solt Texture Spray

Formulated in the Whitsundays, as an Australian made product line, the brand concept is to bring the Larrikin out in all of us.

Our slogan is You’re a Maverick, You’re Wild, You cannot be tamed, Your Hair Can.

With an attempt to market the product to clients as easy to use and as low maintenance as possible that literally anyone can use Larrikin. Break free of the bravado and act up.

How do you manage to balance your personal and professional life, and what advice do you have for others in similar situations?

I’d feel a fraud giving advice on how to balance being a family man and

44 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1

owning businesses but can honestly say it’s become number one on my priority list in recent years. It’s safe to say you lose a little of your identity as you get older and have kids and it’s easy to mistake this amazing industry and being a barber/ business owner etc as your identity. I’ve been working really hard to appreciate how fortunate I am and practice gratitude daily. It’s super easy to get caught up in the rat race and forget what truly matters. If my daughter asked me this exact question, I would tell her to remember that her identity is made up of lots of parts and it’s important to take the time for yourself, your family and to explore different creative outlets. When you are fulfilled in all aspects of life, this overflows into your working environment and improves your standard of work and the experience you are providing to each of your clients.

The barbering industry is known for its unique culture and community. How has Backbone Barbers contributed to and embraced this culture, both within the team and in your relationship with clients?

Backbone has been at the forefront of growth and development in the barber community. We have made it a priority to get involved in all different types of education, barber events, aligning with products we love and taking any opportunity to learn, teach and inspire others and each other over the past 5 years.

We are lucky enough to have a team of people that originated from all over the world, so it’s become second nature to integrate a lot of the international barber styles and trends into our work.

For me personally, I get great joy out of exposing our apprentices to the industry and love seeing their passion sparked from the barbering community. Their excitement is contagious, and it allows the rest of the team to remind themselves of why they are in the industry, refine their skills and create outstanding cuts for our clients.

Within our local community we are looking to partner with more local businesses in this upcoming year, as we have noticed that not only do our clients come back for the great haircuts, but they want to be a part of the culture and community. By always refining our skills, being active in the barbering work and creating a community within our business we have been able to retain our clientele, some of our clients I have watched graduate high school and start their adult lives, which is really special. I feel honoured to say that we have been able to build these relationships in our business.

In the competitive world of barbering, establishing a brand identity is crucial. How did you develop the distinctive personality of Backbone Barbers, and how do you maintain it across both locations?

A major focus of our branding was actually on the quality of service and accessibility/ convenience and approachability of the shops. We keep a succinct brand across two locations, but the new renovation has moved away from our original themes “Backbone Green” as I jokingly call it with my wife. We’ve had great success recently in showing off our barbers personalities in the Backbone Barbershop spaces and portraying a community focused, quality service by barbers that are approachable and fun and friendly. Ultimately, we want it to be an environment that welcomes and delivers. We believe that the brand is developed by the people, both barbers and clients. We are always looking to grow with likeminded people who are in the industry for passion. We are a team made up of barbers from all walks of life and we attract this in our clientele too.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

Potentially at the moment I would change the narrative on the rush to get away from behind the chair. I’ve been guilty of it and realise the more time and energy you spend trying to move from behind the chair the lower the quality you deliver and potentially the longer you’ll be stuck doing something you don’t want to do! I feel like we should celebrate how fortunate we are to be in this amazing industry.

With the ever-evolving landscape of the industry, what future plans do you have for Backbone Barbershop and yourself personally?

I want to keep developing our barbers and junior barbers within Backbone and potentially grow to more locations with the right people involved. Personally, I will be continuing education and training new barbers, as it’s a passion of mine potentially exploring a different approach in the education space, looking at some business education from a super realistic day to day business owner approach. We are getting trapped into believing everyone is making millions without being happy with our current accomplishments. Also, I want to grow the Larrikin Brand and get creative within that space. I’m looking forward to attending some amazing barber events this year and working with some awesome people and brands! Hopefully write a bit for you guys too.

@backbonebarbershopburleigh @backbonebarbershopcurrumbin Photography by Dylan Marks: @dylanmarks_

45 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1


Tucked away in the back streets of Port Melbourne. Uncle Rocco’s specialise in classic barber services and solid barbershop banter! Owner Fab’s extensive barbering career spans over 33yrs across Australia, the US & UK, with the Uncle Rocco’s brand launching its original barbershop in Fennell St, Port Melbourne back in 2011.

Having opened and operated three previous barbershops in various locations across Melbourne dating back to 1996, and as a third-generation barber, Fab has developed a unique and unrivalled barbering style consistently sought out by those seeking quality and authenticity. His experience and passion for the trade is reinforced in all Uncle Rocco’s barbers, which is apparent through the client’s superior experience at every appointment.

After numerous incarnations over the past 11yrs, the Uncle Rocco’s brand most cultivated barbershop and HQ is now located in the historic, converted Soap Factory in Port Melbourne with a team of experienced barbers. Growing the brand for a decade has also given rise to a premium range of Uncle Rocco’s hair and grooming products, apparel and other lifestyle products designed and made in Melbourne.

Barbershop Editor Louise May chats with Fab about his journey, his brand, and his tools of choice.

You are a third Generation Barber, tell us a little about what it was like growing up surrounded by this and was it always something you felt you would follow the footsteps in?

I started my journey to becoming a barber by working in my dad’s barbershop during school holidays. A job I did at the time because I had no choice. But that would soon change when I decided to do a hairdressing apprenticeship. At that time there were no specific training courses for barbers, so after a 4yr apprenticeship and another 2years working as a head stylist, I headed to Europe in 1991 for advanced cutting courses in London and to get international work experience, where I landed my first real barbering job in Manchester. I later jumped around between Melbourne and LA and finally opened my first barbershop in 1995 in the innercity Melbourne suburb of Richmond.

What do you love most about the industry?

The most rewarding part about being a barber

is the long-term relationships you build with your clients, being part of a community, cutting generations of family’s hair, celebrating milestones with clients you’ve known for decades in some cases and constantly connecting with new different types of people. I’ve cut the hair of everyone from an ex-con that just stepped out of prison to famous musicians to the President of a country.

What does it take to work at Uncle Rocco’s?

A passion for the industry and a positive attitude. For me the customer is number one. I want them to feel looked after and walk out feeling better about themselves. Of course, top notch barbering skills are important, but it goes beyond that. It’s creating a positive environment where the customer feels not only like their grooming needs are being attended to thoughtfully, but where they’re part of a community. That community is for the barbers and staff too in the form of an interesting and supportive environment.

Please tell us a little about the grooming products, apparel, and other accessories you sell to your clients and how did you source and choose these?

The grooming products have been an ongoing evolutionary process. It started with creating three distinct hair pomade formulas that reflect the culmination of three generations of barbering knowledge and knowing what works on different types of hair. The formulas have been tweaked and honed over time with the help of a chemist and manufacturer scrutinising everything from ingredients, texture, scent, longevity, packaging, and logo. Over time other products like after shave, beard oil and hair powder have been added to the range. The apparel has been more of a creative outlet reflecting some of my

own personal tastes for street ware, sportswear, vintage, denim, etc. After so many years, the release of a new t-shirt has become synonymous for Uncle Rocco’s with many clients having a collection of tees dating back years, even decades.

You are an advocate of the Pro-One Range of Clippers and Trimmers.

Why do you love the range, do you have a favourite and why would you recommend it to others?

With so many clippers on the market these days it can be tricky finding a clipper that fulfils your specific needs. I enjoy the quality of the Pro-One range and its generational story, not unlike my

own. All the range has been great so far, but the Pro-One GTX cordless trimmer would be my favourite. They feel good in the hand and get the job done well! Our shop manager, Roddy loves his Pro-One Zero Foil Shaver, as they’re a wet & dry use with an integrated trimmer that captures longer hair. I would recommend anyone who’s looking for a quality, reliable product, give the range a go.

Do you have a signature service and/ or what is your favourite style and cut?

Uncle Rocco’s signature service is simply high quality, traditional barber skills, including face shaves and classic cuts. Although barbering has exploded as a popular industry again over the past 15years, some of the more genuine barbering skills have been lost in all the hype. My own personal, favourite style of cut is a classic, rock-a-billy style or gentlemen’s style cut. I still love anything vintage!

How do you keep up to date with current hair fashion trends?

Having a sharp eye for detail helps. Obviously, I take notice of social media, celebs, influencers, and the fashion industry, but honestly, I notice emerging trends all around me every day. Unfortunately, I can’t watch a movie or a sporting event without scrutinising people’s hair. It’s just a natural habit.

What education do you offer your staff?

Uncle Rocco’s provides mentoring to all the barbers

that come through the door, especially the younger or emerging ones. It’s typical for myself, the shop manager, or other more senior barbers to stay back late to do training nights regularly. Many of our barbers have worked their way up through the ranks, from the front desk, to schooling, to junior barber and eventually full-fledged barber. It’s not uncommon to have one of the barbers in training or junior barbers observing another barber as they cut a client’s hair getting pointers on techniques as they go.

What’s next on the plan for Uncle Rocco’s and you?

The main plan is to keep the barbering bar set high for the shop and the industry. On a more personal level I’m enjoying passing the torch to the younger generation of emerging barbers. Professionally I’d love to continue growing the Uncle Rocco’s grooming products as a brand outside the barbershop and seeing it continue to flourish with an even larger audience.

@uncleroccos @muimports_au

47 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1


12 APRIL 2024



14 APRIL 2024


16 APRIL 2024


21 & 22 APRIL 2024



This year ANDIS creates a fusion with collaboration and community expanding its vision to include colour work that can introduce Barbers and Hairdressers to fun and quick services in their shops and salons.

This year ANDIS creates a fusion with collaboration and community expanding its vision to include colour work that can introduce Barbers and Hairdressers to fun and quick services in their shops and salons.

Colour work will be included in the education sessions to compliment the already known barbering and cutting skills with new Galaxy tools on the way.

This diverse and unique education will give opportunities for all levels allowing precision cutting, clippering and fading techniques as well as colour work to highlight these skill sets.

Introducing the talented group of Educators and Ambassadors that come with a wealth of skills on the shop floor as well as on Stage and Education.



Shella is a second-generation barber with over 24 years’ experience, working in many elite Barbers Shops throughout Brisbane and Sydney. Currently she is the owner and director of a chain of 3 Barber Shops in Brisbane, Qld.

Shella was the first female barber to win 2nd place in Queensland’s Barber Battle 2015 and won the Australian Barber Title in 2016.

Shella has also been voted in the top 3 Barbers in Qld and is the founder of the FEIBI Awards –Australia’s First Female Barber Battle in Australia. She is a multi-award-winning Female Australian Barber with n the Barbering Industry and an Ambassador for iCandy Scissors Australia. Shella is one of Australia’s ANDIS Global Educators and platform artist.



Anthony has won too many awards to list and has achieved in a short time what most would be happy within a lifetime … and he is only justr getting started. Anthony has been a rising star from day one and has been an ANDIS Global Educator representing ANDIS Nationally & Internationally. Anthony specialises in traditional barbering with a modern twist, he has just opened his first Barber shop, BARBER BOYS X ANTHONY GEPPS CROSS in Adelaide.



Bromley started his journey in Barbering as an apprentice and after he competed his training in 2019 he was offered the chance to run the family Barbershop in Berowra. Bromley took on the challenge and has been managing/running the shop since, helping train other barbers through his barbering journey.Passing on things, he has learnt to make an impact on their careers, Bromley believes that barbering is a form of art and if you put in the effort, you will learn quickly and have so much fun doing it every day. @bromlewilkscuts


Ricky has been part of ANDIS Education Team since 2019 passing on his Barbering skills and knowledge. Education is like an escape for Ricky; he can let loose and let the creative side flow whilst sharing his methods and supporting up and coming passionate people who strive to push themselves in their industry, as he has done himself.



Sam is a highly skilled barber, educator, owner of Backbone Barbershop and a National ANDIS Educator. Qualified in the UK and Australia he was a finalist in the AMBA Business Owner category for 2022 and 2023 and a finalist in the AMBA Best Men’s Collection Classic 2022. Sam has a strong interest in professional development, continuously refining his skills and updates with the latest trends. His dedication to excellence sets him apart in the industry, making him a respected figure in men’s hairdressing and barbering. Sam has travelled Australia delivering private education in salons and barbershops. @samsquiers

50 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1


Ryan started his barbering journey at the age of 16, training under the Perth barber legend Bo Brice. Training under Bo, Ryan learnt how to cut to a high standard and how to handle high pressure situations. Bo saw Ryan’s potential and took him to purchase his first pair of ANDIS clippers, followed by the Masters clippers (step-down converter and all). This instantly sparked a love for the ANDIS brand, which has continued to grow. Ryan worked with Bo for 6 years before he spread his wings and moved to a high-end barbershop in Claremont. This inspired him to create his own barbershop, which is a fusion of both the American style, laid back, old-school barbershop, and high-end barbering. Since its inception, Ryan has incorporated ANDIS Tools and products within his barbershop, and could not be happier with their performance and quality.



Anthony started his barbering journey in Amsterdam over a decade ago.

After completing Barber school in London, he moved back to Australia and eventually opened Plek Barbershop in Adelaide. He prides himself on blending traditional barbering with modern techniques.

In 2022 he started educating for Salon Hair Care and the Proraso brand. Giving back to the industry and teaching young barbers the art of the craft is where his passion lies.




Hussein is a highly motivated and creative individual, passionate about hair designs and men’s grooming, bringing exceptional scissor skills and customer care. He gained a vast amount of knowledge from his working experience in Jordan, America and Australia, believing in empowering others by educating and training them in the skill of barbering.

As a business owner of two barbershops and over 18 awards across the Europe, USA and Australia, Hussein strives to deliver the best quality cuts, design or shave to all his clients and works hard at promoting men’s hairdressing by delivering outstanding men’s workshops.

Bruce’s narrative is a fusion of artistic process, entrepreneurship, and a commitment to education. The international expansion to Sydney, Australia in January 2014, further showcased his ability to blend his passion for music and barbering on a global scale bringing the Legends the Barbershop Brand to Australia, and teaching Barbering at TAFE NSW. From the beginning of his Barbering Career in 1999, the ANDIS brand has been a staple barbering product used throughout his career. Bruce Hathcock’s multifaceted journey is not just a story of personal triumph but a testament to the enduring impact one can make through creativity, entrepreneurship, and a commitment to mentorship and education.



Originally from Naples Italy - Antonio D’Ambrosio is a total craftsman with his cutting skill. Living in London from the age of 21, he landed an amazing opportunity at Menspire, where he grew into an educator role motivating and inspiring up and coming barbers. Antonio relocated to Sydney in 2022 and joined the UNOIT BARBER team as a Senior Barber & Educator. Watching him cut is just as enjoyable as the finished result. Antonio cofounded the UNOIT BARBER ACADEMY in 2022 focussing on elevating the industry by taking a wholistic approach in barber education Accolades include: Best Team Collection - AMBA 2022, Best Customer Service -AMBA 2023. And Best South London Barbershop 2017.



Denny began his career in 2010 after deciding Art School wasn’t for him. It’s been 14 years in the industry, and he hasn’t looked back. For the last 10 years he has been with Barebones Originals in Morningside, honing his skills and in the last 5 years stepping into a managing position. Denny is an educator for Uppercut Deluxe as a part of their collective and since then has performed numerous stage events, Captains chair tutorials and social media content shoots. Denny also had opportunities to showcase his Barbering skills on stage and as an Educator for Uppercut. @dennyrik_


Fabio is a seasoned barber with an impressive three decades of experience, and true master of the craft. Graduating from the prestigious Soho Academy in Brazil, his skills are honed to perfection. Not merely a graduate, Fabio ascended to the role of a tutor at the same academy, imparting his wealth of knowledge to aspiring barbers. His journey has taken him around the world Hairdressing & Barbering in Argentina, Finland, New Zealand and now in his own shop in Australia. From student to mentor, a foundation rooted in the renowned Soho Academy, Fabio Santos showcases a commitment to excellence and brings a rich blend of tradition and innovation to his cutting-edge work.



Having shifted from the realm of Accounting & Finance, Tommy chose barbering for its blend of creativity and interpersonal connections and immersed himself in the world of barbering. He committed to refining his skills and offering clientcentric services with meticulous attention. Tommy, viewing each client uniquely, seamlessly blends precision and creativity, transforming the grooming experience into both an art form and a heartfelt passion. Tommy loves Barbering for it has given him the ability to express himself creatively, contribute to clients’ confidence and engage in meaningful conversations.


For Information on Education and Soirée sessions in your state email @andisco_aunz/ @andisclippers


babyliss pro australian tour

Witness American BaBylissPRO Barberology legend Frank da Barber (@frankdabarber) in action as he joins globally acclaimed educator Barber Josh O.P. (@barber.josh.o.p) on the most anticipated Australian tour in the industry’s history. This exceptional tour, brought to you by BaBylissPRO and 4BARBERS, is set to make waves across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and will culminate in a grand finale at EXPO4BARBERS on the Gold Coast.

Frank Soto, better known as ‘Frank Da Barber’ (@frankdabarber), stands out as one of the most requested artists in the BaBylissPRO Barberology team. Renowned for his ability to dispel the fear associated with barbering, Frank’s passionate and straightforward approach, combined with a profound understanding of the craft, has garnered him a clientele that includes professional athletes and coaches.

Originating from humble beginnings, Frank developed a love for barbering out of necessity. Despite coming from the Eastside of Orlando without connections to Hollywood artists or big concerts, he concentrated on understanding that achieving his goals required treating every person in his chair like a celebrity he once aspired to cut.

His prowess extends beyond the physical chair, as evidenced by his extensive following of over 140K on social media. Frank recognises the power of social platforms and has harnessed it to reach a broad audience.

Frank emphasises the importance of customer service as the paramount skill in the barbering industry. He believes that treating every client like a VIP is crucial for success. Armed with the best quality tools for the job, Frank consistently pushes creative boundaries, establishing a reputation rooted in individuality and reinventing the traditional approach to barbering.

Joshua O’Meara-Patel, better known as ‘Barber Josh O.P.’ (@barber. josh.o.p) is a global leader and pioneer within the barbering and men’s hairdressing industry. He is the co-owner of OP45, the owner/ director of Barber.josh.o.p Education and the sole creator of the world renowned cutting method; The D.F.S Formula™️. With a sleek, elegant style, Josh is renowned for his precision and efficiency in his craft. Striving to help people achieve their dreams, Josh aims to help barbers become the best versions of themselves, both in barbering and as human beings.

Witness the expertise of Barber Josh O.P. firsthand as he unveils his revolutionary The D.F.S Formula™️ for the first time in Australia, providing a comprehensive blend of hands-on and theory-based education. Accompanying Josh on the tour, Barberology expert Frank Soto will make his Australian debut on stage, offering live demonstrations and masterful tips on growing a social media presence as a barber. This tour is more than just a learning experience; it’s a celebration of barbering excellence.

On the 12th of April in Sydney, the 14th in Melbourne, and the 16th in Perth, each city will host two distinct events: a full-day workshop brimming with educational insights and a night-time ‘look and learn’ session, complemented by a meet-and-greet. This provides a rare opportunity to socialise with some of the greatest industry professionals, share a drink, and gain invaluable experiences.

The Australian tour concludes with a bang from the 20th to the 22nd of April, featuring an unprecedented convergence of top-tier grooming professionals at the EXPO4BARBERS event on the Gold Coast. Witness Australia’s largest barber battle, judged by Frank and Josh, and participate in transformative education sessions led by Josh O.P. and supported by Frank Da Barber. Immerse yourself in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to elevate your skills and explore cutting-edge techniques guided by industry experts.

Don’t miss the most significant barbering tour in Australia to date, set to redefine professional grooming boundaries. Secure your tickets for this April tour at @babylissproau @datelineimports @expo4barbers

Frank Da Barber Barber Josh O.P.

The Hair Academy Australia

Meet the Mother Son Combo: Dee Thomas & Gareth Philpott - Co-Owners of The Hair Academy Australia. In the competitive world of hairdressing education, Dee Thomas and Gareth Philpott stand out as a dynamic duo, spearheading The Hair Academy Australia with passion, expertise, and a commitment to excellence.

As co-owners, they have transformed the landscape of apprenticeship training across Queensland (QLD) and New South Wales (NSW), offering specialised programs that empower aspiring hair professionals to flourish in their careers.

A Visionary Partnership

Dee and Gareth share a vision of revolutionising hairdressing education, driven by their extensive industry experience and dedication to nurturing talent. With Dee’s background with over 40 years in hairdressing and education and Gareth’s expertise in education and training which spans over a decade, the duo brings a perfect blend of practical knowhow and pedagogical excellence to The Hair Academy.

Empowering Tomorrow’s Talent

At The Hair Academy Australia, Dee and Gareth are passionate about providing aspiring hairdressers with the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed to succeed in the competitive industry. Through specialised apprenticeship programs, they offer hands-on training, personalised mentorship, and industry insights that go beyond textbook learning, ensuring that graduates are equipped to excel in their careers.

Tailored Apprenticeship Training

Dee and Gareth understand that every aspiring hair professional has unique goals and aspirations. That’s why they have curated a range of apprenticeship programs tailored to the individual needs of students and salon across QLD and NSW. Whether it’s mastering the art of precision cutting, perfecting the latest colour techniques, or honing business management skills, The Hair Academy provides comprehensive training that empowers students to pursue their passions and carve out successful careers.

A Commitment to Excellence

Quality is at the heart of everything Dee and Gareth do at The Hair Academy. From recruiting industry-leading educators to investing in state-of-the-art facilities and resources, they spare no effort in ensuring that students receive the highest standard of education and training. By upholding rigorous standards and fostering a culture of continuous improvement, they instil a sense of excellence that sets graduates apart in the competitive job market.

This has also resulted in an 80% completion rate with their apprentices, which is a complete contrast of the industry average of 25-35% completion.

Building a Thriving Community

Dee and Gareth’s impact extends beyond the classroom, as they are deeply invested in building a vibrant and supportive community of hair professionals. Through networking events, industry partnerships, and ongoing support, they create opportunities for students to connect, collaborate, and thrive in their careers. The Hair Academy alumni network is a testament to their commitment to nurturing talent and fostering lifelong connections within the industry.

Looking Towards the Future

Dee and Gareth continue to push the boundaries of excellence at The Hair Academy Australia. With a keen eye on emerging trends, evolving industry standards, and the changing needs of students, they remain dedicated to innovating and adapting their programs to ensure that graduates are well-prepared for success in the dynamic world of hairdressing.

Dee and Gareth’s visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to excellence have cemented The Hair Academy Australia’s reputation as a premier destination for aspiring hair professionals. Through their passion, expertise, and dedication, they continue to inspire the next generation of talent and shape the future of the hairdressing industry in QLD, NSW, and beyond.


JRL Onyx Clipper

Introducing the groundbreaking Reset IQ Charge Technology, this clipper ensures an extended battery life and consistent 100% charging, even after prolonged use.

Experience flexibility with the option of a swift 3-hour regular charge or the advanced 5-hour Reset IQ Charging.

With the patented Smart-Clip Technology, the clipper intuitively adapts to blade resistance, guaranteeing a smooth, even cut every time and preventing any drag or stalls. The two adjustable speeds of 6,000 and 7,500 RPM maintain constant cutting power throughout the clipper’s impressive 5-hour runtime.

Crafted with the Onyx Fade Precision Blade, boasting a maximum length of 3.5mm, achieving a flawless fade has never been easier. The clipper also operates with a quiet motor, ensuring a comfortable work environment and allowing conversations to flow with ease.

The advanced Lever Locking Feature with five steady adjustments ensures consistent performance over long-term use, complimented by the patented Cool Blade Technology, keeping the blade cool to the touch even during extended sessions.

Stay informed about battery status through the LED display and enjoy a thorough cutting experience with included accessories. The package is complete with a Reset IQ Charging Dock for added convenience and is backed by a reassuring Two Year Manufacturer’s Warranty.

Dive into a new standard of grooming excellence with the JRL Onyx Clipper.

Robby Lippett – Attaboy

JRL Australia Brand Ambassador

Stepping into the Australian market following its official launch in October, the JRL Onyx Clipper has swiftly become a standout in the grooming industry. To capture firsthand insights into this revolutionary clipper, we spoke with the brand’s national educator Evonik @evonik__ and recently appointed brand ambassadors Robby Lippett @attaboy_hair and Jimmy Furkaliev @jimmythehairdresser. Their feedback sheds light on why the JRL Onyx Clipper is a true game-changer.

“I’ve recently switched to The JRL Onyx Clipper, and it has instantly elevated my clipper work game. I love it so much that I’ve bought one for every member across the four Attaboy locations. My favourite feature is the 5-hour run time with an LED display, ensuring that the clipper remains reliable throughout a busy day. The clipper is so quiet that you can continue your conversation with the client. When I’m not using it, it goes onto the easy stand-up charging dock.

The Stay Cool blade technology is a standout feature, preventing overheating during long use, enhancing comfort, and preventing potential skin irritations. The advanced lever-locking technology provides precise control over cutting lengths, allowing for seamless adjustments while maintaining stability with its two-adjustment speeds for cutting versatility, 6,000 & 7,500 RPM.

The Onyx Fade Blade has been a remarkable addition and is hands down a top-choice for barbers seeking a high-performance clipper.”


Jimmy Furkaliev

JRL Australia Brand Ambassador

“The Onyx 5-hour run time means I don’t need to have two clippers on hand in case one dies. I just charge the Onyx on my lunch break and it lasts me all day! The new Onyx fade blade is a true game-changer - the closeness you can get to the scalp to get those tight fades makes it so much easier to cut with and it never gets hot with the stay cool blade technology. My favourite thing is obviously the look and feel of this clipper. It’s so clean and sleek being all matte black. The lever is on another level too- it actually feels so nice to click the lever up and down, it has this perfect lock that doesn’t feel clunky like a usual clipper.

Overall, I can’t speak highly enough of the JRL Onyx – it is at the forefront of tools in the barbering industry.”



JRL Australia Educator

“Personally, I always rely on precision tools to deliver exceptional results, and the JRL Onyx Clipper is exceeding expectations on every front. Its well-balanced design is super comfy to hold, thanks to its perfect weight balance. The finger rest notch at the back is a cool feature that helps in keeping a uniform motion while cutting.

With its seamless rotation capability, you won’t believe how easy it is to manoeuvre the clipper with any awkward twist, making sure your wrist is at ease! I am absolutely loving the two-speed RPM! The slower one is perfect for detailed work, giving me ultimate control for those precise touches, and not to mention the whisper-quiet motorensuring a comfortable cutting experience.


The JRL ONYX clipper is a game-changer in every sense of the word. The ergonomic features, and impeccable finish are making it a musthave tool for any barber and hairdresser serious about their craft. Trust me, once you are experiencing the magic of the Onyx, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.”

55 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1 - Instagram @jrl.aus
@attaboy_hair @jimmythehairdresser @evonik__

Behind the Chair


In this issue of Barbershop magazine, I wanted to show the other side of education which I don’t think is talked about enough. What do our apprentices think of this industry? They are the ones who will continue to push the boundaries and keep this industry moving in the right direction.

This week I caught up with Kobi Rayner, Barber Apprentice at The Barber Academy & Zeppelin Barbershop who has been cutting hair for 18 months.

What inspired you to pursue a career in barbering, and how has your experience shaped your journey so far?

During high school I was able to land an apprenticeship at “Zeppelin Barbers”. Where I meet Jason Alpen, Rhyss Murray and Billy Gowers, Billy was able to bring me into the industry while Jason and Rhyss were able to teach me what it meant to be a barber. A year later I was introduced to the “Barber Academy” where I met Gareth and his team of inspirational mentors, The academy has passed on essentials skills to me which has made me more confident in the shop, and producing a higher quality of work.

Can you share a bit about your daily routine as a barber apprentice?

My schedule at the moment consists of 4 days working at “Zeppelin.B” and one day a week at The Barber Academy. At work, in the mornings I am getting in early, I’m either setting up barber stations or making hot towels for the clients, throughout the day I’m either cutting clients hair or assisting other clients with Jason and Rhyss, a few main skills I’ve picked up on is Consistency, showing up and interacting with clients can boost your clientele list and interactive skills another skill set would be dedication, whether your putting in hours to a specific genre of style cutting or putting in hours to the theory side of cutting hair.

Can you share some valuable advice shared to you by your mentors?

Never rush, great things take time.

As a barber apprentice, what challenges have you identified you want to work on more?

Mainly working on interacting more with clients as-well as work peers

Can you tell us about any cutting-edge techniques you’ve learned during your time there?

Slice cutting would be a favourite I’ve learnt so far, texture work and creativity for sure.

How does The Barber Academy prepare you for real-world scenarios and client interactions?

With the Academy set up like a barber shop, as well as an education space. We are lucky enough to work on real clients while at the Academy. I can cut 10-20 haircuts per day that I am in the Academy. From Women’s Long Hair to full head shaves the clientele covers everything. The trainers demand the best from us, for every client we interact with their experience should be that of a top end barber shop from start to finish. Each trainer is still working in the industry, so they are super easy to learn from.

In your opinion, what qualities make a successful barber?

Attention to detail would be a big one, anyone can fade, but to add more detail to just a “fade” is a big difference

How do you stay inspired and motivated in such a fast-paced and creative industry?

Setting milestones can help, everyone looks at it as a whole picture, breaking it down piece by piece can help, also it helps that Rhyss and Jason are my idols for sure

Looking ahead, what are your aspirations and goals as you continue your journey?

Completing my Apprenticeship is my first goal, as for the future well that’s unpredictable son… stay crispy.


This is a first in a regualr series of articles by Gareth Philpott, The Barber Academy. Look out for more personal profiles by Gareth in upcoming issues of Barbershop Magazine.

56 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1
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Men's 2024 Beard & Facial Hair Trend Predictions


The Van Dyke – consisting of a small goatee, beard and moustache. These three elements can be connected or disconnected, creating a unique yet sophisticated and trendy look for men. With celebrities such as Robert Downey Jr. And Johnny Depp previously sporting this beard trend, it was of course going to be popular for the modern-day man who is looking to give themselves a celebrity inspired look.

The Full Beard – as we come into 2024 many men will be looking to grow their beard, perfect to give their face some warmth over winter! It’s also great for men who like a more natural and effortless look. The full beard may not be for everyone, but for those that suit this style, it can really make a statement and show off their personality and confidence.

The Anchor Beard – a beard style we have noticed becoming popular more recently and that replicates that of an anchor, including a moustache and a pointed beard that traces the jawline. For those who like a more groomed beard style, this is perfect. It also is incredibly versatile where it can work for almost any face shape, but I particularly love this style for those who are looking to enhance some of their best facial features such as their jaw line.

Stubble – a beard trend that will never go out of style! Stubble is particularly great for those who want to dip their toe in the water when it comes to having a beard. It’s a casual but classy style and can also be paired with a moustache. I love this look paired with a buzz cut/super short hair look to provide balance.



















Late last year, leading Australian sunless tanning brand, Naked Tan, proudly introduced its latest innovation, Alpha Male, the brand’s first-ever male-centric at home tanning product designed to redefine the way men approach self-tanning. Alpha Male is also the world’s first 2-in-1 hydrate and tan mousse product for men.

Guests enjoyed the party aboard Seadeck as it cruised around Sydney Harbour taking in the iconic sites and perfect Instagram photos, with all guests dressed in white to show off their flawless tans. Topless waiters with glowing tans served guests cosmos and lychee martinis throughout the evening. DJ Emily Scott brought the party vibes with her amazing DJ set, while actor and comedian Yasmin Kassim hosted the evening as MC.

Among the celebrity attendees were Hollywood reporter Richard Reid, Celebrity Stylist Jamie Azzopardi who was fresh off the Christina Aguilera tour, Former Miss World Australia Esma Voloder, Love Island’s Jessica Losurdo and Maddy Gillbanks, Location Location Location Hosts Mitch and Mark, and FBOY Island winners Molly O’Halloran and Nick Brown.

Proudly made in Australia, Alpha Male is vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and free from SLS and Parabens, making it a responsible choice for your skincare routine. With no nasties, you can feel confident in the purity of this product.

Naked Tan’s Alpha Male is set to revolutionise the male grooming industry, offering a unique blend of convenience, quality, and innovation.

SCALA Collection

HAIR: Jose Garcia Peluqueros @josegarciapeluqueros

PHOTOGRAPHY: David Arnal @davidarnalteam

MUA: Isabel García @isabelgarcia_irurzun

STYLING: Fco. Javier Moral @fco_javier_moral

PRODUCTS: Schwarzkopf Professional @schwarzkopfpro.spain

MODELS: Mikel Armendariz, Felipe Dumar, Iñaki Guergue, Aitor Goikoetxea

Scala, the latest commercial collection from Jose Garcia Peluqueros, pays homage to the Italian Amalfi coast of the late 1960s. Inspired by the distinguished pride of the men of that era who frequented it, Scala reaffirms the sophistication of every detail with the aim of offering you a powerful and commercially appealing proposition.

Men sport side-swept pompadours and masculine cuts that embody the gallantry and unique style that characterized Italian gentlemen of the past.

In this trend, natural, grey or curly hair shows authenticity in both form and colour. Layered lengths project an innovative and modern style for that time, always respecting the individual’s personality.

The selected colour palette for this collection includes warm and luminous tones, which harmonize perfectly with the characteristic hues of the Amalfi coast.

TIMELESS Collection

HAIR: Olga García Estilistas @peluqueriaolgagarcia

HAIR ASSISTANT: Esther García @esthergarciadela

PHOTOGRAPHY: David Arnal @davidarnalteam

MUA: Ana Argonautas @anourkargona

STYLING: Olga García

Light Years



PRODUCTION MANAGER Charlotte Austin-Lund



MODELS: Sammy Percy. Vincent Brigante. Jordan Dimitriardis. Samson Ballard


Brand Ambassador. Is it a saturated market?

There are many types of roles as an ambassador: there are paid roles, collaborations, charity roles, long-term and short-term roles.

II have had a few roles as an ambassador, ranging from Fiat Australia to restaurants, cafes, and clothing brands, from Heiniger to Excellent Edges, as well as a charity role for Polished Man (which helps prevent violence against women and children).

I’ve also reached out to brands myself and put forward the question about a collaboration of some form. Some have knocked me back and some have left my message on open and no reply. That’s life, but you keep on going until you find the right fit.

I’m very fortunate that I am currently an ambassador to a wonderful new clippers range known as Heiniger Professional.

I am also an ambassador for Pete Walstab and the incredible Excellent Edges team.

Amazing products by the way!

This is another point to mention: promote and sponsor what you believe in and what’s the right fit for you. Don’t just sponsor anything, support brands that you admire and love. I love both of these brands and use them continuously.

My advice for ambassadors:

1. Whatever the nature of the role you take on, please do the right thing by the company who is collaborating with you. I have seen so many influencers and ambassadors take the product and not deliver what was agreed upon in return.

2. Sit down with the company/brand and come up with a realistic plan that you can achieve on your end. Be honest with the target you believe you can achieve: the company will respect you more if you are up front and honest.

This next piece of advice is for the companies looking for ambassadors:

1. It’s not always about the high-profile collaboration: you’d be surprised what your return will be when dealing with a smaller or local influencer. It’s not always about the likes on their social pages or the verification tick. It’s about their integrity and the community they represent.

2. If you are approaching a high-profile ambassador, ask them for a Media Kit, a list of brands they’ve worked with and also make sure they complete a written agreement to be clear on what is required by both you and them.

There is room for any barber out there wanting to become a brand ambassador, and it’s much simpler than you think for a brand to find an ambassador.

Don’t feel intimidated by the high-profile barber. Don’t think you are not worthy.

Because you are. We all are!

Cheers, Frank.



2023 AMBA Modern Barber of the Year

I know I shouldn’t be writing this, giving my secrets to the competition, yet here we are.

In November I was lucky enough to win the AMBA’s Australian modern barber of the year for my collection ‘nevermore’ inspired by Edgar Allen Poe, goth kids of my childhood and Bram Stokers Dracula. By no means an expert I wanted to write an article the looks at the creative process of putting together a hair collection, to promote our industry and hopefully inspire you barbers out there to get involved this competition season.

It begins with inspiration, whatever that means to you. Maybe you see the world in colour, maybe you seen the world in texture, maybe you see the world through music or maybe you’re inspired by others, by trends and movements. For me inspiration stems from various pop culture reference points; rockstars, classic films and fashion icons. Whatever your inspiration, whatever your process, the key is that It feels authentic to you.

The truth is that replication isn’t the death of creativity, inauthenticity is the death of creativity. And I truly believe that people can smell inauthenticity from a mile away.

My whole career I have not followed the trends, mirrored what others do, not to say hair trends don’t inspire me, but the creatives I admire most, be it in fashion, music, art, or hair are the creative that walk to the beat of their own drum. So be inspired with what speaks to you.

Next, the formulation. How does your inspiration translate into a collection of images? Will the hairstyles match the photography aesthetic, or will they juxtapose one another? Will the styles tell a story? How does your love of texture/ colour/ music or film translate into the hair/ styling/ lighting/ angles/ framing/ make up. Hair collections are about snapshotting a point in time. All the components are equally important. As barbers and stylists, we are used to paying attention to the micro, hyper focusing on small areas, but as a session stylist, we need to look at the bigger picture. Not just focus on a single aspect. The fade/ the silhouette/shape /facial hair/ lighting/ styling/ make up. All these are key components to

the success of your hair collection, and none should be overlooked or prioritised.

Then, curation. The logistics of your photoshoot begins by finding your team; for me it starts with the models. Once I have the concept and style in my head, I go on a hunt to find the handsome devils that will be willing to let me do my avant-garde styles on. Over the last few years, I have fostered relationships with a collective of profession good-looking people that give me full faith and full control of their hair and style. So, find the right faces and the right hair for your shoot. Instagram is an amazing tool; utilising hashtags is a great place to start i.e. #Sydneymodel. Another way of connecting with professional models is to seek out agencies in your local area.

Next, it’s time to find the rest of your team, your photographer, makeup artist, stylist, and any hair assistants. These are the people that will help bring your creative vision to life, so you have to find people you trust. Communication is key when it comes to working with other creatives. Each individual person in your team takes care of their part so that come shoot day you can focus purely on the hair. My creative team has remained unchanged for the past couple of years because I completely trust in all their abilities and creative voices.

Lastly, creation. Cut you models hair before the day. Freshen up fades and clean up necklines and edges is all the cutting you need to be doing on the day. Don’t stretch yourself too thin, focus on. The styling. You’ve done all the hard work organising, sourcing, and scheduling. So, now’s time to enjoy the process. Be creative, have fun, and make mistakes. Start with the plan, then go back and play with the styles. The best results often come from the mistakes made in the chaos.

Now be inspired, create, and promote our industry, I’ll see you all at the awards.


67 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1


The Tomorrow of Barbering in Australia

In the heart of Australian neighbourhoods, the local barber shop is more than just a place for a trim—it’s a hub of culture, stories, and evolving trends. As we look into the future of barbering in Australia, we can see change and adaptation that will redefine how we view these iconic establishments.

Picture this: a barber shop where technology and tradition blend together. The buzz of futuristic grooming tools meets the hum of online booking systems and easy access to social media to showcase new trends. The future Australian barber shop is embracing technology, offering not just haircuts but an enhanced, convenient experience that mirrors our fast-paced digital lives.

But it’s not all about gadgets. Barbers are becoming niche experts, catering to specific styles and preferences. From beard grooming specialists to hair tattoo artists, these professionals are carving out unique identities, ensuring that every haircut tells a personalized story.

As sustainability takes centre stage globally, Australian barbers are not left behind. Ecoconscious practices are becoming a standard in these establishments. Imagine a barber shop that not only makes you look good but also takes pride in using organic products and minimizing waste. It’s a step towards a more environmentally friendly future, where style and sustainability coexist.

Diversity is another pillar of the future barber shop. No longer confined to a specific gender or demographic, these spaces are evolving into inclusive hubs. Australia’s rich cultural tapestry is reflected in the diverse clientele walking through the doors. It’s a shift towards a more welcoming and accepting environment, where everyone feels at home in the barber’s chair.

Technology, although it’s a great advancement, demands constant adaptation. Barbers need to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of gadgets and digital tools, ensuring they remain masters of both the old and the new. It’s a delicate balance between tradition and innovation. Yet, we do face some challenges in 2024, if the internet goes out it’s back to the Traditional way.

The competition is fierce too. With every neighbourhood boasting a barber shop, standing out becomes a creative challenge. Barbers need to find their unique edge—be it through a signature style, exceptional service, or a welcoming atmosphere that keeps customers coming back.

Regulations add another layer of complexity. Each state in Australia may have its own set of rules governing the barbering industry. Staying compliant is crucial, but it means barbers must be vigilant and adaptable, ensuring they meet the diverse requirements wherever they set up shop.

The failure of Australian barber shop employers to meet superannuation obligations is a significant issue carrying substantial repercussions. Superannuation contributions are a legal mandate aimed at securing employees’ retirement funds. When employers neglect these payments, it not only deprives workers of entitled benefits but also breaches employment regulations.

Skipping superannuation payments in Australia can lead to serious consequences for employers. The government requires a portion of employees’ earnings to contribute to their super funds, and failure to comply results in fines, penalties reaching up to 200% of unpaid contributions, and legal troubles. Beyond financial implications, reputation damage makes it challenging to attract and retain talented staff. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) actively enforces compliance, emphasizing its importance. In essence, settling super payments is crucial to avoid a turbulent financial and professional journey with potential long-term repercussions.

And let’s not forget the economic ebb and flow. Barbers need to weather the storms of economic uncertainty, staying resilient when times are tough and seizing opportunities when the sun is shining. It’s a financial juggling act that requires foresight and adaptability.

As always, it’s been a blast chatting about the future of barbering.

Live Fast. Look Sharp.

68 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1
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For those trying to stand out from the rest…Listen up.

In my career as a barber and an educator, I have been asked a question numerous times throughout the 19 years that I have been in the barbering industry. That question is ‘How did you get to where you are today?’

The answer to that can be quite a lengthy answer or there can be so many different contributing factors to that answer. So, I’d like to break it down as to why I get asked that question and kind of reverse engineer it to somehow come up with one or maybe two conclusions.

Nine times out of ten, when someone is asking me that question, it is because they are somewhat interested in going down the same path. Which I really do appreciate because it means that that person is looking to the future and has some kind of drive or ambition. But one thing that gets me especially in today’s times, is the desperate need to be popular amongst other barbers and fellow industry people. I’ve seen it many times throughout my career, where a barber or hair stylist try their hand at doing education or stage work and quickly realise that it is not for them and their reasoning behind wanting to do it was purely for vanity reasons. Now I am not saying that this is a bad thing because one, they did something that was out of their comfort zone and two, they would have learnt so much from those experiences. So, I don’t see it as a loss.

Due to being in the age of social media and technology, which grows at such a rapid rate. I strongly feel that it can make that desire to stand out, that much more appealing or desirable. Which can really have a massive impact on someone’s decision to want to be in the public eye within the industry. Now I am in no way trying to talk anyone out of giving it a go because I am all for growth and development. I just know from experience that if your reasons are not aligned with who you are and what you stand for, then it can become a struggle to stand the test of time in the education space.

So, if I was to give a young person advice on how to make it somewhere in this industry, one of the first things I would say is to know that it will take time. Nothing happens overnight so prepare to take your time and work hard. The second thing I would tell them is to be true to themselves, people will either like you or hate you but be who you are unapologetically. That way people get to know the real you and not someone that you are pretending to be. The third thing I would tell them is try your best to see the glass half full and not half empty. Having a positive mindset is a very powerful thing because it allows you to recognise an opportunity when it has presented itself even in hard times. It gives you clarity in times where negativity is trying to cloud your mind.

I believe that if you apply these three things you will definitely see dramatic change not only in your journey as a barber but also in life in general.

So, I challenge you to try your best to improve and develop yourself so that you have something to offer when you take to the stage.

Best of luck in your barber journey and as I always sign off.

Never stop learning, stay on your grind, and keep it Top Shelf.


Because your salon deserves the best! Because your salon deserves the best!

The Havana Barber Chair seamlessly Style

This Traditional Style Barber Chair can conform to many finishes . . .

Features: Antique Style Cast frame

Upholstered in Hi Grade Vinyl Padded armrests, calf rest and flip-up footrest 60 degrees rotating Hydraulic with Lockable pump

Reclining backrest Adjustable, locking and removable headrest

Innovative Functional
Memory foam for extra comfort Built In Headrest Holder

Join the Rebellion

Not like other trimmers. StyleCraft by Silver Bullet Rebel Trimmer is powered by super-torque 7,500 spm motor, open skeleton 360° design and 3 hours cordless runtime. Lightweight and ergonomic. Includes three interchangeable bodies for customisation.

Genius in Action

The perfect balance between brains and good looks. Silver Bullet Ingenious Hair Dryer is a lightweight dryer which packs enormous power with 2200W high power BLDC motor. Truly ingenious with customised drying and auto self-cleaning.

Stylish Support

An elegant accessory, iQ Perfetto Dryer Waist Holder in Brown is designed to attach iQ Perfetto Hair Dryer to your belt. Made from leather with contrast stitching, this chic support is compact and ergonomic.

The Evolution of Perfection

Ten key new upgrades for a more extraordinary blow-dry. iQ2 Perfetto Hair Dryer is here. Elevated perfection with new filter, turbo function, antibacterial element, Venturi nozzle and even alerts you when the rear filter needs cleaning.

Guided by Instinct

Professional vector motor clipper with intuitive torque control. Designed to be your ultimate tool for hair cutting, StyleCraft by Silver Bullet Instinct-X Clipper harnesses an unparalleled 11,500 strokes per minute vector motor. 4 hours cordless runtime. Includes three interchangeable bodies.

All Black, All Performance

Ultra-chic black with gold details. With stainless steel hand-honed blades, Iceman Blaze Hairdressing

Scissors are designed to cater to all cutting and barbering techniques. Blade lengths from 5-7”.

Comfort and Protection

Enhance your client experience with BaBylissPRO Black Barber Cape. Sleek black design keeps clients comfortable, stylish and protected during grooming sessions. Made from static-free, water-repellent 100% polyester. Generous 144 x 152cm size.

A Connoisseur of Clipping

Expert results with Silver Bullet Connoisseur Clipper. An incredible five hours cordless runtime combined with high speed 6,800 rpm. Steel fixed and ceramic moving blades. Lightweight. Six comb attachments.

Dedicated To Men

Introducing Screen for Man, the Italian all-male hair and skin care line. Quality ingredients, sophisticated formulations and sublime results. Styling products, shaving products, daily shampoos, conditioner and more.

Accessories at the Ready

Made from stylishly soft yet durable leatherette, BaBylissPRO Stylist Tool Belt is your best bet for convenience and organisation. Multiple compartments to accommodate all your tools plus a zippered pocket.

Carbon Fibre Brushes

The advantage of carbon fibre brushes! Extremely lightweight, strong, anti-static and heat tolerant up to 270°C. Brushworx Airflow Brush Collection is a collection regular and long barrel hot tube brushes and paddle brush. Perfect for leave-in styling.

Say Goodbye to Limitations

You don’t quit and nei¬ther should your tools. The revolutionary power of unlimited cordless runtime is in your hands with BaBylissPRO SNAPFX Dual Battery Clipper and Trimmer. Now available in gorgeous gold.

All-in-One Barber Essentials

Whether you’re a beginning barber or seasoned stylist, BaBylissPRO Essential Professional Kit is your all-in-one solution. Convenience coupled with style and quality. Kit includes black cape, comb, fade brush, 2 x hair clips, 2 x hair holders.

Hotter, Faster, Better Blow-Drying

Blow-drying as smooth as velvet. Expedite your styling with Silver Bullet Black Velvet Dryer. Hotter, faster, better for your most efficient blow-dry. Perfectly balanced, with 3 heat/2 speed settings, in a classic matte black finish and a timeless design.

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Business Old School! The Crucial Role of Staff Training and Development in the Barbershop Industry

In the competitive and ever-evolving world of the barbershop industry, standing out from the crowd requires more than just a stylish trim and a comfortable chair. One of the key factors that can elevate a barbershop to new heights is investing in the continuous training and development of its staff.

1. Elevating the Art of Barbering

The barbershop experience is not just about getting a haircut - it’s about craftsmanship. By investing in ongoing training, barbers can stay on top of the latest techniques, trends, and tools in the industry. This enhances the quality of the services provided and also keeps the staff motivated and passionate about their craft.

2. Meeting the Needs of Clients

The modern barbershop caters to a diverse clientele with varying hair types, styles, and preferences. A well-trained and versatile team can meet the unique needs of each client.

3. Building Client Trust and Loyalty

Trust is vital in the barbershop industry. Clients entrust their appearance to the skilled hands of their barbers, and consistent, high-quality service is key to building lasting relationships. Investing in training will sharpen technical skills but also instil confidence in your clients.

4. Adapting to Industry Trends

The world of men’s grooming is ever-changing, with new trends and innovations emerging regularly. Barbershops that embrace continuous learning can adapt quickly to these changes, offering cutting-edge services that attract a modern and trend-conscious clientele.

5. A Positive Work Environment

Team members who feel valued and invested in are more likely to be satisfied and motivated in their roles. Training and development opportunities show your staff that their growth and success are important to the business. This creates a positive and inspiring work environment that benefits both staff and clients.

6. Implementing Training and Development in the Barbershop

Recognising the significance of staff development in your barbershop, it is essential to devise a strategy for its effective implementation. Commence with in-house training sessions within your shop, encouraging a collaborative environment where the team can learn collectively, share their expertise, pinpoint areas for improvement, and support each other’s growth. There may come a point where seeking external education becomes necessary, so participating in workshops, seminars, and trade shows are an excellent opportunity to draw inspiration and gather fresh ideas from industry professionals.

In the barbershop industry, success is not just about the quality of the haircut but also the calibre of the professionals providing the service. By investing in team training and development, barber shops can find success that combines skill, innovation, and customer satisfaction. As the industry evolves, those who prioritise ongoing education will not only stay relevant but also lead the way in shaping the future of men’s grooming.


74 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1

3 Skills Successful Salon Owners Have Mastered. And You Can Too!

The fact that other salon owners have been hugely successful in creating significant profits and, more importantly, having the freedom to live the life they choose means you can too. Those who have gone before you have left clues and a path to follow, and here are 3 skills all successful salon owners have mastered.

Following in their footsteps and developing your skills in these three areas will add 10s, if not 100s, of thousands of dollars to your bottom line.

Leadership Confidence.

Constantly experiencing Leadership anxiety is a fast track to business failure. Unfortunately, you get stuck in your head, continually worrying about what might go wrong, thinking about what you should have done and second-guessing every decision you’ve made or failed to make. When you’re stuck in your head, you’re imprisoned in old ways of thinking and doing without the keys to unlock new perspectives, opportunities or the solutions to old problems that are holding you back. Leadership confidence is not about having all the answers. It’s about taking steps to develop your leadership capabilities. I know what you’re thinking: that’s great, but how do I flip feeling’ leadership anxiety’ to living with ‘leadership confidence’? It all starts with you!

You need the right mindset. That’s not to say you don’t already have it; for some, it’s a matter of fine-tuning. When you have the right mindset, your perspective shifts. You see challenges, not problems. You find solutions, not roadblocks, and focus on what can be done instead of what can’t. You lead confidently, communicate effectively, and create a strong team culture where you all come together as one and achieve success.

Know Your Numbers

WOW! Talk about overwhelming. Not only do many salon owners fear the numbers, but they dread the thought of even looking at them. And let’s be honest: when you don’t understand the numbers, do you feel smart, in control and like you know what you’re doing as a business owner? NO WAY! Adding up the daily take is enough to send some salon owners bonkers. For others, it’s P&Ls, bank statements, bookkeeping, payroll, targets, hourly sales targets, bonuses, tax, superannuation, and the list is neverending...

You don’t need to know, understand, or memorise every number in your business. However, you need to understand the critical numbers that give you a snapshot of how your business and team are tracking. They are the three to five key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to your business. KPIs are like the dashboard of your car. I don’t know how the engine in my car works. However, my dashboard lets me see the car is running well. I take my car to a mechanic if the engine warning light comes on. It’s the same with your business; instead of a mechanic, you have a bookkeeper, accountant, mentors and

maybe a coach. You can look at general industry benchmarks, yet every business is unique, and you should calculate what is right for your salon to maximise efficiency and profit.

Business Success

Most salon businesses fall into one of two categories when they fail to grow.

1. Low or no client growth. Your regular clients love you and always come back. Yet attracting new clients is a real struggle. You want a flood or a constant flow, but you barely have a trick. Not only has your client growth stagnated, but so has the drive of your team and your ability to lead and motivate them.

2. You’re too busy and overwhelmed to move forward. I know it sounds ridiculous, but how can you be too busy to grow? Well, salon owners can get caught on the hamster wheel of life. You get busy being busy. Your hamster wheel is spinning at a rate of knots, but you’re getting nowhere.

When you’re stuck, urgent tasks after urgent tasks keep getting thrown at you. Your to-do list is ever-increasing, and you can’t see a way out.

When you’re that busy, everything else falls apart, not to mention the important tasks and responsibilities you should attend to as a salon owner. Stepping back and prioritising time for important tasks allows you the time and space to create the business you’ve always wanted and deserve. The important work leads to a more robust culture, more effective team members and the ability to delegate tasks and responsibilities to them. Giving you freedom

while you work less and achieve greater profits. With ‘Leadership Confidence’ and ‘Knowing Your Numbers’, you’ll elevate your team’s performance and achieve ‘Business Success’. You’ll have the right mindset and perspective to lead your team and navigate your business to success. With leadership confidence comes empowering and effective communication. You will feel heard and listened to and empower and motivate your team to be accountable, effective, and engaged with their growth and development. Knowing your numbers isn’t about memorising or understanding every number. It’s about knowing the right numbers to focus on and monitor to grow your team and business.

Mastering these 3 skills and creating clear goals and simple strategies to achieve them, coupled with effective feedback and accountability conversations, means you will develop a strong culture, an engaged team, and a thriving business. Now it’s time to take ACTION!

Dwight Hodge is an experienced leadership coach and mentor. His career spans over two decades as a business owner, company director and coach. He founded The Creative Leader, a leadership coaching practice that assists salon owners in propelling their leadership capabilities and business to the next level. Dwight is a salon owner, a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), holds qualifications in Business and Personal Coaching, is a Master Coach of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculpture) from the Victorian Collage of the Arts (VCA)

75 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1

How to Manage the Competition!

76 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1

Competition is healthy because it forces you to innovate, keeping you on your toes, so that you don’t get complacent, and it encourages you to provide the best you possibly can for your clients. But it can also be frightening and frustrating when you know you are losing out on precious revenue going to other local salon or barber shop businesses.

If you want to grow your market share in your locality, then you must lean into your competitive advantage and get the edge in your area.

1. Solicit client opinions to clarify your strengths.

Clients come to your shop repeatedly for a reason, so knowing that reason is important to your continued success. Ask clients to complete surveys, questionnaires or put a focus group together to get a real sense of what everyone likes so much about your place. Then review your reports to establish your top selling services and products.

Knowing what makes your business special shows you what you need to focus on selling and what you could even drop or forget about selling. For example, if your clients love a particular skincare item, you can start a marketing campaign to push it even further.

Never underestimate the importance of developing rapport and trust with your clients. Do everything you can to make sure clients trust you, your team and your business, and establish positive professional relationships with your clients.

2. Run a competitor analysis to find your edge.

Ask yourself the tough question: “why would a client choose that barbershop instead of mine?” Compare the services and brands that your competition offers. Is there something that they have that you don’t? Investigate and see if you can find something similar. Look at their advertising to see what their customers are identifying with and observe which social media platforms they advertise on frequently. Look at their online reviews and make sure you score higher. You don’t have control over what makes your competition attractive to others, you just need to have the edge.

3. Develop your ‘Unique Selling Point’

If you have something your competition can’t replicate, then lean into it. Figure out what you do that the competition simply can’t replicate and consider spending some revenue in promoting this to attract more of your ideal clients.

4. Fill any gaps in your services.

While attending to day-to-day operations, always remain mindful of the big picture. Compare your offerings to the competition to see what you are missing. If you are offering the same services and products, figure out what you can add to gain competitive advantage. Ask yourself, if you were a client in your business, what would impress you?

5. Acknowledge repeat business.

Encourage your team to build rapport with new clients and recognise returning clients. Never underestimate the power of goodwill – the more goodwill you can build with your clients, the more repeat business you will get. Set up loyalty programmes for repeat business, specific to your barbershop or salon and your all-important clients, who are the lifeblood of your business.

6. Cultivate a caring and professional culture.

Train your team to be caring, kind and respectful to clients. Teach them to comfortably sell all your services and products, then you can reward them for doing well. Look after your employees, as you don’t want them going to the competition.

7. Expand your social media presence.

Your marketing activities help new clients to find you. Set up business accounts and encourage clients to like your pages and post reviews. The more engagement you can cultivate online, the better and always remember to reply to people who comment on your posts.

8. Give your image a makeover.

If you let your image or shop look tired or out of date, what message does that communicate to your clients? Before it is needed, invest in a makeover, overhaul your company image and branding and make sure you are offering a welcoming environment for clients.

If you also have an online section to your business, the look of your website is everything, as the internet is a very competitive battleground. Consider giving your website an overhaul as a well organised and efficient website is key to attracting new in salon/shop and online customers and maintaining a prominent online presence.

9. Keep marketing, keep going!

All business strategy is marketing strategy – your ability to attract clients determines your success in business. Your goal is to position your business in your market as the ‘only’ choice for what you sell. A great marketing plan attracts a steady stream of clients, it emphasises your ‘unique selling point’ and positions your business as the first and the best choice in the client’s mind. Your goal must be to position your business as the ‘only’ choice for your products and services.

Marketing is simply helping people to buy your services and products. The philosophy behind marketing is to satisfy the needs of every client as best you can while making a profit. The whole idea is that if you make your clients happy, they will buy from you, not just once, but again and again.

Get used to the idea that marketing never stops. There are endless choices for marketing activities, such as word of mouth, texting, local press, digital marketing, direct mail, brochures, point of sale material, local radio, outside signage, sponsorship and public relations.

Get creative with your marketing and immediately you have a competitive advantage.

10. Revisit your foundations!

What is the desired ambience of your barbershop? Do you reinforce this through effective use of, for example: music, lighting décor? Remember to appeal to all the client’s senses. Think about what the fragrance of your brand is and introduce these aromas to reflect the ambience. What your clients listen to can influence the amount of time spent in your shop and retail area. It will also have a direct impact on the amount the client will spend. Always be able to take pride in the appearance of your business.

Standing out from the crowd is important because clients are savvy and have a lot of choice. It is necessary that you send out a very clear message that your barbershop is here, and you are great at what you do. Learn to positively differentiate your business from your competitors – providing outstanding customer service is the key.

Finally, do everything you can to ensure your clients leave feeling happy, looking forward to returning and happy to recommend you.

Then you don’t have to worry about the competition! Liz McKeon is a Salon Business Expert and Founder of the

International Salon Business School
77 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1

Where do I Start to Negotiate a Market Rent with the Landlord?

Rent is one of the most important things to negotiate in any commercial Lease and so it is important that you understand all of the elements and considerations that make up a fair rent negotiation, to ensure you are doing the best by your business and maximising your profit.

What is market rent?

A market rent is defined by what the tenancy would be worth if it was vacant. If your tenancy was unimproved and available to the market, what would the Landlord be seeking in rent from a new Tenant? Once you know this, you know the market rent.

Next question then is … how do I find out what that is?

There are a number of ways to establish this, but the best way is to compare your premises to others that are available on the market today and see what they are renting for or find out about recent deals done in your area. We can help with this!

Once I know this, does my Landlord, then have to agree to this?

No, the Landlord is allowed to make their own determinations when it comes to the rent for their property, but it is certainly helpful in your negotiations to be able to provide some comparables to the Landlord to show why you think your rent should be at a certain level.

Remember, the market rent is what your tenancy would be worth, if it was unimproved and available to the market. Your existing tenancy is neither of those things exactly, as it is fitted out (so not “unimproved”) and is occupied by you, an existing business (not “available to the market”), so the market rent is really just an indicator to get you started. You will then need to work out what kind of premium on top of the market rent, is fair, to compensate for the fitted-out premises and existing business elements.

Wont the Landlord propose the market rent?

The Landlord will propose a rent which will generally be an increase on your existing rent. This may or may not have a relationship to the market rent indicators. Landlords are always looking for growth on their assets, so their ideal position is nearly always an increase.

Remember, the rent you are paying now is only the rent, because you agreed to an amount 5 years ago, when you entered the Lease and that amount has increased annually by 3,4 or 5% or CPI, to bring the rent to what it is today. The rent today is based on a calculation determined 5 years ago, not what is going on in the market today.

Often, these two numbers are very different.


Tenants often make the mistake of negotiating their position from the Landlords asking rent, rather than the market rent indicators, meaning that if they save $10,000 on the Landlords asking rent, they feel really pleased with the outcome, but what if the market rent is $30,000 less?

What is percentage rent or turnover rent?

Percentage Rent or Turnover Rent is most often seen in shopping centre leases. This is where the Landlord gains access to your sales figures and then at the end of the year, calculates whether you should pay them more rent based on your sales.

If you are paying a fair market rental, then have a percentage rent provision in your Lease as well, this may mean that if you perform well, you are penalised by the Landlord and will end up paying more than what is fair for the actual real estate.

Percentage rent is a great tool, however, if you are unsure of how the business will perform. It means that the amount of rent you pay is tied directly to the business performance. If sales are low, then so is the rent, however, if sales are high, then the rent can be too. It is important to just work out a percentage that you think is fair.


What is gross rent?

Gross rent is when the rental payments you make to the Landlord include the common outgoings for the property. Most leases include an element of net rent (profit centre for the Landlord) and then a contribution to the common property outgoings, for things like common cleaning, security, council rates, insurance etc (a direct recovery of actual costs). These operating costs can go up and down quite dramatically and if your Lease is a NET Lease, with rent and outgoings calculated separately, rather than a GROSS Lease, then you will pay your outgoings contribution to the Landlord annually and this will move up and down, as expenses move up and down.

If you have a GROSS Lease with gross rent payable, then you will pay a fixed amount per month and this will just increase annually by an agreed rent review amount, often 3,4 or 5% and this will happen, irrespective of the changes to the costs involved in operating the property.


If you have any questions about negotiating the best outcome for your next Lease, please call Your Leasing Co for a free, no obligation conversation on 1300 356 702.


78 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1

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Hello 2024, What the Hell have you got in store for us this time?

Every year has its highs and lows, but 2023 was particularly tough. It came off the back of a number of turbulent years, however, 2023 was the year where many people felt the isolation of their hardships. While we were all battling our way through the unchartered territory of the pandemic, we at least knew we were all going through something collectively. Everyone was experiencing the crisis, some better than others, but we still navigated the unknown as an industry.

As the cost of living, housing crisis, and rising interest rates have impacted our economic landscape, many businesses have faced their toughest times yet. 2023 will be remembered by many as the year they closed their doors, or for others, it was the year they stepped away from leading a team to go solo and work independently.

What has been predictable, yet also really sad, is how many people have battled through this awful period alone, without looking to the industry community around them for support. So many salons and businesses struggling, but not comfortable enough to have an open and transparent conversation around it. I get it, there is embarrassment, shame and all the feeling of failure when your once-thriving business is now in complete tatters. My advice to those people… “It’s not your fault”. Sure, in hindsight, we could have all done things differently, made better choices, and been more prepared for the business downturn. The truth is, there is no crystal ball, so much of what happens around us is a case of circumstances beyond our control. If we surrender our ego and share what we are going through something amazing happens. We find out that we are not alone. We create a comfortable and safe space for others to feel that they too, can share their hardships without fear of judgement and shame.

In 2023 my business hit its most challenging time ever. From March to June, we saw a huge loss of clients. This was layered by many reasons and circumstances. Salons couldn’t justify outsourcing luxuries like marketing, PR, and branding when their turnover was down. We also never had a contingency in place for an economic downturn. We were ill-prepared, and it meant that it was an absolute scramble to keep our head above water. Sadly, it also meant that our business had to make cuts - just like our clients had to with us. We completely rebuilt our business and service offering. It needed to be done quickly and effectively for us to survive. There were many many times when I thought, we might not make it through. I need to prepare myself mentally for the fact that my business baby may have come full circle.

If it wasn’t for the incredible support and network of industry friends around me, it would have been a very dark and lonely journey. I may not have

had the bandwidth, the grit or determination to rebuild. I had people in my corner - some were going through the same thing and with that knowledge, I knew I had to try everything to get back on top.

Fast forward to September in 2023. I could see a very slow, yet visible increase in our growth. Just like how the downturn was really slow… and then all of a sudden completely rapid, that is how the rise back up has been. Initially steady, but now it’s fluid in the upright direction.

My advice for any business owner going through struggles, changes, and hardships. “YOU ARE NOT ALONE”. Reach out to me. I want to help and it’s not going to cost you anything. Just someone who can share some thoughts and feedback or give you some tools to get you back on track. I think it’s important to acknowledge and respect that we are all in different stages of our careers and for some people, the cup is totally empty and there is nothing left to pour. In these cases, the best outcome is to finish up, step away and keep your head held high that this was your journey and in good time the universe will reveal itself and the lesson, followed by the blessing will eventually be revealed.

So, what does 2024 hold? The answer, whatever you want. It all depends on what you have left in the tank. Survival mode can be the fuel that drives and propels you to your greatest success yet. Listen to your instinct, harness your intuition, and lean on the support of your people.

There are lots of great business support resources out there:

NewAccess for Small Business Owners:

Beyond Blue’s NewAccess for Small Business Owners (NASBO) is a guided self-help mental health coaching program. It’s free, confidential, and convenient. Available nationally by phone or video call, no GP referral is required.

Hayley Mears

80 Barber Shop Year 13 Issue 1
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How I built my Confidence

I would find it hard to see the value in my work. It made me want to quit. Stepping into education has been a major growth experience for me. I always struggled with self-doubt and self-depreciation when it came to my work. I never thought I was capable of teaching other people hair.

Starting out at 16 learning how to cut hair I always looked at the Josh Lamonica’s and the Charlie Greys of the world, unable to comprehend how someone could get that good at cutting hair. I spent so many years scratching my head wondering how someone can become so skilled, confident and have so much conviction. I just couldn’t get my head around that as I was beginning my apprenticeship in 2015. Over time I started to meet more people in the industry and my confidence began to grow little by little. The more I grew I realised that these leaders in the industry were just normal people that dedicated a lot of time putting themselves out there and exposing themselves to uncomfortable situations.

In the beginning every time I thought I was great, I would get humbled and lose my confidence. I would become very inward, and I would find it hard to see the value in my work. It made me want to quit on multiple occasions.

After three years I found a mentor who had been in the industry for over a decade with a hairdressing background. His combined skill set was creative based and always pushed boundaries. We spent a lot of hours training in the evenings in areas I struggled with. At that time, I didn’t feel like I was making any progress. Looking back, this was a pivotal part of my journey. Those long nights and Sunday mornings consisted of photo shoots, mannequin head training and thinking outside the box. This really helped me understand not just how to cut, but also the ‘why’ to use a technique and when to use those techniques. Without this understanding I had no idea what I was doing. I feel nowadays young barbers think that once they know the ‘how’ that this is enough to become a successful stylist. I think a crucial part of haircutting is knowing when to use a technique and most importantly why. When asking barbers why they are using a specific technique you’d be surprised by how many answer with ‘because I’ve seen on Instagram’. With this new found knowledge, I can approach hair in a completely different way to most other barbers. This opened up a whole other aspect of hair that I was unaware of, allowing me to see through the lens of suitability and trends.

This is something I talk about with other barbers in education. When approaching hair, we need to be aware of not just the how, but the what, why and when to use specific techniques. This allows me to approach hair in a conscious and educated way. I feel like this is my point of difference when it comes to education, breaking it down and simplifying it. With this we can gain a great foundation for confidence to be built on. The kind of confidence that when self-doubt comes in it doesn’t rattle you. I really like to approach education on a personal level for others creating a safe space for them to come and learn. My classes are strictly a non-judgement zone for barbers of all levels, whether you’re one day or 25 years into your journey. I feel like this is a really missed concept in the industry right now. It’s a gap in the market that I am trying to bridge. Being 25 in this industry and on the floor cutting hair full time it helps people have a relatability factor. I’m just like any other barber that likes to share his knowledge and experience.

My next upcoming workshop is in Melbourne on the 25th of March 2024 alongside Jesse Jensz (@certifiedbarberboy). I also offer private one to one classes for a tailored education experience. You can stay up to date via my Instagram @simondoylehair.

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Articles inside


pages 32-34


pages 36-38

How to Manage the Competition.

pages 76-77

How I built my Confidence

page 82

Hello 2024, What the Hell have you got in store for us this time?

pages 80-82

Where do I Start to Negotiate a Market Rent with the Landlord?

pages 78-79

3 Skills Successful Salon Owners Have Mastered. And You Can Too!

pages 75-77

Business Old School!

page 74

For those trying to stand out from the rest…Listen up.

pages 70-73

The Tomorrow of Barbering in Australia

pages 68-69


page 67

Brand Ambassador. Is it a saturated market?

pages 66-67


pages 60-62

Men's 2024 Beard & Facial Hair Trend Predictions

pages 58-60

The Hair Academy Australia

page 53


page 52


pages 46-52

Cultivating Community

pages 44-45


pages 42-43


pages 40-41


pages 30-32


pages 24-27

Spotlight on Benny Hogan

pages 20-23

Thinking Outside THE BOX! Suzi O’Brien

pages 18-19

10 Minutes with Sean Hayes

pages 16-17


pages 14-16


pages 12-13

Being On Top Of Your A-Game!

pages 10-11

GUEST EDITOR Frank Ciccone

pages 8-9


page 8
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