Why barbering is a great career

For me barbering was the perfect choice when it came to deciding what I wanted to do with my life, the possibilities of what I could do or where I could go were endless. It’s a trade that dates back thousands of years and in those thousands of years it’s only recently when it’s become a job that’s considered quite cool or quirky, that’s defiantly not the main reason to get into it, but as a young guy or gal still deciding what they want to do in life it’s a good factor to have.I mean it’s an art is it not? transforming someone’s hair using simple tools and creativity is something I would consider art.

Where can barbering take you?

Travel the world

Barbering can take you anywhere, it can take you to the West End, the West Midlands or all of the way to west Sri Lanka, A pair of scissors, a comb and the right creative mind set and you can have a job any where in the world. That was the main reason I myself first decided I wanted to become a barber. I wanted to travel the world but I also wanted to be able to provide myself money for when times got tough, A few haircuts could pay for a hostel, food and maybe a beer for the night whilst I was backpacking solo through Asia. I knew guys from all different countries would love to have a haircut from me rather then taking the risk of going to a barber they couldn’t communicate with.It was a great way to spark up conversation with guys in hostels and they were always so happy to find out they had a barber staying in their dorm, sometimes most of my days backpacking and sight seeing turned into cutting hair in Vietnam in a room with no air-con.

Cruise Ships

If traveling the world is still something you would love to do but cutting hair in a Vietnamese dorm room isn’t really your cup of tea then working on board a cruise ship is a fantastic way of doing it in style. All depending on the quality of cruise and company becoming a barber on cruise ship is the perfect way to have a steady guaranteed income and also see some of the countries you stop off in. You will most defiantly have your cabin rent and food taken out of your wages but other then those expenditures you can pretty much save the rest.

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Barbering can take you anywhere, a comb and the right creative mind set and you can have a job any where in the world

Film and Tv Sets

Films can and do take months/years of filming before they’re released onto our screens. For example when we are watching a film that is 2 hours long following a characters life over a week, their hair wouldn’t have changed much but that’s because over the course of filming there is a barber on set making sure the hair is the exact same in each scene, as it cannot look different In the course of the film.Or in general they are there to cut each actors hair to the style of the character in the film. This is a great way to good money and boost your profile/portfolio by trimming the hair of actors on tv and maybe if you’re lucky Hollywood.

Mobile Barber

Becoming a mobile barber is a great way to go if you need to work your preferred hours and don’t want to invest in settling down to a shop. Visiting care homes, wedding venues or people’s houses. It’s a slower process of building up your client base but not the long run the clientele you have are always very regular and faithful. Not everybody can visit barbershops due to disabilities or personal reasons, so it can be a really rewarding job making life a lot easier for people and you are always guaranteed a great cup of tea whilst visiting someone’s home.

Competition and Catwalk Barbering

Coming up and creating styles for the future of gents hair can be seen as one of the hardest things to do in the industry, it takes a huge amount of passion and a very daring attitude to really try things outside of the box. It’s a small sector in the industry but in a way it starts trends for the rest of the industry to follow in years to follow.

Working in a Barbershop

This is without a doubt the route the majority of people will take and there is a good reason for it, building a name, reputation and clientele for yourself in your local barbershop is rewarding in every way. There is never a dull moment when working alongside a great team of barbers and clients that walk through the door. You will most likely never have another Saturday off in your career but you don’t mind, the stories you hear and the relationships you build with your clients as you catch up with their lives for 30 minutes every month is a fantastic feeling. You’re very surprised how good your memory is knowing exactly what they wanted and you remember exactly what they were up to the last time you spoke.

Voted Happiest Profession

Meeting new people on a daily basis and creating a unique form of relationship between yourself and your client is a fantastic part of being a barber. You will never walk down your local high street again without seeing a friendly face of a gent you have trimmed. Surveys show the hair industry was voted one of the happiest professions to work In, I can very much say myself that it is, i wake up in the morning looking forward to creating new styles, seeing regular clients and meeting new people. The reason I love barbering is the feeling you get when you transform, whether it’s a full restyle of a chap or the transformation of a cut throat shave, taking away every last bit of stubble leaving a gent with a fresh feeling face.

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Barbering can take you anywhere, a comb and the right creative mind set and you can have a job any where in the world

The 3 ways to get into barbering


If your passion for barbering is already great and you are willing work hard whilst also taking a lower wage (currently £3.30) then taking up an apprenticeship with a barbershop is the perfect way to gain in shop experience, something that full time courses can’t always offer. You will be guaranteed to start at the bottom of the ladder…

” It’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb then half way up a ladder that you don’t ”

…sweeping up hair, cleaning equipment and dealing with the reception duties is where you will start. But that gives you plenty of time to start watching the experienced barbers at work, learning the right way the cut hair and talk to clients is something you will only ever get within the barbershop environment. Courses normally run from September – July whilst also giving you 1 day per week at college and a minimum of 32 hours a week employment.

Private education

This is defiantly the most expensive option, training centres all over the country offering high quality certifications and NVQ’s, training centres such as…

London School Of Barbers, 9 week course £3,780 (London)
Sid Sottung Academy 5 day intense course £1,399 (Nottingham)
Mr.Barbers level 1,2 and 3, 4 weeks, £1,250 +VAT each (Essex)
(All prices were correct at the time of article write up)

Like I said it is the most expensive option and the courses are normally very intense but for some that might be the best way to learn. The classes are usually quite small no more then 7 people, which means getting one on one time with the barbering teacher is great.The courses also run all through the year so if you’re ready to start there will always be a course somewhere in the country about to start. So it’s a big advantage over having to wait until September to start.
Don’t forget about accommodation if the course doesn’t run near your home, some places provide a good discounted accommodation near to the academy whilst you’re learning and at the end of the course you will be “job ready” providing you have put no 100%.

Full time courses

Full time education provides a less intense version of private education which means it’s normally a lot cheaper too. It usually runs for 1 year offering at least 3.5 days at college per week. A few down sides to full time are class sizes are normally a lot bigger reducing the amount of one on one time with your tutor, working on mannequin block heads a lot is very likely and due to not being paid like an apprenticeship you might need to find other means of work to keep you afloat for the duration of the year.It is important you get the course you are after and are not persuaded to be a ‘gap filler’ remember to make sure your tutor has had experience in barbering, you will be learning from them all week so you want the best for yourself.

“Jason Blyth