Believe in yourself.Laura Williams, Hairdresser
It’s clear. Barbering is a great career. It’s creative, it's got a lot of variety, and there’s heaps you can do with a barbering qualification (travel, train others, and more). We talk to two barbers about why their careers in barbering are awesome and what others can do to get involved in the industry.
Nathan was cutting his friends’ hair at home, just as a hobby. He’d never thought about barbering as a career.
“I was just pretending to know what I was doing,” Nathan jokes.
His rugby coach knew the owner at Chics and Chaps, and he suggested Nathan might make a good barbering apprentice. Nathan started work at Chics and Chaps and he’s never looked back.
Nathan loves everything about barbering. He gets to meet and talk to heaps of new and interesting people, and he gets to make people look and feel good.
Being on the rugby team also has its advantages. A lot of Nathan’s clients are rugby players, which helps bring a steady stream of business into the shop. They also get little kids who’ve seen the rugby players’ hair and want to copy their style.
Nathan is keen to get others into barbering and he’d recommend it as a career. He’s trying to get six or seven other guys he knows interested in a career in barbering.
“There’s so much you can do in barbering,” Nathan says. “And it’s good to get a certificate behind you, especially if you travel overseas. That way your future employers can see that you’ve achieved something.”
Nathan encourages anyone who wants to get into barbering to come and see him. He also recommends talking to other hairdressers and barbers. Learn as much about the job and get involved however you can. He also found YouTube helpful as many barbers post tutorials. Nathan says it was a great way to get some extra learning.
Nathan’s main reason for getting qualified is so he can train other people.
“I want to share what I’ve learned and help other young people get into barbering. I want to give them some more opportunities to succeed,” Nathan says. “A lot of kids don’t know what they want to do, and I want to help them. I’ll teach them some barbering and see if they want to get into it.”
For Bronson, barbering was something he did for fun. He cut people’s hair all through school, but he never thought about it as a career.
Bronson headed off to university to study sport and recreation, but partway through his degree he suffered a knee injury playing basketball. He needed surgery and ended up spending a year at home on ACC. While he was at home, he rediscovered his love for barbering.
“I enjoyed barbering,” Bronson says. “So I thought why not do something I enjoyed for a career?”
Bronson loves seeing the transformation you can create through cutting someone’s hair and how happy they are.
“It's especially awesome to see how happy the little kids are,” Bronson says. “It's a great feeling, knowing you did a good job and made someone happy.”
One thing Bronson picked up from his time at university is that having a qualification makes a good impression.
“If you go into a barbershop and they aren’t qualified – even if they’re an amazing barber – it doesn’t look as good as someone who is qualified. Having a qualification presents a good image to clients,” Bronson says. “It’s also useful if you want to travel – it’s much easier to get a job overseas if you’re qualified.”
An apprenticeship is also a fantastic way to practice your skills, Bronson says.
“An apprenticeship gets you more involved,” Bronson says. “The more you practice, the more you learn – and you get to do something you love at the same time.”
Bronson is co-running his own business with a friend. They rent chairs from Chics and Chaps, but they have their own logo on the window and their own uniforms. He hopes to build up the business more and eventually get his own shop which he can set up in his own style. He also wants to travel. He wants to meet other barbers across the world, to watch them work or work with them, and learn as much as possible.
“I want to learn as much as I can before I set myself up in my own shop,” Bronson says. “That way I can be the best barber I can be.”
For those wanting a career in barbering, Bronson has this to say:
“Go and ask other barbers for advice,” Bronson says. “They know what they’re talking about because they’ve got experience. Just keeping asking for advice until you find what you’re looking for.”