No better way to kickstart off our first competition day of 2018 than having one of our former London School of Barbering students Jason Paphitis join us as our expert guest judge. Jason is a successful barber and owns modern barbershop called Groomed Barber Club in Birmingham. You only have to look at Jason’s barbershop on his website to see the high level of professionalism that he has instilled into his barbershop and to see how his barber career has flourished after training with us, which is fantastic.
The atmosphere was really lively with students on high spirits, getting ready to give it everything they’ve got for our exciting fade competition. Our students produced precise and modern guys hairstyles within an hour showing off their hot skills they have developed over the 9 weeks of their NVQ 2 Diploma beginner course. Our barber courses for beginners involves our students cutting up to 150 models, so they can perfect and master our techniques and are ready for to work in a barbershop. In his interview, he speaks to us about the barbering industry, London School of Barbering and his own barber journey, among other things. Read his exclusive interview below:
LSB: What is your name and where do you work?
JP: I’m Jason, a former student of London school of Barbering, a proud ex-student. I now have my own shop in Birmingham, it’s called Groomed Barber Club.
LSB: What is your take on the barbering industry at present?
JP: It’s developed massively since you know, I personally qualified. It’s gone from you know, a creative cut been a skin fade to now, you know reverse fades and patterns and shapes, and from a drop fade to all sorts of crazy haircuts that just makes a barber have a chance to really personalise their work, and become an individual and almost make a statement in the industry through the work that they’re doing.
LSB: What do London’s people and culture bring to barbering?
JP: I think London really creates a kind of a movement and a heartbeat. It has that energy that you know really kind of echoes throughout. So for example, fashion will infra-strait from London, up north and you know down, up and down all over the country and I think it really is a central hub. And you know, you really do feel it, you do feel the energy when you come here. I mean, I’ve lived here, so I’ve watched things develop and it just really is the central hub. That’s how I would describe London and its connection with barbering.
LSB: What did being a student at LSB give to you?
JP: Where to start…. so LSB what did it give me? A real kind of foot into the industry, you know it taught me that it’s not about rushing through your haircuts and knocking off any old short back and sides. It’s about creating something, it’s about shape, it’s about movement, texture, it really is the full spectrum of a haircut. Having a plan from start to finish. You know having a guideline that will take you through your first haircut, all the way through to your 100th haircut in that month. It set me out to be a more creative type men’s hairstylist and it gave me that knowledge to have confidence from the grassroots, to 3 years on now I’m still doing what was taught and what was delivered on day one.
LSB: What did it feel like to be a judge here at LSB today?
JP: What did it feel like to be a judge at today LSB? I’d say it was a mixture of kind of a real honour and a pleasure and a bit of a pat on the back, from where you know, from my beginnings here. But, also quite nervous for the you know the students or contestants if you like. I just wanted them to do so well, and you know I felt their energy, and I felt their nerves and you know I was just seen how each individual student would bring it home and finish their haircut under pressure.
LSB: What did you think of the quality of the cuts you saw at LSB?
JP: I think the quality of the cutting, you know considering it is a 9 week course and again I can only draw on my own experience from not being able to hold a set of scissors properly to the finished product, which is today, it’s massive. You know it is massive, it’s a big deal being able to do a haircut to a high standard and it’s really important for your client and this place just epitomises quality and that’s what it’s all about. It’s a fantastic foundation into the big world, scary world of barbering. One of my staff Sean, I pushed him into this course with a job at the end of it. So for me absolutely, you know Sean came into the shop, yeah, okay, we gave him guidance because we had been on this shop floor at LSB, so we knew how to give him the guidance that he needed. So he left the course here to almost an extended course into our shop. So, yes we believe that students coming from here are going to be you know more than capable to work autonomously a few months after the course and job ready. So I’ve got another two of my staff coming here in February. So, I definitely believe that this is the way to start.
LSB: How is the future looking for the barbering industry?
JP: Barbering in general for the future, you can definitely see that trends are changing. You know longer hair maybe fighting back now, which again is good for the students here because you start on a head block with longer hair, so the foundation is there. You know the kind of tapers and what not and the skin fades are still very much in and especially you know towards the summer, they will remain. But, I think the trends are just creativity, you know it’s not just a short back and sides anymore. It’s how can you show who you are as a barber through the work that you do. I’m always pushing my barbers to be that bit more creative and you know you might have a gentleman that is in a kind of white coloured city type job who wants a classic, but then you might have a gentleman that he’s a bit more punky and then asks for a jelly roll. You know it really is great because if you value being a barber, you will push yourself creatively to give people what they’re looking for and furthermore educate them on what they could have.
LSB: What do you think of the educators at LSB?
JP: Okay so the educators at LSB, you know new and old. Massive admiration, massive respect for them because it you know it’s not easy to deliver what they deliver within the time constraints. And you know to deliver that consistency and you can see that it really is a well-oiled machine now. Everyone knows their place, everyone has a function within this right robot almost that’s just creating fantastic opportunities for people.
LSB: What is the secret to longevity in the industry?
JP: The secret to longevity in the barbering industry, well first of all it’s making sure that you adjust your chair right so your back’s not bent over the client because that can be a problem. But the secret to longevity in this industry has to be, the willing to kind of continue your education and training you know I’m always looking for the elite in the industry that I can train with, whom I can pick a bit of knowledge from and I think that really stems from the understanding of having a great foundation. You never know everything in a barber room. There’s always someone that’s around the corner that is literally just about to blow your brains with some unbelievable work. So I believe in continually learning, progressing.
LSB: How do you feel you’ve made an impact within the industry?
JP: On a small scale, you know I’ve given you know barbers an opportunity to get into what I believe is a really fun environment. On a bigger scale, I don’t know I think we’re still building, we’re still learning. But yeah, I mean I’d like to continue to try and add my little footprints into the barbering world. But I think even today is a win for me, you know like on a personal level that’s impacted on my life been a judge here.
If you want to become a barber and or change your career direction, take a look at our barbering courses page to find the right barber course to help you achieve this.