Our Head Barber Steve is having a sabbatical in his home country of UK for a few months as he eagerly awaits the birth of his first child. Not being one to let an opportunity to pass him by, Steve is using his paternity break to broaden and deepen his already extensive barbering experience.
He will be working as a guest barber in barbershops up and down the country in order to understand better how the barbering scene is developing, identifying new trends as well as sharpening his own barbering techniques by working with some of the best in the business. Steve will be updating us with a weekly blog which will give the Jermyn Street team and our clients a first-hand insight in almost real-time. Steve’s first stop was Black L’Amour Barbers in in Brighton, Sussex which is around 1 hour from London.
Keith Power, CEO & Founder of Jermyn Street
With close connections with Black L’Amour Barbers (BLB) having managed BLB’s sister shop in Cologne, Germany immediately prior to joining Jermyn Street and having worked in the Brighton shop, I was excited to be going back. The first thing I notice walking down Lewes Road on the outskirts of Brighton’s City Centre is the amount of barbershops on the road. I counted 9 barbershops in my 10 minute walk to BLB. Brighton is at the leading edge of fashion and is a trend leader in the UK, second only to London so it is no surprise to see the trend of traditional barbering in full flow here. All have slightly different takes on the barbershop concept, hitting different price points and obviously aiming at different demographics. Nevertheless, for a road of this size and in a city with less than 300,000 inhabitants this still struck me as a very competitive environment!
Traditionally in the UK barbershops close at around 6pm – 7pm with perhaps one late night being open until 8pm or 9pm (usually on a Thursday). BLB is open 9am to 10pm every weekday and offers beers and food on a Monday working in partnership with a local burger joint. This customer focus is a key differentiator for BLB, with the convenience of getting an appointment that suits the customer; the business fitting around the customer, rather than the other way around!
I had previously worked in BLB, Brighton 3 years ago, but with the changes I witnessed, it was like a new business with décor that is modern and minimalist. In 2014, almost every cut I was doing was a skin fade whilst today, there is a lot more variety of cuts as customers get to know more about what they want that suits them rather than following a single fashion or trend. Individuality is now the order of the day with more textured scissor cuts and longer lengths being much more common. It makes me wonder if the same will happen in Singapore.
Another thing that struck me was the change in the way BLB barbers were tapering; instead of the classic flap taper the newer style crescent taper was being used far more. This gives the haircut a really sharp looking taper whilst still allowing the hard line from the hairline to be prominent. Upon trying it I found it transformed quite a mundane part of a haircut into a feature that really stands out! I can’t wait to try this out on some of my more exacting clients in Jermyn Street!
It was great being back in BLB; I really enjoyed my time with the team and especially good to witness the growth from a 3 barber shop to now having 6 barbers working on rotation. The ability to work anywhere in the world really makes barbering a special industry to be part of and I look forward to sharing more of my experiences over the next 3 months.
GM & Head Barber,
Mon-Tue, Thu-Fri 10am–8pm
108 Amoy St, Singapore 069928