Anderson Boyce from Hairforce1 Talks All Things Education

Published 29th Jan 2024 by Sian Jones
Anderson Boyce, owner of Hairforce1, tells us why the next generation of barbers deserve a quality education...

What I’m beginning to find in the industry is that there is a big influx of students who are coming out of big colleges and barbering organisations without having the necessary skillset.

From our perspective as a smaller academy, it seems that larger organisations are keeping the conveyor belt moving and getting as many people in and out as physically possible with little emphasis on the quality of training, so there is a big gap in terms of skills and the quality of training. We deal with all hair types that walk through our door and I strongly advise against pigeonholing yourself as a barber.
No matter your race, culture or gender, if you want to put yourself in the strongest position possible you should be taught how to cut straight hair, afro hair, mixed hair and so on, from as early as induction.

Students that find their way to the Hairforce1 Training Academy have been taught by staff who don’t cover all demographics or hair types. Essentially that means the barbering tutors that are put in place don’t have a wide breadth of skills to be teaching, and this leaves a large percentage of learners without the skills they wanted upon signing up. They’re coming to smaller organisations or shops like us to “top up”, but we’re realising they’re lacking the foundations and the fundamentals, which means we have to start them from scratch. I built my business and my academy out of pure passion because I absolutely love the industry. I love training and education and cutting hair, but when you’re picking up the pieces of the bigger organisations it makes you think about what’s happening on a larger scale. Is this what barbering apprentices and learners are being subject to? How much do they care about the industry or is it just about turnover and profit growth? For me, personally, I won’t hire a tutor unless they eat, sleep, breathe barbering. To have that passion at the centre changes absolutely everything.

For anyone thinking of entering the industry now I would say to look for an academy or barbershop that has diversity and is representative of life in 2023. Don’t arm yourself with one skillset and put yourself in a weakened position, when you can have access to everything and everybody.
Sian Jones

Sian Jones

Published 29th Jan 2024

Sian is Editor Modern Barber and Deputy Editor Hairdressers Journal International. She has over ten years’ experience writing for print publications covering Youth & Children, TV & Entertainment and Lifestyle. Sian graduated with a degree in journalism, and whilst studying was nominated for the Guardian Digital Journalist of the Year award in 2011.

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