Behind The Chair With a Ruffians Educator

Ruffians Educator Jake Murphy

Jake Murphy is an Internal Educator at Ruffians, we spoke to him about all things barbering, inspiration, and what the future holds.

How did you get into the barbering industry?

I always knew I wanted to be a barber, which is why I didn’t try very hard at school. I was turned down for an apprenticeship I applied for when I was 16, so I put my dreams of hair on the back burner until I reached my early 20s and discovered the London School of Barbering. Thankfully, I spent my time saving up my money and was able to jump straight into the next available course.

Who was your inspiration when you were starting out?

Chris Foster was the first barber I remember latching on to, and I was devouring all of his content I could find in the days before Instagram. I remember watching his tutorial on creating a flat-top repeatedly in my mate’s front room and spending hours trying to get it right. A couple of years later, I was lucky enough to work with the man himself and was too nervous to pick his brain which I regret!

Ruffians launched their education programme in 2019. How did that come together and what was your involvement as Internal Educator?

At Ruffians, we hold ourselves to a high standard, which we always try to elevate whenever we can. As an Internal Educator, I make sure that bar never slips. With my fellow Educators, we put together a programme to share our collective knowledge, covering every possible aspect of the industry, and felt it was only fair to share.

What do you find most rewarding about educating up and coming barbers?

Sharing is caring. I have taught outside of barbering and I’ve yet to find a more rewarding feeling than when someone just ‘gets it’. Finding a fledgling barber with the same passion I have is something that I can’t help but nurture. My last trainee, Allington Sirak Kebede, won Modern Barber’s Apprentice of the Year, and being honest, I cried when I found out.

What makes the Ruffians education programme stand out?

There are endless amounts of ‘hair fundamentals’ out there, so I proposed aiming at a different market: for the barbers who have been cutting hair for years but want to delve deeper into the theory of shapes and colour, or to expand their knowledge on how to cut and care for afro and textured hair. With the continuous melding of ‘hairdressing’ and ‘barbering’, it is important to be able to tackle whatever comes into your chair.

Finally, what does the future hold for you?

The future holds a few shoots, and hopefully the return to stage work beside my award-winning ex-trainee. In terms of the long run, I hope to revolutionise the industry a little bit!