Cutting in Extreme Locations with Jon Dryer

Published 15th Mar 2024 by Josie Jackson

We chatted to barber Jon Dryer about some of the most memorable locations he's cut hair, and where he would like to go next...

How did your career start?

 





I had odd jobs growing up, but I knew I needed to get a real career. I knew I didn’t want to do anything that involved being behind a desk all day. I had some friends who were hairdressers and saw they were having a lot of fun – and I thought: I want what they’re having! I wanted to enjoy every working day. And I have done just that for 15 years, I genuinely love every single day. I think you can shape a hairdressing and barbering career your way. I trained at TONI&GUY – and that embeds a certain mentality into you. I worked at two TONI&GUY’s – one in Brighton and then Haywards Heath and learnt the fundamentals. I was with them for 11 years and I made it to a premier stylist, but I knew I wanted to see what the world outside of that sphere looked like. Now I can do the haircut clients want, but I like to break the rules a bit. I think rules are there to be broken.


Where are you now?






I’m now based in The Barber Shop Lewes, in Sussex. I can come and go as I please and work after hours if I want to – my boss is extremely flexible. The hair studio is in Riverside, a collection of independent businesses that sits right on the high street. We’re so close to the river, I can splash the water! After the pandemic the Lewes population changed, with more city people moving out to the countryside. People have a very distinctive look here - they have holes in their clothes, but they pay with a Coutts bank card! The children look like they’re from Medieval times, we have things like the Battle of Lewes, raft races... it’s never normal here. It suits me perfectly.

Jon Dryer


Why do you do haircuts in extreme places?






Doing haircuts in weird places was a strategy. It is hard to make someone outside of the industry watch a hairdressing video. If you want to grab someone’s attention – it has to be a big transformation. I love that when you travel you make new connections, gather new stories and I loved bringing them back to the barbershop. If I’m interested in going to a place, I think about how can I cut hair there.

What is the most memorable place you have cut hair?






My favourite place that I’ve ever cut hair was at a secret waterfall in Iceland. It was hard to get to, plus I had a small chair strapped to my front. We had to go over stepping stones that were wobbly, make a leap of faith over water, cross a snowy canyon – you get the picture. I actually dropped the chair in some water, and my poor friend sat on a wet chair. After the haircut we got back to the van and I realised I left something behind. The friend came back with me – and he fell in. The experiences that I get to have are mad. I will say that cutting hair in -15°C is not that easy. You lose feeling in your hands, instead you have to follow the sound of the haircut. I actually did a blind folded haircut once (it wasn’t my best work...)

Jon Dryer


What's next for Jon Dryer?






I did a haircut last week on a cliff edge. It was meant to be at a lighthouse but we needed a ladder to get to it, so settled with the cliff. There’s an island in Kent that has sound mirrors from WW2 on it that I’ve got my eye on next. I’m also going to go back to Finland to find the Northern Lights - I sat there until 2am and didn’t see them, I felt cheated! I’m in talks with the product brand Byrd, to do a haircut at The Wave in Bristol. I don’t spend much time sitting down, I’ve always got plans and now the weather is more friendly it’s great. I feel the pressure of cutting hair in new places in winter, but then summer comes and that means more adventures. I’ve got a trip with some Instagram travel influencers coming up in Germany – so stay tuned for that. I love my job, it’s still all about having fun.

To see more of the incredible locations Jon Dryer has cut in, why not check him out on Instagram?

Speaking of cutting in extreme locations, check out the barber who completed a cut at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Josie Jackson

Josie Jackson

Published 15th Mar 2024

Josie supports the team with content for the print magazine, website and social media channels at HJ. Having grown up in a salon environment (thanks to her hairdresser mum) and even working as a Saturday girl before getting her degree in English Literature, Josie feels right at home in the industry. Although she’s experimented with a few creative colour looks in the past, she always comes back to blonde, and loves all things hydrating and bond building.

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