The Modern Barber Stage at Salon International 2023

Published 27th Sep 2023 by Sian Jones
This year the line up for the Modern Barber stage at Salon International 2023 was a game-changer for the barbering community. We had an outstanding lineup on the Modern Barber Stage, where the spotlight shone on some of the most exciting talent in the industry.

Master barbers and trendsetters from across the globe took to the stage across the weekend to showcase their skills. We were joined by our host Danny Robinson, and co-host Natalie Cresswell on Saturday 14 October while Danny took to the stage himself. This year the Modern Barber Stage was an unmissable experience with cutting-edge techniques from experienced barbers who have helped elevate the industry to rising stars who are redefining the craft - each barber brought a unique perspective and a wealth of expertise that is second to none.

Kicking off the weekend, Deone Luke produced a dimensional, curly hairstyle, dried with a diffuser and faded to perfection. Keri Blue crafted a mini mullet live on stage and talked about their education Human First, helping create safer spaces with more diversity. Later on, Tom Chapman, founder of The Lions Barber Collective, spoke about the training they deliver: "It's a four hour session that gives people the skills to go out and recognise the symptoms of mental health, and how to listen with empathy. As hairdressers, it's estimated that we spend 2,000 hours a year listening to people, so we should be good at it anyway! And when it comes to mental health, listening is a crucial skill."

Fella Hair showcased 'The Signature Collection', featuring six looks: The Rockstar, The Fro, The Business, The Slick, The Mod and The Casual. Bobby Gordon, owner of Fella Hair, explained the looks in further detail. Touching on The Casual, he said: "It's a take on a classic look from the 80s – we've started to see a comeback of looks from this era. Whether we like it or not, the skinfade is not going anywhere." He also spoke about the training and ethos at Fella, adding: "We get our barbers to start understanding fashion; as barbers we're trendsetters, so we need to understand the whole look."


Hairforce1 were first up on day two. Anderson Boyce was joined by three young barbers from his shop who cut three different hair types on stage and talked through the importance of education, understanding all hair types from Asian to European and Afro hair and the importance of a detailed client experience from start to finish. Natalie Cresswell and the team from Cresswell Barber Co. teamed up with Rob Wood, director of Novo Cabelo, as they demonstrated the hair replacement service for the first time on the Modern Barber stage.

Manifesto showcased a photographic documentary to their audience, presenting their new collection while the team talked through three different, salon-friendly styles for you to take back to the salon. Finally, Brad Fearn, Billy Coles and Stefan Clark presented the three most popular services at the Murdock London stores - beard shape, wet shave and on-trend haircuts, using their Clean Label products to get the look.

On the third and final day, JJ Savani began with an in-depth demonstration and breakdown of the classic fade, pausing to talk through the tools he was using and the differences between them. Joining JJ was Kirpal "Kip" Khaira and Vinay Lakhatariya, who shared his technique for freestyle designs: he begins the fade, etches his pattern out and then completes the fade, using this time to enhance certain areas.

Later, MaxOliver displayed three salon-friendly cuts, and talked us through the transition from barber to men's hair specialist. Brothers Max and Oliver explained to visitors how you can combine the key skills you learn in hairdressing, such as long-hair handling and sectioning, with the fundamentals of barbering to master this in-depth approach to cutting men's hair. They also discussed hot topics such as appointment durations and the popularity of the mullet.

Zamaine Ismail showcased a classic cut with a modern-feel taper on the side, taking off a lot of weight to provide shape and depth. The finished product was a natural style that flowed effortlessly and made for easy styling. Hayden Cassidy and Kevin Luchmun finished off the weekend with two engaging demonstrations. Hayden broke down the buzzcut and let members of the audience test her favourite tools, while Kevin crafted a textured, tapered mullet. Hayden and Kevin were an amazing asset to Salon International 2023, appearing on the Artist Spotlight stage, Modern Barber stage and at the Andis stand, ready to educate visitors and demonstrate their tools.

The Modern Barber Stage was a must-see spot, drawing in large crowds across the weekend. There was an outstanding level of education available to the Salon International audience of both seasoned barbers and aspiring talent, keen to engage and ask questions throughout the sessions.

The Modern Barber Stage at Salon International 2023 – In Pictures

Click on the images for a closer look…

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The Modern Barber Stage 2023

Saturday 14 October

10.30 - 11.10 - Deone Luke
11.15 - 11.55 - Keri Blue
12.00 - 12.40 - Carl Taylor, Curtis Burke and Connor Tookey
12.45 - 13.25 - George Smith
13.30 - 14.10 - Lions Barber Collective
14.15 - 14.55
- Fella Hair
15.00 - 15.40 - Danny Robinson
15.45 - 16.25 - Kevin Luchmun and Hayden Cassidy
16.30 - 17.00
- Haircuts4Homeless

Sunday 15 October

10.30 - 11.10 - Hairforce1, Anderson Boyce
11.15 - 11.55 - Natalie Cresswell and Cresswell Barber Co.
12.00 - 12.40 - SliderCuts, Mark Maciver
12:45 - 13:25 - Simon Shaw
13.30 - 14.10 - Barber A-ROD
14.15 - 14.55 - Barber josh.o.p with Tony Forrest and Chris Bossio
15.00-15.40 - Kevin Luchmun and Hayden Cassidy
15.45 - 16.25 - Manifesto
16:30 - 17:10 - Alex Wood, Billy Coles and Brad Fearn
17.15 - 17.55
- Alex Burt

Monday 16 October

10:30 - 11:10 - JJ Savani
11.15 - 11.55 - MaxOliver
12.00 - 12.40 - Zamaine Ismail
12.45 - 13.25 - Barber A-ROD
13.50 - 14.30 - Scott Humphreys
14.35 - 15.15 - Ian Harrold
15.20 - 16.00 - Kevin Luchmun and Hayden Cassidy

The Modern Barber Awards

The Modern Barber Awards, which recognises the most exceptional barbers in the industry, will also take place on Sunday 15 October. To find out who this year's finalists are click here.

This event will be a chance for guests and finalists to come together to celebrate our winners and the achievements of the industry over the last 12 months. Tickets for both Salon International and the Modern Barber Awards are available online, so don't miss the chance to be there on the night!

Sian Jones

Sian Jones

Published 27th Sep 2023

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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