Phil Jarman recently visited Turkey, having been invited by the Turkish National Hair and Beauty Salons Federation to cut hair on stage at a show. The purpose of the trip? To raise money for barbershops and hairdressing salons which lost not just their businesses, but also their livelihoods and families in the earthquake that struck in February 2023.
Phil shares: “It was touching to meet the people who were involved, not just in the clear up and lifting people out of the rubble, but people who were trapped in the rubble for three or four days themselves, or had lost a family member.
“Normally when I go abroad for work, I get paid for doing it, but it was a no-brainer to pay everything myself in this instance. I wanted to pay my flights, pay to be there, pay to be on stage; I also wanted to make a donation on top of that, towards trying to help people back to normal – although for many of them, life will never be normal again. I don’t think many of us really understood the devastation the earthquake caused. Being there myself was a real eye-opener.
“It’s always very satisfying to do some good or to give back to the industry. I think sometimes we can all take, take, take rather than give something, so I’m very grateful to have given my time, my support and share my knowledge, too.”
As Head of Education for Gamma UK, Phil is used to teaching others, however, he was able to learn a lot from the barbers he met, explaining: “The standard of barbering in Turkey is very high and I was really impressed with how talented all the barbers were. To be a barber in Turkey, and to have your own barbershop, you need all the qualifications. While we as an industry value qualifications here in the UK, legally anyone can work in a barbershop, which isn’t the case in Turkey. I’ve visited a lot of countries where you need a licence to cut hair, and the difference in standards is massive. The high standard of barbering in their industry is very different to the reputation Turkish barbers have here.”
Reflecting on the trip, Phil adds: “It was a real pleasure to be there and support the cause. They even gave me a plaque, symbolising honorary Turkish barber status, which was incredible – I was the only UK barber invited to be there, so I was very touched. To be able to represent myself, the Phil Jarman Acadamy, Gamma UK and Matakki Scissors was incredible.”
When discussing the Phil Jarman Academy, congratulations is in order, having been announced as a finalist at the Modern Barber Awards 2023 for Best Training. “I’m absolutely delighted to make it through to the finals,” Phil shares. “The other training providers in the category are all talented. We’ve got a mutual respect for each other, so it’s nice to be recognised for my work and to be in the running.”
While the Modern Barber Awards in October are certainly on Phil’s mind, he also has a lot of other work lined up to keep him busy in the meantime. “After 35 years in the industry, a lot of people would think I would be winding down and doing less, but I’m in my prime now. I’ve got some shows coming up in Saudi Arabia and Las Vegas, and I’ve got a 15-night tour in the UK with Capital Hair & Beauty, but first and foremost I’ll be representing my own academy.”
With so many exciting projects in the pipeline, what does Phil have to say about his success? “I believe real success is infectious. If you’re around someone who’s genuinely buzzing about what they’re doing, I think it makes a huge difference. It’s all about surrounding yourself with the right people. Being on a stage doesn’t make me any greater. I’m on stage because I value education, I think it’s so important, and by being on stage I can pass on that knowledge.”