If your shop is in any city, large town or metropolitan area in the UK then it’s likely that the full range of male hair texture will step through your door each day. Coarse hair, thick fine hair, wavy hair, curly hair, afro hair – mastering texture is one of the marks of a good barber and creates outstanding results.
Taking time over the consultation is massively important. Hayley Wallace of Bucks Barbers in Hoxton (bucksbarbers.co.uk) enjoys the variety of texture and says “Always ask what it is about their hair that bothers them. That way you can focus on those key points.” Just taking a moment to look and feel the hair, as well as talking with the client gives the barber a lot of info. Robert Braid of Braids Barbers (braidsbarbers.co.uk) says “I look at how the hair sits and see where the hair has too much weight and thickness. You also need to find out whether the customer wants something really solid or something with more movement and then find out what they like about their texture. Some people want to accentuate their waves and curls and others just want it really slick and straight.”
You’ve got the tools and you’ve got the techniques but which one do you choose? Kade Kut of Image Barbers in Bedford (@KadeKut) is NHF Barber of the Year and Barber of the Year at the Black Beauty Awards. He’s a master with the toughest and most fragile texture of all and says “You have to pay attention to the direction of growth because if you don’t you can easily take out chunks and make a mistake. For afro clients only use a pair of decent outliners for the hairline as a razor can bring up bumps.”
There’s that section of the population that want the volume and texture but nature just didn’t provide, so if the hair is thick in diameter Robert offers the following advice. “If it’s really thick start by thinning it at the roots then tipping into the top and then razoring the ends.” And if it’s fine straight hair he adds “Be careful. Razoring will just shred the ends and leave it flyaway. You need go slowly and start by just tipping into the hair about a quarter down the length.”