WhatsUp DownUnder in April
WHATSUP DOWNUNDER with Australian Female Barbers
Welcome to the April Blog. I know you will all have enjoyed Easter and the re-opening of the trade from the 12th April is highly anticipated. I’ve been watching from here and can feel the emotion and the straining at the starting gate. While Australia has not experienced anything in comparison to the UK, we can imagine how you will feel with the reconnection and the return to what is a huge part of our trade – social contact. Being a barber means being a “people person” and it’s that person in the chair in front of us that not only allows us to create for them, but it also forms a bond that is beyond craftsperson and customer. We will all be thinking of you as restrictions are lifted.
Recent events here have seen an explosion of connection and support from our barbering and hair industry. Education is on the move and on the horizon with some of Australia’s best educators and events coming throughout 2021. Our annual major event, the Sydney Hair and Beauty Expo has been re-branded as “Hair Festival” @hair_festival and will be held this year over a full weekend in June. This event creates opportunities to shop, learn, compete and attend the evening gala events and awards. A multifaceted event that brings together all that the hair industry values. For all the info see the link in bio to their website. There is a full program, much more than I can list here, of Australia’s top brands, organisations and people for you to find and follow. And speaking of branding, look out for some of Australia’s best new products that will be highlighted in a new Award at Hair Festival for Best Product Category.
Australia’s annual event the Barber Expo @thebarberexpo created in 2019 by The Cutthroat Journal @thecutthroatjournal will be held in July this year in Newcastle, New South Wales. This event sees the Barber Brands International “Barber of the Year” competition, which brings Australia’s best under the microscope. A full day of workshops, product and services, education, music, food and the Proraso Beard and Moustache Competition, and leading industry speakers. Last year the event was canceled due to Covid restrictions but this year sees the green light and we can’t wait!! This is brilliant networking and connection opportunity for all who attend, in a chill and friendly party atmosphere.
Recent weeks have seen the “Re:Connect” Events travelling across Australia. A collaboration between the Jack Reed Foundation @jackreedfoundation, Area Academy @area_academy and Australian Female Barbers. The first 3 took place in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney with just under $12.000 raised for the JRF “99 New Beginnings” Project. This project will see Barbering Apprenticeships created for At-Risk and disadvantaged youth in our communities. The plan is to take these Re:Connect Events to all 7 capital cities in Australia before moving to regional centers in an ongoing circuit of Education with Area Academy @area_academy. Please like and follow to show your support. So much effort and planning go into these events and the results are outstanding. The sponsorship and support which is always valued by some of Australia’s best companies such as Osaka Scissors @osakascissors, Barber Brands International @barberbrandsinternational, Proraso Australia @prorasoaustralia, Salon Cosmetics @salon.cosmetics , Au Barber Strong @barberstrongau as well as Andis Clippers, Jameson Au and Atomic Beer Project for those necessary refreshments.
The coming together of like-minded people to do good is so overwhelmingly satisfying and fosters good relationships that stick. No ego is what I feel from so many of our industry people at the moment. I think that the state of the globe has brought us all to a level playing field in that regard, and if anyone still has their heads in the clouds with delusions of grandeur then remembering how quickly things can be taken away from us is a cure for that.
How good is it to see all the longer lengths and styling in our chairs. Razors and scissors slinging in the shops alongside clippers and razors are bringing some innovative styling that produces more lived-in hair rather than the overly producted and slicked down styles. Colour is exploding down here and I’m absolutely in love with it. Neutral mixes and neons, it’s all out there and not confined to one gender or age group. So good!! Another thing I love and have always done myself from the beginning of my own barbershop back in the late 80’s is genderless cutting. Any head of hair in your chair I say!! Hair is hair and as a barber, stylist, hairdresser or whatever you choose to call yourself, there is nothing better than mastering it no matter whose head it grows from. Mullets are, and have always been a part of the Aussie culture and have definitely taken a front seat in barbershops and salons all over the country. Girls and boys, men and women, sporting their best whip from the 70’s mullet to the layered shag, I love the return of these iconic cuts. Each shop weaves its local magic with its own take on them, it’s cracking fun whipping up a storm.
This blog‘s shoutouts go to three Mullet and Shag Queens.
Laura @laura.Spinney.creative one of the Fame Team 2019, a Delorenzo Educator, self-represented, genderless cutter who works from a safe space, A H Salon in Newtown, Sydney.
Emma the owner of @dreamboat_co rule-breaker, limit pusher, who prices her work based on service not gender, appointments only and “No bad shit”.
Sarah @sarahwall_industries Educator, Wahl Ambassador, Osaka Scissors Ambassador, Label M Ambassador, Street Edge, Short Hair, Barber, genderless cutter.
Hope you enjoy seeing their work. Each of these amazing women, who stand behind the chair, bring their own personalities through their styling and are seriously committed to their communities. Not only through the medium of hair, but also through charitable works and uplifting others who visit their spaces here Downunder.
Til next issue, wishing you all well for your return to your workplaces, stay safe, and cheers from the Colonies.
Collette Saunders @collettecutthroats