At Salon International this year the line up for the Modern Barber stage was a game-changer for the barbering community.
Master barbers and trendsetters from across the globe took to the stage across the weekend, showcasing their skills. We were joined by our host Danny Robinson, and co-host Natalie Cresswell on Saturday 14 October as Danny takes to the stage himself.
Salon International brought together like-minded professionals, providing a golden opportunity to network with industry leaders and peers. Whether you’re a seasoned barber or an aspiring hairstylist, the Modern Barber Stage at Salon International was a must-see event.
Saturday 14 October
10.30 – 11.10 Deone Luke
11.15 – 11.55 Keri Blue
12.00 – 12.40 Carl Taylor
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
16.30 – 17.00 Haircuts4Homeless
Day 1 round up:
First act of the day Deone Luke produced a beautiful curly hairstyle, that was dried with a diffuser and faded to perfection. Keri Blue crafted a mini mullet live on stage and talked about their pioneering work with their education Human First that helps create safer spaces with more diversity. Meanwhile Carl Taylor and the Taylor Male Image barbers focused heavily on fading to create a really digestible step by step for the audience.
On stage with The Lions Barber Collective, Jack, aka @diamondjackcuts, explained: "We're not therapists and we don't want to be. It's all about directing clients towards the best services for them." Tracey, aka @traceyladybarbermangan, agreed, adding: "We're not just barbers, we're people, and we can help people." Tom Chapman, founder of The Lions Barber Collective, expanding on the training they deliver, sharing: "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, its 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."
Meanwhile Fella Hair were showcasing 'The Signature Collection', which features 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."
Host Danny also took to the stage to discuss upselling and VIP services. While he demonstrated this with face masks and eye masks on the stage, highlight their ease and simplicity, he added: "It could also be brushes, combs or clips. By adding these on to your services, you could earn an extra £1,000 a month – that could cover your rent."
Sunday 15 October
10.30 – 11.10 Hairforce1, Anderson Boyce
11.15 – 11.55 Cresswell Barber Co.
12.00 – 12.40 SliderCuts
12:45 - 13.25 Simon Shaw and Mic Damiano
13.30 – 14.10 Barber A-ROD
14.15 – 14.55 Barber josh.o.p
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, Teddy Edwards
Day 2 round up:
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 as he talked us 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. Visitors witnessed the beginning, middle and end of the entire process whilst Natalie and Rob shared their experience of transforming client's lives and the impact of hairloss on mental health.
Manifesto brought their new collection to Salon International in the form of a photographic documentary filmed at Heart of Soul in Peckham whilst the team talked through three different, wearable 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 haircut, using their Clean Label products to get the look.
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, Kitch London
14.35 – 15.15 Ian Harrold
15.20 – 16.00 Kevin Luchmun and Hayden Cassidy
Day 3 round up:
JJ Savani was first up on Monday, who gave us 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.
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 Awards
The Modern Barber Awards, which recognises the most exceptional barbers in the industry, also took place at #Salon23, on Sunday 15 October. To find out who this year’s winners are click here.