It’s been a big year for WAHL Education & Artistic Team member Carl Taylor, from winning WAHL British Barber of the Year in October 2019 to opening his first shop during lockdown.
HOW HAS LOCKDOWN BEEN FOR YOU?
For me it has been challenging, but at the same time nice to reflect and have time to spend real, quality time with my loved ones. It’s allowed me time to plan various ideas and shape my dreams, like time to plan for my shop I have just opened and allowed me to save money as I wasn’t going out – which was quite helpful! So, lockdown has had its up and downs with me, like for most people out there.
HOW WAS OPENING A SHOP DURING LOCKDOWN?
Opening up a shop in lockdown has been challenging. I’ve had to temporarily close the shop due to lockdown 2.0, after only being open for 5 days which was hard. Planning my shop during lockdown gave me time to focus on how I wanted the shop to look, planning my marketing for the shop and social media but I didn’t expect this second lockdown. I do miss my shop and can’t wait to get back into it and cut. To be fair, I think it’s the best time to open up a shop in this time, because everyone is out supporting each other, supporting local businesses.
To any barbers looking to open a shop in lockdown, my advice would be to really take the time to plan. Time is going to be your best friend here and save as much reserved money as possible in-case of another lockdown – always best to be prepared!
WHAT HAS LIFE BEEN LIKE SINCE WINNING WAHL BRITISH BARBER OF THE YEAR?
Firstly, winning WAHL British Barber of the Year was the best thing to happen in my career for me personally, especially winning on its 100 year anniversary! Other than opening my own shop, I was very busy with WAHL for the first couple of months in the new year of 2020 but that was cut short by COVID19. We had amazing things planned while I was British Barber of the Year… but I am now part of the WAHL Education & Artistic Team, so I know I will have plenty of opportunities with Wahl and looking forward to next year.
WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT FOCUS?
All I’m working on at the moment is my barbershop making it the best shop I can make it. I’m focusing on my work and constantly improving my skill set, as I plan to be the best barber in the world. Sounds laughable but that’s my dream and the way I see it if people don’t laugh at your dreams, you’re not dreaming big enough.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE BARBERING INDUSTRY?
I think for the first time in a while our industry is really pulling together. People are forgetting all about egos and being in competition with one another. We are all in the same boat with what’s going on at the moment. Especially with people struggling with mental health issues, which is so important. It’s really nice seeing barbers and shops coming together supporting barbers and the hair community.
WHAT’S INSPIRING YOU AT THE MOMENT?
Some that’s inspiring me, honestly, is people having the confidence going out there on their own and opening up their own shop. I never understood the risk and the bravery of doing it, starting from fresh. Anyone doing this definitely inspires me.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?
Well, I’m working on my own product line. I’ll soon be doing education at the shop and I hope to start doing online education.
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO WAHL TOOL?
I have 3:
The WAHL Cordless Super Taper – this clipper is such a work horse it’s an all-round clipper for bulk removal and great clipper.
The WAHL Cordless Senior for me personally is the best clipper for fades. So sharp, precise and powerful.
The WAHL Cordless Detailer Li gives you the best sharp edges to frame your haircut. It’s perfect to blend between foil and 0 line. Powerful, precise and sharp – you can’t get a better trimmer.
My tip for these tools is, because they are so precise, be really gentle and work carefully so you don’t create any lines. You don’t want to be pushing hard because the tools are so easy to use, it’s always the best technique when using tools.
You can always book to do a fade course with WAHL , I’ve done a course myself a while back and I learnt so much about fading and about the tools themselves.
WHAT TRENDS HAVE YOU BEEN SEEING RECENTLY?
I’ve been doing a lot recently are crops that are loner through the back and a short blunt fringe with a skin fade, to create a more contrasting image.
My WAHL tools have helped with these cuts because I know them like the back of my hand and I know what tools to use on each hair type. This is every important, for example, even though the Cordless Magic Clip and Cordless Senior have the same back blade (fade blade), the cutting blade is different. The Senior has standard cutting blade perfect for thick dark hair, the Magic Clip has a crunch blade perfect for finer lighter hair. Knowing your tools will always help you with your haircuts.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE TO SHARE?
My words of wisdom to barbers/hairdressers is one thing: keep learning. You’ll never stop learning in this industry, techniques are forever changing and improving. New tools are always coming out and you’ll need to know how to use them. There will be new hair styles and need to learn how to cut them. You always want to be confident if any client asks for a new style, and so there’s always room to learn.
WHO HAS HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
Someone who has always helped me in my career is Alan beak and I’ll always be thankful to that man! He has helped me with stage work, advising on how to be confident and gave me so much advice when it came to opening my shop. Everything from registering with HMRC to putting product in the shop, to interior of the shop.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE QUOTE?
My favourite quote is: “If people don’t laugh at your dreams, you’re not dreaming big enough.”
WHO DO YOU FOLLOW FOR INSPIRATION?
Alan Beak @alan_beak
Kevin Luchmun @kevinluchmun