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Course to help hair professionals get ahead

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Expressed enthusiasm: Kisha Hinds, of Dodd’s Barber Shop, sees the class as an opportunity to sharpen skills and techniques and keep up with current styles and looks (Photograph supplied)

It’s the first of its kind for Bermuda: a certificate course for people who style short hair.

Barbers, hairdressers, even people considering entering the trade are welcome. The class is being held today, in the BIU Building on Union Street, from 10am until 5.30pm.

Organiser Ozzie Hinds, owner of The Salon Store, said the idea is to help people up their game.

“The class will focus on finer techniques,” said the industry veteran of 24 years. “It’s all about refining your technique with razors, with clippers, with trimming shears. It’s an opportunity also to network — an important aspect of what we do as an industry — and enhance your level of professional performance.

“I hope out of it comes a stronger association of local professionals. Everybody benefits. It helps raise the standards, it helps with pricing, it’s an opportunity to start something, not unlike what Government has done with [the trades]. It’s a chance for young people to come and train.”

There are between 85 and 110 professionals devoted to men’s grooming on the island. Roughly one-third have signed up for today’s course, a collaboration between The Salon Store and L’Oreal International.

Among the things on offer: new ways to achieve a clipper cut; tips on how to cut straight hair; how to do a better fade on all hair types; how to market salons to a male clientele; how to create more revenue from product retail; and the latest cuts, colour and finishing trends.

George Joao, a Redken international artist with more than 20 years’ experience, will lead the course. He will be assisted by Javier Colon, a top L’Oreal educator from Puerto Rico.

“The reality is we live in a very transient age,” said Mr Hinds, who also owns the Ja’Nauzis salons on King and Front Streets. “I’m not just talking about people moving, I’m talking about people who want to recreate their looks. There’s a growing population who want to be trendy, who want to look like football stars, movie stars, who are motivated by popular culture. This is geared to show the industry that there are some options that we can utilise to enhance what we’re doing.

“No person can say they’re proficient in every aspect of hairdressing. The exciting thing is [it will help people serve] different ethnic groups and hair textures. There are a variety of needs to get a look depending on whether you’re cutting straight hair, curly hair; mixed race, mixed textures. No one cap fits all. I can guarantee that any barber or hairdresser on island will benefit.”

Helen Stirling, from The Cutting Room, started out cutting women’s hair but found men’s more her “forte”.

“I studied in a unisex salon but I really learnt from being in a barbershop with five other guys,” she said. “I think this is going to open us to a few things. We all have our challenges. When you’re working with different textures of hair, the same cut can come out different.

“I’ve been doing hairdressing for 35 years and every day I learn from something, even from the younger barbers. I’m excited to learn from these guys.”

Kisha Hinds, of Dodd’s Barber Shop, was equally enthusiastic. Although her instructors “touched on barbering”, the focus was hairdressing when she was trained.

She signed up for today’s class because it was an opportunity “to sharpen my skills and techniques and keep up with current styles and looks”.

According to Mr Hinds, it’s likely no one held a certificate course here before because “most people were doing all right”.

“The beauty industry is one of those that has got along over the years by itself,” he said. “It benefited from a good economy and a high percentage of locals, expats and foreigners patronised their businesses.

“We have many professionals who still feel that way — people who think they don’t need anything, that they’re doing great. I think every individual can do better but there has to be that sense of awareness. The potential for enhancing one’s earnings for those plying this trade is far beyond what is present in the Bermuda market. There are many challenges from the economic downturn and stiff competition among the salons and barber shops but the possibilities for growth, diversification and evolution to a more lucrative and fulfilling trade is stymied by a lack of awareness, ongoing education and industry cohesiveness.

“The Salon Store is Bermuda’s premier beauty industry resource providing products, professional services, equipment and beauty industry consulting for many facets of the personal care industry [but] at the forefront of its services is education. We’re committed to ongoing education. It’s not something we have locally. I’m a salon owner as well and see the deficit in the market for education. Some see training overseas as prohibitive so with The Salon Store we bring educators here and do workshops. The challenge is getting people to start doing what they’re not used to.”

For more information or tickets: 295-0177 or info@salonitems.com

Certificate course: Salon and store owner, Ozzie Hinds, brings beauty industry education to the island’s professionals (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Barbershop lessons: Helen Stirling, from The Cutting Room, said she had learnt a lot about cutting men’s hair during her career, and she supports today’s course (Photograph supplied)