Friday, 10 October 2014 14:48:45 Europe/London
Monday, 10 June 2013 15:36:05 Europe/London
Sometimes Actors Have To Go For The Hair Clippers
When it comes to actors that shave their head, there are plenty of big names that have been wearing this look for a considerable period of time. You can have an actor like Bruce Willis who is synonymous with the shaven head look and then you have guys like Vin Diesel or Jason Statham who know that it is a major part of their box office appeal. Going back further in time you can have men like Yul Bryner or Telly Salavas who were as synonymous for their bald heads as they are for their great acting skills.
The thing is though, when you instinctively think of these men, you will picture them with limited hair and having made a conscious decision to shave their hair off on a full-time basis. There have been plenty of other men who have taken the plunge for a particular role or film. Sometimes it becomes almost synonymous with them and at other times it represents such a big deviation from what they are usually like that it causes most people to rethink their opinion on these actors. So, when actors take the plunge and decide to reach for the hair clippers and shave their head, you can rest assured they have thought it through carefully!
From mild dad to Walter White with a little help from clippers
One actor who has definitely had a reappraisal of his talents and merits in recent times is Bryan Cranston. Cranston was most commonly known as being the likable yet overshadowed dad in the Malcolm In The Middle TV show. This was a big role on a big show but it was when he played Walter White that Cranston really catapulted himself into the big time. Although he started his run as Walter White with hair, as the series progressed and for obvious reasons with the storyline, his character went for the shaved look and Cranston naturally obliged. Nowadays, Walter White is viewed as one of the classic TV characters and the combination of shaved head and goatee beard definitely help to create an iconic TV character that truly sticks in your mind. You may not have first thought of Bryan Cranston as being an actor that suits a shaved head but by the time Breaking Bad ends, you will struggle to think of him in any other way.
The Spy Who Shaved Himself
Another actor who has had a string of big roles but who decided to shave his head for a major part is Mike Myers. Myers has had a tremendous career and while many folk would have been delighted with the success he achieved in Wayne’s World, Myers knew that he had more big comedic hits in him. Thankfully he kept on going and with Austin Powers, Myers actually achieved bigger success than he had achieved with Wayne! Every spy and international man of mystery needs a nemesis and so it transpired that Austin Powers was to come up against Dr Evil. To add to the twist in the tale, Myers played Dr Evil as well and like a string of excellent Bond baddies, the character had a shaven head look. Myers decided to go for it at full pelt and he too took to the hair clippers to get himself properly prepared for the role of Dr Evil. Comedy fans all over the world have been delighted that he took such a bold move.
No matter what film you remember Matt Damon for; it is very unlikely that your first thoughts will be of him with a bald head. However, this is exactly the look that Damon took for Elysium, a sci-fi thriller. When you are such a major name like Damon is, it can be good to make these physical changes to test yourself and your audience but there is no doubt that many people will be delighted when he returns to his more standard look.
The same can be said for Jeff Bridges, an actor to be fair who has created a number of different looks and pulled off many different styles in his time. For his role as Obadiah Stane in the Iron Man movies, Bridges decided to go bald and he too went for the clippers. This was a massive move away from his look in The Big Lebowski but again, sometimes the big actor has to make some big changes in their look to be right for a certain role. Challenging yourself as an actor is a big thing and sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone. For big name actors, there is often no better way of doing this than by radically changing your look.Read More
Monday, 3 June 2013 13:45:21 Europe/London
When you pop into a local barber shop to have your hair styled in preparation for a big night out or to look your best, you may not give too much thought or consideration to the history of the barber profession. You may be surprised to know that there is a huge history involved with this profession and it hasn’t only been about cutting back. In certain times in history, you would be as likely to visit a barber with an illness or an ailment as you would in the hope of getting a short back and sides!
Historical evidence dating back to the Bronze Age, which is dated around 3500 BC in Ancient Egypt suggests that barbers equipment and razors were a large of the culture at the time. It is believed that barbers were actually medical men and high priests who provided assistance in removing evil spirits from people. It has to be remembered that this was a very different time with people believing very much in these elements. It was felt that if a person was possessed, the best way to rid a body of an evil spirit was to cut the body open and release the body that way. This was left to the barbers using their razors and sharp elements. Due to the fact that barbers were held in such high spiritual and religious regard, they often carried out ceremonies which are akin to weddings and baptisms. It is fair to say that the modern barber is very much removed from the Ancient Egyptian take on the profession but there are similarities that can be found which suggests it is a continuous line from this era to the modern day. The main cutting of the hair part of the process was carried out to symbolically close off the body to evil spirits.
Barbers had many different skills and talents
Barbers were also around in Ancient Greek times when men would visit a barber to have their beards, their hair and even their fingernails trimmed. If women think that they have been utilising the benefits of beauty salons for a number of decades, they have nothing on the length of time that men have been receiving these services! The Romans also placed a great emphasis on styling with a trip to the barber for a trim and shave being a huge part of social life in these times.
Over the years, barbers would perform tasks that are commonly associated with surgeons and dentists! It is widely believed that the red and white pole now commonly associated with barbers draws from this era. It is suggested that the red element of the pole would indicate that the professional would carry out the medical elements (red for the drawing of blood) while the white element stood for the barber element. Some more gruesome retellings of the evolution of the barber’s pole suggests that the practice developed from barbers airing the blood stained bandages outside their premises with the wind eventually wrapping them around a pole. This would lead to a red and white swirl effect, which of course is the modern day symbol for a barber.
The barber shop became the place to hang out
The modern day barber style started to filter in at the end of the 18th century but it was during the 19th century that the evolution of the modern barber shop took place. The barbers became a place where men would socialise and come to hear the latest news. Looking good was becoming increasingly important and many men were going to the barbers every week or every couple of weeks to ensure that their hair was neatly trimmed and looking sharp, and it is against this backdrop that the 20th century saw the rise of Wahl clippers, to become one of the leading pieces of barber's equipment.
At the end of the 19th century, a barber school opened up in Chicago and it was a rousing success. Branches of the school opened up across the US and there was a general level of teaching and capabilities of barber work across the US. It took around 30 years for the barber shop industry to become truly professional but the creation of standards and proper teaching were a huge factor in the professionalism of this industry.
Even though some people fear for the modern day barber industry, there is no doubt that there is still a huge demand for good quality haircuts and the best hair care products. Modern barbers have had to move with the times but at least now they only have to focus on cutting hair and not warding a body of evil spirits.
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 13:15:18 Europe/London
Sunday is traditionally a day of rest for many barbers after a long and industrious week but on Sunday the 12th of May, barbers from all over the United Kingdom were looking forward to a busy day. There hadn’t been a late rush on for haircuts and it wasn’t as though Girls Aloud or The Saturdays had said they were looking for dates with guys with great looking hair, it was down all to Barber Connect.
Barber Connect was the first every UK barber expo and it took place on the 12th of May in St David’s Hotel in Cardiff.
The main aim of the expo was to bring barbers together and ensure that barber work is seen as an industry in its own right. Beauty and grooming is a massive industry and important in people’s lives but it can be easy for some of the female elements to take centre stage. There is a huge interest in looking good and being styled to your best but when certain groups in the industry are being overlooked instead of others, there is nothing wrong with individual sectors of the group looking to make themselves heard and known about.
The Barber industry is crucial in the UK
The barber industry has been around for a very long time in the United Kingdom and for many people, it forms part of their weekly or monthly routine. This is why recognising the importance of the industry and helping to keep everyone involved in the industry up to date with what was going on and what was available was at the heart of the expo provided.
With respect to keeping up to date, barbers may struggle to stay on top of the latest hair products and services. Being a barber can be a busy and time-consuming work but it is an industry where staying close to the latest trends and fashions can make a massive difference in providing a high level of customer service. If customers are coming to your shop and are asking for hair care products, hair cut styles or they wish to look like a certain celebrity and you don’t know what they are talking about, you may find yourself losing business! This is why an expo like this is an important chance to ensure that everyone remains up to date with what is taking place in the industry.
Experts gave their opinion and advice
There were over 20 exhibitors, specially hand-picked by the organisers, who were on hand to show off the latest products and cutting edge hair clippers. While many of the traditional skills involved with being a barber are still very much in place, the products utilised during a haircut or styling session have changed a lot over the years. Better results can be obtained in a much shorter time period for barbers and these exhibitors were keen to show off how barbers could provide their customers with the products and services they require.
Some of the top exhibitors were also involved with seminars, giving greater insight into the current trends and products in the barber industry. Being able to see products in action or to hear the thinking and logic behind products or certain ways of working can always be of benefit. No matter what industry it is, getting the chance to hear from the top experts in the field is going to be of benefit to most people and the seminar events at Barber Connect were very well attended and very well thought of.
One thing about being a barber is that it can be difficult to converse with other barbers. If you have barbers in your local area, you may feel as though you are in competition with them and you don’t want to associate or socialise with them. The Barber Connect event provided a fresh opportunity to mingle and network with barbers who weren’t in direct competition with you. This provided the chance to share practices, ideas, common practices and just have a general talk about the industry. It can be good to know that there are other professionals going through the same trials and tribulations as yourself and the networking element of Barber Connect was a huge success.
After the expo and the seminars, the British Barber Association Award Ceremony took place. This enabled the event organisers to bring the event out of London while still providing the event to a large audience. The Student Awards and the Masters Awards were handed out before the evening made way to the Barber Connect party where guests could mingle, network and let their hair down at the end of a great event!Read More
Tuesday, 7 May 2013 16:08:44 Europe/London
Taper lever - Taper levers are situated on the side of hair clippers, conveniently placed to move with your thumb. The taper lever effectively allows you to change the length of cut without using graders, by sliding one of the hair clippers blades along the other. When the taper lever is at the highest position it will pull the top blade closer to the other on the hair clippers and result in a shorter cut. The taper lever is also very useful as if heavy cutting has jammed your hair clippers; you can simply push the level back and forth to remove any hair.
Power screw – Not all hair clippers have a power screw, however many professional models will have one. If your hair clipper does have a power screw, then it will already be set to optimum levels before leaving the factory. If you do find that you need to alter the power of your hair clippers, use a screwdriver or a thin coin to turn power screw in a clockwise direction until the arm strikes the coil, making a noise. Then, slowly turn power screw out (counter-clockwise), until noise stops. This is the maximum power setting.
Clipper Blades - Attached to the hair clippers motor is a piston that holds a set of small, sharpened blades, very similar to a comb with a set of teeth. The motor moves rapidly in a horizontal side to side motion when it is powered up and also a very slight vertical movement. This causes the hair clipper blades to move against each other very quickly which will cut the hair, and also ensures that the clipper blades will sharpen themselves.
Graders / attachment combs – All of hair clippers will come supplied with a number of attachment grades, sometimes called guards. These are attached to the hair clippers’ blades and either snap on or slide on. They are designed to vary the length of cut that will result from the clipper. The Attachment graders come in numbers, usually from 1 – 12, with a 1 being the shortest, approximately allowing a 3mm cut, and a grade 12 being the longest. This function is beneficial when cutting a "fade". Fade haircuts show a gradual taper of hair length on the sides of the head from an unlimited hair length at the top to almost bare skin on the sides.
Clipper Motors – Many hair clippers have different types of motor, which emit various amounts of power depending on the job that they are intended for. Many home use clippers will have magnetic motors which are ideal for occasional use and will provide a good quality cut at a reasonable price. Many professional hair clippers will have a pivot motor which is more powerful and great for frequent use. The most powerful hair clippers will have rotary motors, which are perfect for afro styling and for heavy duty cutting.Read More