For our latest issue of 15 Minutes Magazine, we sat down with barber Tommy from renowned barbershop Ruffians to get all the ins and outs about what it’s like to be a professional barber and what the latest trends are in the grooming world.
Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you become a professional barber?
I started three years ago. Before that, I was at uni but didn’t know what I wanted to do. The only place I loved when I was growing up was the barber shop; I would go once a week. I wondered if I could do it, so I enrolled in a course at London School of Barbering. My interest turned into a passion/ borderline obsession and I’ve been completely in love with the industry ever since.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
It’s got to be the people! From the barbers to the front of house team, but most importantly the clients. I’ve built what I would consider genuine friendships with my guys and catching up on what they’ve been up to between haircuts is always a pleasure.
What are your favourite grooming products?
For hair, it’s the Ruffians Styling Paste. It’s an extremely versatile product; you can put it into wet hair before blow drying as a pre-styler, or it can be used as a finishing product for a more natural finish. For beards, I love Beard Balm Detroit. It has a great manly scent that’s not too overbearing and it‘s easy to apply. For shaving, I love Arko shave soap. It’s very traditional and smells incredible but most importantly the consistency of the soap is great. I use this with the addition of a pre-shave oil for the best results.
What would you say is your signature haircut?
I’d say that at the moment it would be more on the classic side of things: a short back and sides will never go away. With my clients we’ve started to step away from the skin fade on the back and sides and going for a softer finish. The top now has a much more manageable length so it can be worn messier than before.
Finally, tell us a bit about your morning routine. How do you make sure you start your day right?
I always like to get up and do things at a leisurely pace. I hate feeling rushed, so I get up and the first thing I do is stick the speakers on. I’m lucky because my brother leaves earlier for work so I can listen to what I want as loud as I want! Once I’ve showered I’m good to go — with headphones in of course. At work, I’ll fix myself a drink then I will start maintaining all my equipment, something I do at the start and end of my day — it’s so important for the longevity of the tools that we use daily. Then I look at my schedule to see who I’m cutting that day. I usually have some time to spare so I sit outside the shop for a bit of fresh air and wait for my first gent.