Leah Hayden Cassidy (discover her on Instagram as Hayden_Cassidy) is an Irish barber understanding of Berlin. After simply three years chopping hair she’s executed a lot that it’s tough to know the way greatest to explain her. Suffice to say that her barbershop work has lined all the pieces from fades to shaves to afro cuts, whereas she’s additionally claimed victory in barber battles, taken to the stage and appeared in magazines. It was an actual pleasure to have her within the interview chair.
The trail much less travelled
While you first meet Leah, it’s instantly clear that she’s not any individual who could be happy resting on her laurels. It’s no shock that she took a path much less travelled into barbering, educating herself the commerce after her authentic dream – turning into a footballer – fell aside due to a foul leg harm:
“I needed to rethink principally my complete life. It was laborious initially – I had quite a few jobs together with being a dance teacher. I additionally did bar jobs… any job, you identify it.” After this, she fell into barbering accidentally, when Conor Taaffe determined to let her give it a go and preferred what he noticed. “He stated hear, you’ll be able to maintain the clippers nicely, as quickly as they have been in your hand it was snug. Did you take pleasure in it? I did take pleasure in it, so I made a decision to take it from there.”
Armed with only a fundamental set of clippers, Leah began her new profession by chopping hair each time she might discover the time. The journey took her to Ryan Cullen’s salon, the place she swept the ground while watching Ryan and Conor work and falling in love with the trade extra by the second. Her initiation got here as Conor handed her a primary pair of scissors, and he or she hasn’t seemed again:
“I discovered that very same ardour and love which I’d present in soccer and didn’t assume I used to be going to seek out once more. I turned hooked on the trade.”
Speaking her technique to the highest
Whereas there’s no doubting Leah’s expertise, she additionally began out with a whole lot of bravado – blagging her first barbershop position:
“I went in and stated I’ve been chopping hair for some time, will you give me an opportunity. He stated ‘I inform you what, are available on New Yr’s Eve and you’ll have a trial.’ Trying again now I don’t even know the way I obtained by way of it. I used to be simply chopping hair and speaking to shoppers as if I’d been within the trade for five years. On the finish he simply laughed and stated ‘it’s apparent you haven’t been doing this some time however I’ll offer you an opportunity and take you on as a junior barber.’”
Regardless of being again originally by way of a profession, Leah was lastly doing one thing that she lived once more. She stayed in her first job for six months – and you’ll nonetheless see the early cuts preserved for posterity on her Instagram web page. Ultimately, she moved on to Demon barbershop, one other Dublin barbershop, and an opportunity to take issues to the following degree.
There was nonetheless loads of alternative to be taught and develop, although, and Leah began to get itchy ft. This took her to a brand new problem in a very totally different nation, after Miguel invited her to affix him on the Nomad Barber in Berlin:
“He’s wonderful. He was one of many first barbers I really adopted on-line. I watched all his movies, they usually helped me to be taught. I used to be amazed by him, nonetheless to today he’s a really inspiring barber to me. He contacted me and stated he was establishing this store in Berlin and requested if I used to be . I knew this was the route that I wanted to take with my profession – two weeks later I jumped on a aircraft and began working within the Nomad.
“It took me into a complete different world I bear in mind the primary time I sat within the store, it was my first day. Miguel was in the midst of a shave and I used to be in awe. It was really just like the blade was connected to his hand. It introduced just a little fireplace into me.”
Long run Larry the Barber Man followers may have definitely seen Miguel interviewed right here prior to now – you probably have then you definately’ll know simply how inspiring he might be. After talking to Leah, although, it’s additionally no shock to listen to that she finally began getting itchy for one more new problem:
“I used to be there a yr and I felt like I had executed what I got down to do. I wasn’t prepared to depart Berlin, however I felt I used to be simply too snug in what I used to be doing. I wished to get myself on the market and be taught one thing else. A shopper I had who’s a barber in England instructed me that he’d been to the London barber faculty, after which he’d executed a hairdressing course, then labored at a Turkish barbershop for some time, then an Afro barbershop for some time and so forth. Then he opened up his personal store. It obtained into my head, that’s the best way to do it: throw your self within the deep.”
This took her to Ebony and Ivory, an enormous salon in Berlin specialising in afro hair: “There was such a buzz. Should you’ve seen the film barbershop then you definately’ll know, it’s a correct group.” But once more there was just a little little bit of blagging concerned, as Leah bigged up her minimal Afro expertise to ensure she might land an unbelievable studying alternative.
Taking to the stage
It’s a testomony to Leah’s ability and work ethos that she managed to excel on this afro chopping atmosphere with out a lot prior expertise – not least as a result of it’s extremely tough to chop afro hair should you don’t have the method. Not content material to easily lower nicely, although, Leah took to the stage of an underground Berlin membership to take part in a barber battle. No prize for guessing what occurred subsequent:
“I used to be up there with three different barbers. I solely knew a handful of individuals, I used to be the one feminine barber there and these have been all afro barbers. I might see everybody type of considering… who is that this? However it was nice going into that atmosphere, I simply went up there, obtained on stage and lower this drunk man’s hair. I had 20 minutes, and I did the haircut. Then it was the group that selected the winner – whoever obtained probably the most screams gained. They left me till final, and I swear I’ve by no means heard my identify screamed that a lot!”
However Leah isn’t any stranger to getting up on stage, as she’s additionally executed academic shows and performances at a variety of totally different occasions:
“My first present was really on the Nice British Barber Bash. Alan Beak was type of pushing to get me up there, which was nice as a result of I didn’t imagine a lot in myself on the time – I’d solely been chopping for a few yr. It was wonderful, however nerve-wracking as nicely. I feel my fingers shook for the entire 45 minutes. I’m fairly used to speaking to a crowd, it doesn’t hassle me. That present was semi-successful, and I used to be requested to do increasingly more – London, Glasgow once more, Amsterdam, Eire. It’s so good to get on stage and vibe with different barbers”.
Paying it forwards
We’ve talked quite a bit about Leah’s expertise and expertise – it’s additionally necessary to level out simply how pleasant and welcoming she is. This comes throughout in her barbering philosophy, which is all about giving one thing again:
“No matter you achieve your self, give it again out. I’m presently within the course of of constructing YouTube tutorials. I’m flying again tomorrow and going to begin filming – I simply wish to create a tutorial that’s just a little bit artistic. I’m self-taught, so I at all times say: how I do issues, it’s not proper and it’s not flawed. It’s simply the best way I do it.” You’ll be capable to discover these movies underneath the identify Hayden Cassidy Hair.
So after three very totally different years in barbering, what has been Leah’s favorite problem?
“What I’m doing now. Seeing a complete totally different kind of hair and group. It’s simply challenged me a lot extra, taking it to the following degree. However sooner or later, I’d attempt to step again into hairdressing just a little extra.”
We additionally talked briefly concerning the challenges of being a feminine barber – though Leah prefers to consider herself merely as a barber. “I’ve by no means used it as an excuse, however there are challenges. I by no means actually seen it in Eire or the UK, however in Germany there have been extra points with shoppers who say issues like ‘you don’t have a beard, how are you going to chop mine?’ However that’s high quality – get out of my chair and I’ll lower the following individual. Principally, a barber is a barber. Don’t put an excessive amount of consideration on it.”
Lastly, I wished to seek out out which figures have impressed Leah’s barbering journey, and get some phrases of knowledge for others who is likely to be simply beginning theirs. Conor Taaffe, Jay Murray, the Beak brothers and Kevin Luchmun are the fortunate barbers are all namechecked as massive sources of inspiration – a powerful array of barbers who’ve all introduced their very own artistic spin to the trade.
On the subject of Leah’s personal recommendation, she says: “it’s not all about social media. Take your self again to the barbershop and realise that your shoppers are the folks which can be there for you. Acquire as a lot data as you’ll be able to. I don’t assume you’ll ever know sufficient on this trade. Preserve sharing data the that you simply’re receiving, and simply step again from the larger image and concentrate on you, that chair and your shopper.”
Fantastic recommendation from a beautiful barber. Don’t neglect to comply with me on YouTube if you wish to see extra – and, as at all times, I’m on Instagram and Fb as Larry the Barber Man, posting common updates that eager barbers shouldn’t wish to miss.
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