Grasp Barber: Matty Conrad, Of Victory Barbers, Shares The Philosophy Behind His Barbering and Model Success

After listening in on, one in every of Matty Conrad’s seminars in California, there was little doubt in my thoughts that I wanted to deliver his distinctive tackle barbering to all of you guys. He actually didn’t disappoint, and I’m delighted to be sharing this fascinating interview.

These of you already aware of Matty’s work could be stunned to listen to that he began out 22 years in the past not as a barber, however as a hair stylist:

“Barbering didn’t really feel thrilling. It didn’t really feel like there was numerous artistry round barbering, and barbershops had been in very steep decline. Into the 90s, it was not this place to aspire to. So, I acquired concerned in hairdressing, every part from Toni & Man to Bumble & Bumble.

“I ultimately labored my approach as much as engaged on stage and platforms, technical educating and instructing – and I actually loved that, I at all times did. Nevertheless it actually began to lose that non-public degree and I began to fall out of affection with the trade.”

Feeling that it was turning into extra concerning the egos than the hair, Matty was feeling disillusioned and even contemplating altering job all collectively. However then one thing occurred that made him replicate on his profession – and discover a new facet of hair to get enthusiastic about:

“Round then my Grandfather handed away. He was an incredible previous man, he was only a terrific Gent, you already know. All the time effectively dressed, at all times had an element in his hair and a shine on his sneakers. I keep in mind considering to myself the place did this go? What occurred to the previous gentleman, the concept that having a pointy look meant displaying respect for the individuals round you.

“That was a factor that was being misplaced, I felt. And my Grandfather passing away made me factor lots about that, and lots about legacy. About: What’s it that you really want the world to be like? At that time I began turning into obsessive about this concept of those previous basic barbershops, the place the place a person like that might have gone to be put collectively.”

From these preliminary concepts, Matty discovered a brand new goal: he began investigating basic barbering as a lot as he might, looking for schooling from previous, conventional barbers whereas additionally utilizing his technical information to think about how basic barbering might be developed for the trendy world.

“Everyone was laughing at me on the time, as a result of everybody had these Justin Bieber mop-top haircuts and I used to be doing cuts that seemed like they belonged on my Grandad. However I simply saved doing them: I believed they had been cool, I believed there was one thing about them that basically spoke to me on a deeper degree. One thing that felt prefer it had satisfaction and dignity connected to it”.

Again to the roots of barbering

Matty could have been going in opposition to the grain on the time, but it surely actually paid off. The truth is, it led him to him going it alone and opening his personal barbershop. This was Victory Barbers, opened in 2010 in a small city in Canada, Victoria BC.

He tells me that when he first opened up he thought he might need gone just a little loopy, following this obsession with basic barbering to this point. Nevertheless it labored – as a result of it had actual integrity: it was genuine to who Matty actually is. Now, he owns 4 outlets in addition to a thriving model.

“The phrase unique is simply rampant in our trade. Fact be informed, none of us invented this – it’s hundreds of years previous; it goes again lengthy earlier than we had been right here, and it will likely be right here lengthy after we’re gone. We had been simply lucky to be on the proper place on the proper time, and to have any half in that is an honour.”

No shock that Matty can be sceptical of the concept, unfold by some trade professionals, that barbering is a few kind of ‘scorching new pattern’. That mentioned, he finds lots to like concerning the fashionable barbering neighborhood:

“I like the brotherhood and the fellowship that it’s proper now, the best way we’re supporting one another and rising, the truth that there’s satisfaction in our trade once more. I actually hope that sticks round. I wish to do every part I can to assist that.”

A up to date twist

A method by which Matty helps modern barbering is thru the tutorial work that he’s doing. Except for instructing his college students concerning the technical and visible work, he additionally considers the psychology that’s concerned in being a barber. I requested him to delve into this just a little:

“I discuss establishing a mutual degree of respect. As a result of I consider that any interplay comes out of a spot of respect. One of many issues that we’re making an attempt to do isn’t just create a visible attraction for an individual, however to make them really feel one thing for a haircut. So my strategy has by no means been purely technical as a result of I don’t suppose that what we do is solely technical.

“You begin to recognise that the technical facet of what we do is possibly solely 50% of why an individual comes and sits in our chair. It’s additionally about how we make them really feel, and that’s not simply what we are saying to them, generally it’s about how we conduct our service. How we set up that degree of respect by how we shake their hand, how we glance them within the eye, how we make them really feel cared for and assured in the truth that we’re assured.”

In essence, Matty’s hairdressing philosophy is all about integrity, and he reiterates that it’s necessary for barbers to have greater than technical ability: you additionally have to have the power to make the shopper stroll out that barbershop door feeling good and assured about his hair. Which means that the design of the store and the best way by which you deal with your buyer are simply as necessary as how effectively you chop hair.

He has additionally labored tirelessly to develop a spread of barbering merchandise that fashionable barbers can use to enhance their craft:

“I had numerous alternatives to do what you’ll name a white label. So all you want is a brand and a design and also you stroll in and choose the merchandise that they’ve then bundle them up as your personal. That isn’t me, it’s in no way what I needed to do.

“I had some very robust concepts about what I needed the merchandise to be particularly. I labored with about completely different chemists earlier than I discovered one which I believed understood the route I needed to go.”

This includes making the product as pure as doable while additionally guaranteeing that it’s totally cruelty free – no testing on animals – and extremely useful. Certainly one of his favorite merchandise is Superdry, a dry, matte paste which has been designed to really feel gentle within the hair while additionally making the hair very malleable.

“It’s the most excellent product that I’ve ever used. It’s my favorite one for myself and I exploit it lots on numerous various things, for creating texture while making it really feel like there’s not lots within the hair.”

Growing these merchandise has allowed Matty to recognise the truth that, as a lot as he loves basic barbering and the standard barbershop, it’s additionally necessary for barbers to maintain growing and innovating: “I needed my merchandise to not discuss our historical past and the place we had been – I need them to assist that – however I need them to speak about the place we’re going.”

I’ve seen this in Matty’s personal work: the reduce that he accomplished after I watched him had pure shine and glow, but with motion and sculpture. He tells me that it’s all about making a haircut {that a} shopper can then simply fashion himself when he will get dwelling.

Spreading the great phrase

In case you’re interested in Matty’s work, or the merchandise that he’s created, then it’s best to try a few of his movies: he has been producing numerous content material to assist barbers who’re enthusiastic about doing issues the Matty Conrad approach. This has concerned collaborating in a challenge elevating cash to assist ship children to barber college and hold pushing the trade ahead, in addition to creating what he calls “farm to desk” movies, which deal with displaying the total story of a haircut from preparation to then creating imagery as soon as the reduce is full. He has additionally been creating step-by-step tutorial movies to assist barbers trying to study new expertise.

“I’m glad to share these issues. I wish to see our complete trade develop collectively. Having the ability to share all these little particulars with individuals forces you to be inventive sooner or later as effectively and push your personal limitations. It additionally permits different individuals to develop in areas the place maybe they should. Like I mentioned, you’ll be able to’t simply be good at reducing hair any extra: you want one thing else in case you actually wish to succeed.”

This counts for skilled barbers in addition to freshmen. Matty receives numerous messages from individuals who wish to be the place he’s, educating others – and he factors out that with a view to be an educator you want one thing to show. It’s not merely about getting up on stage and displaying off; it’s a must to be passing one thing on to others.

There’s lots to digest, and I’m positive that you just’ll agree that Matty presents a refreshing strategy to what it means to be a barber. In the end, his message is that it’s all about making individuals really feel good and creating confidence:

“As a result of confidence is what individuals discover horny, not look. The looks of confidence is what we’re interested in. So if we’re in a position to leverage each of these issues collectively it’ll have an effect on your outward look. If we’re actually giving that to individuals, then we’re doing our job as barbers.”

Don’t neglect to try the Victory Barbers web site to seek out extra concerning the work that’s they’re doing; you can too comply with me on Instagram, Fb and YouTube as @LarrytheBarberMan. You’ll discover extra interviews with nice barbers from the world over, in addition to loads of academic ideas that will help you hone your barbering expertise.

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