BARRIE STEPHEN’S MICHAEL PALMER GIVES US HIS TREND PREDICTIONS

Barrie Stephen

The barber’s shop has always played an important part in the fabric of British culture. The Barber’s Lounge at Barrie Stephen’s King Street salon embodies the traditional barbershop atmosphere and gives men that classic space to visit, make themselves at home in and leave with a great professional, on-trend haircut or a luxurious wet shave. Master barber Michael Palmer heads up the Barrie Stephen Barber’s Lounge team, representing Leicester’s very own little piece of retro barbershop glamour and talks us through the allimportant Barber’s Lounge experience at King Street….

How did you get into the barbering industry?

Men’s hairdressing has always been my thing. I was drawn by the fast pace and how I could really express myself. I began to train in a classic style of men’s hairdressing and took courses whilst working in a barbershop in Nuneaton. I loved it and knew it was the right path for me to take and in June 2014 I moved to work at Barrie Stephen Hair.

Why do you think the idea of the ‘traditional barber’ is coming back?

Men can’t get enough of that traditional experience. A space that is just for them – we make it easy but classy – walk in appointments but luxury touches of posh coffee and cold beers in the fridge. ‘Traditional barber’ is all about spending that little bit of quality time to give the client some care and a good experience.

Are there any big trends you’re seeing in men’s hairdressing coming through this year?

We’re seeing a move away from strong razor work and heavily gelled looks with a push towards a natural, more textured look with a little more length. Think 90’s-chic and the return of curtains!

What are your top products for men?

We love Eufora products in The Barber’s Lounge. The Eufora ‘Exceptional Shave’ gel is an amazing all-round product that works great both pre, during and after a shave! It works great for sensitive skin and tough beards. With the more natural trends appearing, we’re enjoying using lightweight products at the moment such as moulding pastes and blow dry creams to keep some movement and body.

Tell us a bit about the concept of the Barber Lounge- where it came from, how it works, services offered…

The Barber’s Lounge is very much New York inspired, bringing back the rich and traditional history of the great British barbershop The private club feel is luxe; red snakeskin leather chairs, rustic looking wooden shelving, a fully stocked fridge with chilled beer. It has that old school barbers feel with a modern and edgy twist, which people love. It started out as a walk-in only service but due to its popularity and loyal following, the option to book 30 minute appointment slots was soon introduced. It’s quick enough to be an efficient service but it’s long enough to be able to spend quality time making the client feel good. We offer beard trims, wet shaves and a deluxe wash and cut service. Our £350 a year for unlimited access to Barber’s Lounge services has gone down a storm!

What services are most popular in the Barber’s Lounge?

We see 25-30 beard trims a week. A lot of men also come in for a 30 minute dry cut. Both services are quick and slick but leave a man looking and feeling his best for the rest of the day.

What are the benefits of the in-salon shave?

It’s closer, cooler and classy! Men can come in, sit back with a beer and relax knowing that they can rely on the Barrie Stephen name to deliver a close shave with the ultimate care. It’s a great feeling. It’s good to have more men in the salon and that separation of the barbers and the hairdressers gives men their own space to go and be looked after every now and then!

MICHAEL’S TREND PREDICTIONS

This curtained look is a prime example of what’s coming next in terms of men’s hair trends. This look is the more natural and relaxed direction that the styles are heading towards. We’ve seen the huge return of beards and facial hair and now men seem to be letting their hair grow out a little more too. The emphasis will be on a little more length and fuss-free flicks.

This is a strong look that has retained popularity since the 1920’s and 1930’s. That slicked back and cut-in side parting looks smart yet still has that slightly retro edge that means it’ll suit any man of any style! It’s an old classic that’s going nowhere.

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The Barbers Lounge is at Barrie Stephen Hair, King Street, Leicester. Tel 0844 445 2888 or visit www.barriestephenhair.co.uk