Words by Matt Huxley
WITH winter sadly on the brink of leaving us, it’s time to de-hair, and get our new summer cuts sorted. So who better to discuss all things hair with than with a world renowned barber? I had a chat with Tommy J to discuss experience, products and everything you need to know about hair.
MM: Hey Tommy, how are you?
I’m doing very well, thanks!
Tell us about your first barber experience.
It’s hard to pinpoint my first barbering experience as I’ve been lucky enough to have so many great moments but my first real career highlight was a Tattoo Expo in 2010.
My greatest barbering experience however, was on a Saturday morning where it was the first time every single chair in the shop was full and we had clients lining up, waiting for haircuts.
It was a moment where my team and I felt we had made it. To celebrate, Phil from my team poured us all a shot, we toasted a cheer and then kept cutting! To this day, it’s one of the biggest highlights in my career and I couldn’t have done it without my team.
What do you think is the most versatile haircut for a man to have?
Short back and sides with a side part is the most common and versatile cut we do in the barber shop and is probably one of my favourites to cut. It can be worn natural, messy or slick.
What are your go to hair style products?
I’m a massive fan of the Uppercut Deluxe range; their products suit the barber shop to a T!
Uppercut Deluxe Pomade is my favourite product, there’s nothing like the slick crispness this product gives a style or cut.
What is your favourite part about your profession?
My favourite part of the profession is being able to wake up every day and have the freedom to be creative at my own will. Being a barber, I interact with different people each day, broadening the horizons of so many different aspects of my life.
As a small business owner, I feel I’ve reached the level in my career where I realise barbering is a profession. It’s no longer a job for me but rather a lifestyle and one that I’d highly recommend for anyone to give a go. I have a great crew who stand behind and support me and in turn, I’m able to help guide and shape their careers.
Associating myself with companies such as Uppercut Deluxe has allowed me to travel and meet some of the greatest barbers in the world including fellow Uppercut Deluxe Ambassadors, Dane ‘Pig Barber’ Hesse from USA and Luke Dolan from Luke’s Barbers Shop in the UK.
Run us through a day in your life.
A day in the life of Tommy J –
6am – Wake up and hit the gym with a bunch of buddies.
8am – Shower, get dressed and jump on my motorcycle and ride to work in Redfern.
9am – Hang the open sign on the Barber Shop door, enjoy a coffee, check my emails and sweep the shop ready for the day ahead.
Soon after, the crew and clients start rolling in, hair starts getting chopped and the phone keeps buzzing away for majority of the day.
5pm – We try to wrap up for the day however we do have our late nights on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday when we are open till 8pm.
Every day is different. One day we could be off to do a show and the next we could be booking flights to travel interstate. The possibilities are endless and I guess that’s why my job is so exciting!
You’ve been associated with Uppercut Deluxe for a little while now, what is it about their products that you love so much?
From the Uppercut Deluxe Beard Balm that has just hit the shelf to their styling range, Uppercut Deluxe seems to have covered all bases in the barbering world.
They’re an extremely versatile company and are constantly on the forefront of the Men’s grooming movement. They’re coming out with products that seem to be ticking all the right boxes.
What would be your advice for anyone looking to get into the hair industry?
Be prepared to work hard and be clear on what you want to achieve, as the hairdressing and barbering world is not an easy career. My best advice would be to go to your local barber, get a haircut and have a good chin wag with him. See if you can do some work experience, you never know, you just might love it, I do.
Time for our rapid fire series… get ready!
Moustache’s: yes or no?
Scissors or shaver?
Favourite Tim Tam flavour?
The most underrated haircare product is?
Thanks for your time Tommy!