So how was the Premiere Orlando 2021 Hair Show?

The 2021 Premiere Hair Show in Orlando has come and gone, and it had all the dramatic looks and styles that one would expect from a gathering with some of the top names in the industry.

The Upsides

The entire reason for attending these shows is getting tools, learning about the latest in the hair industry, and learning new techniques and processes. There was so much that I wanted to do there, that I really wish I could have had a few clones!

New Tools

The tools of the trade are always getting better, and sometimes a cutter simply “outgrows” what they are using. I went in with a shopping list and found almost everything I was looking for (see The Downsides below).

I also nearly got caught up in a few “OMG, I gotta have this!” impulse buys, but fortunately, I have several friends who talked some sense into me before I drained my wallet.

New Techniques and Skills

Hundreds of classes were offered, highlighting all sorts of new and different ways to cut hair. I focused on fixing jacked-up haircuts (which I see often) and hair design theory.

In one of my favorite classes, Hattori Hanzo Shears showed a way to fix improperly cut layers in long hair which made complete sense when coupled with hair design theory.

The highlight of the classes was a razor haircutting workshop. I already know how to shave and use a straight razor on skin, but cutting hair with a razor is new to me.

The workshop was a half-day hands-on session taught by the internationally reknown Nick Arrojo. I was one of eight students and learned how to cut hair with a razor, as opposed to (or in addition to) shears.

How often do you get a chance to learn from one of the world’s best and have them walk you through the steps of what they are doing?

The different guards used for these razors create a pretty cool variety of effects. I look forward to offering this to clients.

New Products Being Added to My Barber Station

I am often asked about products – usually in conjunction with someone who doesn’t like the way gel feels in their head. One of my main goals at the show was adding a men’s hair care line to my station.

We barbers talk, and the brand I have heard the most good comments about is the line made by Reuzel out of Holland. They have a wide selection of hair products, each as unique as each client’s hair and style.

I’ve brought on the Reuzel line of products, bringing home a selection of all of their pomades and tonics, along with a few other items. I’m also talking with them about bringing on the entire line.

The Downsides

With all of the great things about the show, there were a couple of things which were disappointing.

The Biggest Disappointment

This is not necessarily the show’s fault, but that of the vendors… I’ve been holding off on some major equipment purchases based on the shows offering better prices than I can get elsewhere. These shows have typically had brand specialists available to discuss questions and concerns about the brands.

One of the handiest lessons I learned from my father was having a backup for everything. This way, if something happened, I would still be able to do everything I need to be able to do.

So I wanted to buy a second set of all of my tools, particularly my Andis Supra ZRII and Babyliss Silver FX sets of clippers. However, the prices were considerably higher than what I had seen elsewhere leading up to the show. I may as well have gone ahead and gotten the equipment from my local spot instead of waiting for the show.

I also had questions about a couple pieces of my equipment. I was ready to buy whatever what recommended, but they didn’t have anyone there to talk with, so I’ll need to reach out through phone and email instead of putting the tool directly into their hand.

Little Variety in Offerings

I’m sure that this is going to be sacrilegious to some.

I’ve been to Bronner Bros. shows which had a wide variety of offerings to us. With everything I had heard about Premiere – especially with Covid – I was expecting to see much more.

However, the wide variety that I saw was several companies offering virtually the same product. There were several hair cares, haircolor companies, and tool sellers. But what I saw missing was the variety within the products.

For example, I was looking for a left-handed set of “chunking” shears, which can do some really cool things with hair. In past shows, I could find a cheap set for around $50, to see if I would actually use them and justify getting a better set. However, at this show, the only one I found was offered as part of a set of four shears, or I could buy just the one for $400 (not counting the Hatori Hanzo folks… they had everything).

If I’m going to spend that much on one set of shears, I’m buying a set of Hatori Hanzo shears. The set of Hanzos I have is the best set I have ever used, and is as sharp today as they were about 3,000 haircuts ago.

Only Two Days

Covid is partially to blame, I’m sure. However, only two days created a compression of classes which really limited my choices, especially when I also needed time on the floor.

Class Descriptions

This was the part which had me most concerned before the show. There’s only so much which can be covered in 60-90 minutes, and while I got something very valuable in each of them, it was only a part of what had been described.

That having been said, the two classes which were as described were completely on point, and I have already started putting what I learned from them to work.

4 1/2 Stars

With a show this big, it would be unreasonable to expect perfection exactly to my expectations. So while there were some disappointments, the show was fantastic, and I will be attending again when it comes back around.

I got some new tools which I was looking for and added a great line of men’s products for my clients. I also added a couple new skills to my bag of tricks.

Overall, the show was a very successful first part of a 10-day business trip/vacation with my family. Part Two comes next week at the TN Barber Expo in Knoxville.