Why do I go to all the barber and hair shows I can?
I have been blessed in having some of the best mentors in my life, and have had the amazing fortune to work with some of the most brilliant minds in my life. If it were completely up to me and my own devices, I’d be playing my saxophone in clubs and working some random job. However, my mentors helped, and continue to help me to grow in all aspects of life.
Having mentors taught me that there is always plenty of room to improve… to always seek knowledge and guidance, and to be open to new information or to old information being re-presented again.
My hardest mentor, and most likely the one who taught me the most as a professional and as a person, often said “If you are not getting better, you are automatically getting worse. Nobody remains stagnant.”
While having true mentors is not necessarily a fun experience (It forces you to take a cold, hard look at yourself, acknowledge your strengths, and the areas where you need to improve), the only ways to grow in one’s craft and life are with qualified, honest guidance, and practicing through that guidance… which is why I go to every show that I can, and turn my car and computer into a rolling university.
The Bronner Bros. Hair Show
As a barber, I personally feel that this particular show is not to be missed. At this show, I talk with experts in all sorts of specialized fields.
It is where I met equipment specialists like Bonnie & Gene Megowan with Bonika Shears. They are based in Loganville, just outside Atlanta, yet if I had not gone to the show, I probably would not have known about them… and it resulted in better haircuts for my clients.
Other than my Hanzo shears, their shears are the only ones I will carry with me. Their shears are very good quality and they stand behind their lifetime guarantee, but that’s not why I carry them… Bonnie is an absolute master in sharpening shears. She custom ground my Bonikas so that they hold hair better during cutting (especially fine hair!).
I also met Youssef Barber at Diamond Cuts in south Atlanta. Since then, I have seen him cut, teach, and just be an all-around great person (and the master of cutting dreads off when someone decides to make that choice). He taught me that one can be both laid back and have an edge, always giving great positive energy… “Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark.”
The classes offered at the Bronner Bros. Hair Show are always timely… whether it is Patric Bradley’s lessons breaking down haircolor theory or guiding beard growth with Brian Keith out of Chicago. Each class I take at each of these shows either adds a new skill set or sharpens an existing one.
All the barbers and cosmetologists who know my cutting style tell me that the Premiere Show in Orlando is one that I need to be sure to go to. At the time of this writing, I will be attending my first one in the middle of October (about five weeks away). Maybe I’ll go to the Orlando City v Montreal soccer match… I wonder how well my Atlanta United jersey will go over there.
Mr. Smith of Gwinnett Barber Institute and GBI Barbershop tells me that with all the straight hair I cut, I will find the Premiere Show even more beneficial than the Bronner Bros. show, especially since I cut women’s hair, too..
If that’s true, I can’t wait to see how it goes!
There are a large number of regional barber and hair shows that I try to attend (the travel bills do add up!), such as the Tennessee Barber Expo and the CT Barber Expo. Tese shows are more valuable for networking with other barbers and collaborating on techniques, hair products, and overall barbering knowledge.
I am a barber in Marietta and the Cobb County area. I graduated from the Gwinnett Barber Institute and have been cutting hair since 2019.
Atlanta has always been my home, minus eight years when I was a Navy musician in Japan and Seattle.
When I am not cutting hair, I am usually found spending time with my family or at Atlanta United matches with the Terminus Legion in the supporters section.