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Barbers Against Hunger!

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

A great turn out for the Barbers Against Hunger event in Glasgow yesterday.

All the barbers had matching t-shirts for the event

All the barbers had matching t-shirts for the event (middle: Andrew Middleton)

Organised by Thomas McGovern, Barbers Against Hunger was aiming to raise food donations for the Glasgow South West food banks.

They did just that! After a great turn out at the barbers against hunger event, from both interested people to industry professionals, they managed to get bags full of food they were able to donate for Glasgow. The event was announced as a ‘master-barbering workshop’ and it was just that. 10 barbers from across Scotland showed up with their own models to demonstrate trade (and their own) skills and show the audience how they achieve their sharp cuts. All while Thomas McGovern kept the crowd entertained and updated about what was happening onstage.

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Hazel Marley and Heather Atkinson with their models. Photo by Yvonne Taylor

The barbers cutting onstage were Graham Jack (educator at the Scottish Barbering School), Jimi Mac (owner of Urban Funk), Heather Atkinson (stylist at Barber & Groom), Ayden McCloysky (stylist at U Concept), Leah Duffin (owner of Pulse Barber), Andrew Middleton (stylist at Men International), Marie Friel (manager at Men International), Tommy Taylor (stylist at Brother Mens), Dale Forrest (founder of the Ayrshire Barbers Collective) and Hazel Marley (director at the Scottish Barbering School). They all showed different cuts of their own choosing on their models.

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Leah Duffin and Aydon McCloysky with their models and Thomas McGovern. Photo by Yvonne Taylor

The event was held in the gorgeous Trades Hall of Glasgow (of which we wrote a brief history on in our account of the history of barbering ‘Bloody Barbers!’) yesterday afternoon. People crowded round the stage to watch the stylists cut and listen to their methods. When we managed to wrangle the incredibly busy Thomas and talk to him about the event he said why he thinks events like this are important:
“They’re important because the escalation of food banks is growing year on year and the dependency for people using food banks is growing. We put this event together so we could use our skills to get much needed food to the food banks, the barbering and hairdressing industries are known as being very giving and we wanted people to get food instead of donations. This is so that people are purchasing food for people they don’t know and the donations are going straight to the source and to the food banks.”

barbers against hunger

donations for the food bank

He went on to say:

“Absolutely delighted with the turn out, we’ve got 10 barbers on stage and a packed audience, we’re so happy with the event and we’re hoping to run with it.”

The event was organised by Hairstylists Against Hunger who frequently do charity work for food banks. You can view their Facebook profile HERE. 

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House Martin Stole My Boyfriend

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

I’m Natalie and I’m going to review Glasgow’s House Martin Barbers even though I’m not a man and I did not get my hair cut there, I sent my boyfriend instead!

When Conor needed a haircut I knew we were going to end up in House Martin.

I’ve banged on and on about their interior and their promise of a unique experience for months after seeing them featured on Defacto Salons listing website. Spoiler alert: House Martin definitely delivers on their promises.

This is Conor and I

This is Conor and I

Conor has really thick, stubborn, ginger hair that always gets handled and forced into a slick back when he attends his usual hairdresser so he was ready for a change and I’m really nosey so I wanted to come along and review it in one of the Defacto blogs.

We went at 6pm on a Wednesday night so it was nice and quiet for me to prowl around and stick my nose in things, a common hobby of mine. We were greeted by Jamie, he was really welcoming and made my boyfriends day by getting him a beer and made my day by getting me a lot of water, because it just so happened to be the warmest day of the year.

I rearranged the table to take this

I rearranged the table to take this

Shop owner Stephen Martin would be cutting Conor’s hair. Before owning House Martin Barbers Stephen was head barber at Murdock London, which is one of the most prestigious barbers in the country. He spoke about naming the shop and getting his hair cut himself:

“I met a girl in London who done our graphic design and I had to come up with a name and my family are barbers, I wanted something fairly short but fairly classic and my surname is Martin so that’s how we got it”

“I’ve not had my hair cut in 4 weeks, you’d think working in a barber shop it’d be easy but… [he laughs]”

Outside House Martin

Outside House Martin

The shop itself is tucked under a waxing salon on Bath Street, but you can’t miss the classy black and gold sign, it’s a hint at the interior that you’re about to experience. The inside of the shop has clearly been well thought of. It’s very much a gentleman’s club. It boasts old leather barber chairs and borderline hunting lodge decoration. Faux taxidermy, leather armchairs and a little burner in the far left as you walk in. Jamie gave me a tour while Conor was getting his consultation. Not only do they have gorgeous interior and a whiskey bar, they even have a secret poker room inside a bank vault! You couldn’t get much more niche really and I loved it.

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House Martin’s waiting area

Jamie is evidently very happy to be at House Martin, saying:

“My job is focusing on hospitality so coffees, whisky and gin, beer as well. I think what House Martin has above other barbers is hospitality and aesthetics it’s beautiful in here.”

Stephens work station

One of the work stations

The barbers in the shop have individual work stations and you can see that in the fact that they have all their tools set up ready to work with in their own way. Tuning into Conor’s consultation I was made aware of the fact that he was going ahead with his original haircut idea. Game of Thrones fans tune in…

Now, Conor wanted to go for a textured look, and what I mean by that is that he mentioned that he wanted textured hair as many times in the one sentence as he could. He decided to take a photo of Ramsay Bolton as his hair inspo… Yes really. To be fair he has lovely hair.

The whiskey and gin section of the shop

The whiskey and gin section of the shop

Obviously this spurred a full on Game of Thrones chat, in which I got Stephen to reveal his favourite characters:

“Tyrion, although it comes and goes, it used to be Arya but I don’t like her most recent story line. I used to like Stannis and Tywin because I thought they were more captivating, they’re really good actors. Brienne is great and I like Bronn. I’ve cut Sam’s (Natalie Note: the actor, John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarley in the show) beard before! That’s what he’s like in real life I promise you! That was about 2 years ago.”

Stephen and Conor bonding over beer and GoT

Stephen and Conor bonding over beer and GoT

He washed Conor’s hair and began scissor cutting, when I asked if they worked primarily with scissors he said:

“We like to have a good consultation at the start and we will do our best to get the client exactly what they want. Whether that’s clipper work or scissor work, we use what will be best for the cut they want.”

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It’s clear they do focus entirely on what the client will want, during the consultation time. Stephen fully explained what they could and couldn’t do, due to Conor’s hair, and went on to explain how he would do it. Right down to the product application. The attention to detail and the hospitality in House Martin is truly outstanding. He showed Conor how to maintain the look; he made sure he knew how to dry his hair, how to style it and what kinds of products to use. Multiple different clipper heads were used to make sure that the back of Conor’s head had the exact fading and attention was paid to every minute detail. He also used a little hoover on his head to remove all the excess hair and I was truly quite jealous, looked really relaxing.

House Martin Pin

House Martin Pin

Stephen styled Conor’s hair and even gave him a spritz of aftershave for the road! It was at this point I noticed that they all wear small pins on their clothes, of the bird featured on the House Martin logo. Stephen confirmed that these were their uniforms and that’s a really unique way to tie you staff together in my opinion. We were also given a little tour of a secret room they found once that was filled with old bank documents, haircuts and history!

The poker room inside the bank vault

The poker room inside the bank vault

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Now obviously I loved the whole atmosphere but I didn’t my hair done. Conor got the exact textured look that he was looking for and since going he’s been continually chuffed with it every morning. He looks at it in the mirror a lot. Here’s what he had to say about his time at House Martin:

“I was gonna give up hope on getting a haircut that actually felt like mine. I was treated like an individual; it was cut differently than any other time. The conversation flowed, the place is gorgeous, you’re made to feel so at home that I didn’t want to leave. What a smashin’ place I’m 100% going back!”

Conor's hair before

Conor’s hair before

Conor's hair after

Conor’s hair after

So there you have it! The place looks amazing, the staff are fantastic and their haircuts are even better. If you’re looking for a totally unique experience then you should seriously give House Martin a try!

Contact them HERE 

Men United are supporting Defacto’s Men United campaign. Its in aid of prostate cancer and is a great deal in benefitting your business and raising awareness for an important cause. If you’re interested you can find out more HERE

Defacto Salons Men United banner

Defacto Salons Men United banner

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