Tag: barbering

The Arthur Anderson Barber Shop in Mattoon, Illinois, which only served white customers circa 1920


06 Dec 16
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The following lesson comes from a conversation with Alexander Parker 81, Barber Shop Owner. “You know, I could teach these young boys a thing or two about cuttin’ heads, about making money cuttin’ heads.” I’ve had my license for 64 years and still can’t teach them nothin’. They know it all. Well there’s such a thing as being “over learned.

My first barber job was in Davidson, North Carolina, a small college town in a rural county. The shop was owned by Ralph Johnson. He was black but he look white. All his customers were white: farmers, professors, students. Back in those days you couldn’t cut white heads and black head in the same shop. You had to choose. Ralph and I couldn’t even give each other a cut during business hours. Ralph said a man made a better livin’ with “CW” on his permit, so that’s what I chose. “CW” meant colored cuttin’ white folks hair. “CC” meant colored folks hair.

I learned a lot from Ralph and I try to pass it down, but these boys won’t listen. Some barbers want to make money and some barbers want to make noise. The young guys get too friendly with the customers, talkin’ all the time. You should have a new head in your chair every fifteen minutes. Four and thirty-two. That’s the formula. Four heads and hour, thirty-two heads a day-forty on Saturday. In my day I was a workhorse. But these young guys don’t want to work that hard. And they always want to run have their “social experience” with the girls. Keep it zipped up and you’ll keep somethin’ in your pocket.”

~Alexander Parker licensed since 1952.


The Arthur Anderson Barber Shop in Mattoon, Illinois, which only served white customers circa 1920

The Arthur Anderson Barber Shop in Mattoon, Illinois, which only served white customers circa 1920 (image credit: http://www.eiu.edu/~afriamer/pages/colescounty/index.htm)


Grahams Barber College




06 Sep 16
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THE SUPER ACHIEVERS – as a barber, as a stylist, in life…

What is a SUPER ACHIEVER? It is simply one who consistently performs at a high level of effectiveness. There are three traits that are shared by SUPER ACHIEVERS:

1. Almost without exception, they are individuals with an extraordinary amount of physical energy.
When applied to the hair industry, these traits start by implementing in school. Getting proper rest, exercise and diet are keys to building physical energy.

2. The competitive strive continually to outperform the competition. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best and out performing your fellow classmates. This trend will probably follow you into your professional career, opening doors others can only imagine walking through.

3. They’re hard-nosed, but not hard-hearted. They criticize without crushing, and never lose sight of the fact that it is teamwork that propels an organization to success, not the random clash of individual egos.
Avoid splitting HAIRS, be a leader, lead by example. Demand the people around you live up to the standards, ethics and professionalism of your chosen profession. A good motto: I WILL NOT ASK YOU TO DO ANTHING I WILL NOT DO. Leave the ego on the door mat as you walk into the learning institution, and if you must, pick it up on the way out.

Developing these three traits will make you a better hair professional and will help you achieve your dreams.

Grahams Barber College


06 Sep 16
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The first to champion the razor’s use were the Japanese. Using their own traditional tools and technique named Nihindo, they found it a practical method for creating movement in straight hair. The Japanese realized that razoring was the best way to remove weight, to texturize, and to add movement. This was especially effective on thick and straight strands that are indigenous to most people from this region.

Japanese Straight Razor

Japanese Straight Razor

In the west during the 20th century razor cutting came in and out of fashion. In the Roaring Twenties, Louise Brooks, siren of the silent film era, embodied the daring spirit of the time with her trendsetting bob, cut with a razor. But as the dawn of the 1930s fashion changed. Women started to grow their hair longer, and the sharp lines of the bob were abandoned. Setting hair on rollers became popular and the art of the cut was out. From the 1930s to the 1960s haircuts were made with the styling, not the style, in the mind.

In the nonfiction book Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell makes a compelling argument that the key to great accomplishments in any field is a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of 10,000 hours. Please allow that thought to sink in. Realize that to become a master of razor cutting will take you many, many hours of practice.

Do not let anybody tell you that the hair business is anything but a high-end career. It is highly creative, independent, and recession proof. People will always need a haircut.


Grahams Barber College

Getting Started

11 Jul 16
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“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will Accomplish nothing in life.”
~Muhammad Ali

At some point in your life, you probably experienced a wishful child who has set up a lemonade stand, maybe that child was you or one of your own children. What do you think the purpose was behind setting up lemonade stand? I bet it wasn’t so that they could meet neighbors. That child saw the lemonade stand as their opportunity to make money. Now, most parents will squash the idea of a lemonade stand. Why? Because they’ve warn their little one of all the challenges, the hard work, and the slim odds of being able to make money.

A handful of these young entrepreneurs will follow through with their idea. They’ve seen kids do it. They will work hard to make signs, set up their stand, and make their pitchers of lemonade. Then most will sit and wait for cars to drive by or for people to walk by and buy their delicious ice cold lemonade.

Lemonade Stand 47332053_862157503c_o Photo by Joshua Ommen, licensed under CC Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Think about the last time you drove by a lemonade stand. Did you see kids patiently waiting for customers? Or, were they frantically waving their arms and signs and trying to grab your attention.

As you can imagine, many lemonade stands will open and close in one day. The child will realize that it wasn’t as easy as they thought. BUT, what if they would have studied the market a bit more? What if they would have made fresh-squeezed lemonade? What if they would have considered different locations, the local farmer’s market, their school’s baseball field, or in a neighborhood that was holding a local art festival event?

The more planning that goes into opening a business, even one as small as a lemonade stand, can increase the odds of success.

Grahams Barber College

Barber College in Dallas Texas

The Most Effective Way To Handle WALK-INS

24 Jun 16
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Walk-ins can be a good source of revenue. There are very few shops that do not need new clientele.

Walk-ins should always be welcomed enthusiastically because they are new customers that have chosen to pay for services at your shop. Most shops should be trying to attract walk-ins so that they can stay busy throughout the work week. We must consider many guys find it convenient to get their hair cut impulsively and never consider making an appointment.

Since walk-ins are often strangers they are not likely to demand the owner or the a barber that is already busy. This makes them the perfect client for any barber that does not have a clientele and is trying to build a following.

After the barber is introduced to the client every effort should be made to get the client in the chair and serviced. Often the reason that they are there is because someone (another barber) kept them waiting too long!

The barber is obligated to exercise strict professional service since walk-ins can easily become a life long client. Make sure they are given a business card they may have a friend or relative that may be willing to refer if their experience is pleasant. Let them know you appreciate the business and will make every effort to provide good service.

Make the next appointment before they leave the shop. You might want to make a reminder call before the appointment. Many people appreciate your thoughtfulness and obvious desire to service them.

Grahams Barber College



Tips for ‘Guy Color’

07 Jun 16
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Guys of every age are interested in color, but may be shy about broaching the topic. That’s DANGEROUS, because if they are not aware of what is available they may be tempted to those “MAN DYES” at the drugstore, which often result in peculiar shades of greenish black or garish orange. It is better to work color into the conversation and keep them away from Kool-Aid colors.

When coloring men it’s got to be quick and easy. Forget about full head of highlights or multi-dimensional techniques. You have to get men in and out quickly. They cannot feel as if their color is a lot of work.

Nothing will turn a man against color quicker than visible regrowth, he is not going to take time to retouch every couple or weeks. So opt for strategies like lowlights or semi-permanent stains which fade naturally and unnoticeably.

Hair color can be a particularly hard sell especially if the hair is cut short. In that case consider creating a flat price for a years worth of color. Get him on schedule, get the money up front, and then he doesn’t have to think about it again for 12 months.


REMEMBER You make your money with your mouth ~ even if the work is done with your hands.

Consultation! Consultation! Consultation!

Grahams Barber College

Barber College in Dallas Texas

Turn a “Chair Hopper” into a Steady Client!

18 May 16
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Here are Four Steps to Turn a CHAIR HOPPER into a STEADY CLIENT!!!!!!!

Did you know that 80% of shop goers who visit the same barber regularly admit they have no problem being caught in the chair of another barber?

Have you ever had a client come to you sporadically only to have you fix someone else’s mistake?

Are you tired of these “SHOPPER HOPPERS” who you only see every six months? Have you often wondered how to retain and stop them from bouncing from one barber to the next?

Sometimes they’re shopping price or just keep feeling with various aspects of the shop experiences. Try to learn from them the reasons they’re unhappy in different shops. This is a great source of information about what clients want and need.

Don’t get involved in knocking other barbers or shops. Find out why? Find out what was wrong, when fixing someone else’s work because it helps to understand that barber’s approach and not repeat it.

If a client leaves and returns to a shop at a later date, they risk a change in pricing. Then have a conversation about what happened, and that because of the CHAIR HOPPING they’re coming in as a “NEW CLIENT” under current prices and structure. In order to stay at that rate and avoid any other increases, it’s best for them to stay loyal.

Don’t say anything negative about their SHOPPING HOPPING. Don’t repeat what the client tells you about being unhappy in other businesses. Explain what is going on at each step of the process and make sure they are OK with what is about to be done , keep in mind that the client may be nervous if they have had a bad experience, so treat them as you want to be treated. It is worth taking the extra time because there is no client more loyal than a client who has come to you after a bad experience, and comes away feeling that you took proper care of them!

Grahams Barber College

Soft Skills and Salesmanship as a Barber and Stylist

18 Apr 16
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At Graham’s Barber College, we teach practical and advanced barbering skills ~ but we also teach our students everyday business skills that are needed to be a successful barber and profitable business. These include what are called soft-skills like customer service and communication, and also salesmanship and marketing.

Our students often think of themselves as technicians, but that is an incomplete understanding of the barber and stylist professions. We teach our students they are salesmen and saleswomen ~ and so they also must learn sales skills to succeed.

As a business person, we all must learn to sell our products and services.

In this vein, i would like to share these 5 Compelling Sales Words:


Using these words in ads, print materials, and when speaking with customers, will reinforce the idea that your business is the right place to be. Let’s take a look at the power and attraction of each word.

Everyone wants something for nothing. We all like to feel we have beaten system. Whenever possible, list items together and offer one for free. The customer feels they have received an added benefit. For products, you might try: Buy two full -size and get a travel size for free.

A guarantee offers a peace of mind. Very few people will actually take you up on fulfilling a guarantee, yet it is a powerfully
attractive word to bring in business.

So many of us use coupons that we are all well aware that offers don’t stick around forever. If you want the benefit of the offer, we have act now. A limited time offer is a great way to boost sales during slow times.

Americans are particularly attracted to the idea of being or having the best. If products you offer are superior, than say so. If you have won awards or attended more training each year, say so. “LOOKS LIKE A MILLION DOLLARS” implies they have experienced superior service.

A benefit answers the customers question “Why should I do {purchase} this? Looking younger is a benefit. Spending less money is a benefit Using less product is benefit The fact your business is close is a benefit. Less time getting ready in the morning is benefit. Virtually any aspect of your business can be spun so that it is seen as a benefit.

These five words are universally appealing to consumers. Now that they have been pointed out you will undoubted begin to see them everywhere. Start inserting one {or more} into your existing messages and see what a difference they make.

Grahams Barber College
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