Flying the flag for British Hairdressing and Barbering

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Hi guys, me again. I hope all is good in your world.

So the end of January started my year off of international travel flying the flag for British Hairdressing and Barbering. The first trip was to Long Beach, California to the International Salon & Spa Expo.

In the US as in the UK, the Barbering world is growing at a tremendous rate and this was very apparent at the expo, Exhibitors such as Wahl US and Andis to name but a few had very high profile stands and were turning out some fantastic work all weekend.

I was demonstration all weekend on the stage of the world first & leading designers of ergonomic Scissors, Sensei Shears. There are about 15 members of the Sensei team that do all the shows. They do 20 shows around the globe spreading the word on the health benefits and ergonomics of their scissors.

The show was the normal 3 days, Sat/Sun/Mon and was packed all weekend. I have found that the audience at the exhibitions are slightly different to Salon International over here, we tend to have different people each day here, but over in the US and Aisa people get a 3 day pass, so you get to see the same people coming back for more education each day. I really like this as you can deliver more in depth education as you have already had the chance to deliver the basics the session or day before.

The other thing I have found the more I work in the US is that they are a little behind us in terms of understanding how a haircut works, what is causing the problems they have with their haircuts and how to fix it or not causing it in the first place.

I think this is due to the fact that the national training curriculum is not as thorough as it is here in the UK; they just don’t go into it in as much detail.

30 years ago when I was learning the skill we were taught the old fashioned way of freehand clipper skills and were never allowed to use guards or attachments when cutting. This skill seems to have been taken over by the use of guards/grades and when you become reliant on these to true skill of the job can be forgotten.

When I’m planning the content for my seminars and show demonstrations I try to concentrate on this skill and try to encourage barbers to up their skills to work more with freehand clippering rather than relying on guards and this went down a storm in LA and I think its because they don’t see it often.

Over the weekend I worked on about 20 demonstration models, showcasing the latest trends from here in the UK. Can’t tell you how much they love the British thing. Soon as they hear the accent and see the detail we work to they stay and watch the whole demo.

“Its all about the detail”

It’s not all work. Went to some really cool bars and had a few beers with the guys, even got asked for ID. Lol. Just wish I were a bit younger as they like to party.

After dining at some of the best restaurants in LA it was back to the hotel and time to prep for the next days shows. The thing most people don’t see is the amount of planning and prep that goes into the shows. Most people think you just rock up and get on stage. Oh if this were only the case. Throw some Jet lag in to the mix and it can be tough sometimes. #grumpywithnosleep

Got the chance to catch up with some old friends that I haven’t seen I a while, Eden Sassoon, Sean Dawson and Stephen Moody, real legends in the industry and met some new friends too.

So after five days in the amazing city of LA, time to head home. Might as well make the most of the 12-hour flight to start planning the next show in New York & Chicago in 4 weeks time.

So that’s it from me for this months blog, just one other thing, cant remember where but I heard a quote the other day that hit a bit of a cord with me, thought I would share it with you all on here.

The quote went “ the harder I work the more successful I seem to be” Funny that!!! So until next time guys.

Be amazing!!!

Happy New Year

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Hey Guys, Me again.

So first things first, Happy New Year.

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year, I really enjoy Christmas and the whole Holiday period, but to be honest I’m glad when it’s all over and we can get back to some sort of normality. Just nice to know what day it is at times. Lol.

So this is my first blog of 2016 and we might as well start it off with a rant. Lol.

Remember a couple of things before I go on,

A, don’t shoot the messenger!!! I’m only stating the FACTS on how it works

B, Nobody likes change, but sometimes change can be for the better.

The Q word!!!! “Qualifications”

This is something that I am really passionate about but I talk to a lot of people and they just don’t see the value or necessity for them.

I’m going to touch on a few different topics in the blog all relating to Q’s (Qualifications) and you will see that they all tie in together one way or another.

As we stand currently anyone doing barbering at the moment will hopefully be going through the process:

Level 1 assisting  (maybe)

Level 2 Basic skills

Level 3 Advanced skills (this is the industry standards for competency)

Level 4 Advanced skills and Management

This is as far as it goes at the moment in barbering, you can get L5-6 Q’s but this is the foundation degree and it’s all about management not skills.

I read something on Social Media a while ago asking the question about what was the level 7 barbering all about, some of the comments were very funny, “that’s Jedi Barbering” and so on, the problem with Social Media is anybody can chip in their tuppence worth and its not always the correct information that is being given and so the confusion starts.

Don’t think this will change but my advice is, if you have a serious question look it up on the Internet on relevant websites that will give you the correct info on what you’re looking for.

I can’t see into the future but I think that one day (hopefully) we will all need to have a qualification to practice.  This won’t be an issue to all the new generation of barbers coming through the system at the moment but it will affect the older more experienced barbers that are currently practicing.

30 years ago when I was doing my training there wasn’t a Q for barbering only hairdressing and then an added extra unit to cover barbering. Most barbers just learned the trade in the barber shop and all was good.

The issue here is that these barbers are more than competent in their skills but don’t have a piece of paper to prove it.  They (the government) will not wield a big stick and say that everyone who doesn’t have a Q can’t practice, there will be something put in place for them to prove they can do it and I think this will be in the form of a Barbering Trade Test (which is already in place and will be rolled out in 2016) to prove “grandfather rights” competency or some other method to accommodate this situation.

The reason we need this is to stop ANYBODY opening a barbershop with not a single Q or any experience. Its reasons like this that the industry is being held back to what it could be and the recognition it deserves.

Surely this is not a bad thing!!!!!

I get asked quite a lot how I got the opportunity to do what I do and also to travel all over the world delivering our skill. You guessed it, I started with gaining my Q’s and this gave me the opportunity to work with different companies and further my career. This wouldn’t have happened if I never had the Q’s in the first place.  Some doors will be closed without them.

If at any point someone decides to move on and change their employment one of the first things new employers look at is what Q’s do you have, this could be the difference to you getting the opportunity to show your skills in a practical interview/test to get the job or not even getting that far as the other candidates you’re up against do have Q’s

As an educator I have found the best way to understand what my learners are going through and how best I can help them with their Q’s is to have done them myself.  This gives me a full understanding of what they are doing and more to the point, Why!

One final thing, I don’t understand why someone doesn’t want to improve their own personal skills and knowledge to progress in their field because the amazing industry we all work in is constantly evolving and moving forward, if we don’t move with it we’ll be left behind.

It’s the way of the world now, we need to understand this and get on board.

Just my thoughts.

Keep a look out for my next blog about my first trip abroad in 2016 to Long Beach, California, flying the flag for British Barbering.

Launching the new BBA International accreditation program

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Hey Guys, Me again.

So since my last blog I’ve spend about 7 nights at home in my own bed. Fortunately 2 weeks of that was a holiday with friends in a beautiful villa in the sun.  Recharging the batteries before the storm of Christmas.

The rest of the time I was in Toronto launching the new BBA International accreditation program. What’s this I hear you ask? Well, I think this is one of the most exciting things to happen in the barbering industry in a while.

So the BBA are getting enquiries from people and organisations all over the world about raising standards in Barbering in their own country. This is because British Barbering is the best in the world, no questions, why? Because we have the best and most thorough training system in place in the UK. Believe it or not. You should see some of the training that goes on in some of the countries that I have been too. It’s not good, trust me!!!!

The BBA have set up a very comprehensive and thorough training program to be delivered Internationally working from the new barbering NVQ standards in the UK.

Currently in Canada EVERYONE who wants to train as a Barber must first do their cosmetology License in Hairdressing which takes 1450 hours of training, only then can they do the training for Barbering, which as it stands is a 70 hour program. How good do you think they are after a mere 70 hours of training?

So with the growth in barbering the same in Canada as it is in the UK, they want to overhaul the training and get a qualification that is fit for purpose, much more comprehensive and best of all, International, it is recognised in the UK.

I delivered the training to the teachers over a five-day intensive course; they were all experienced barbers and teachers already. The course was amazing and every tutor passed their own assessments in both practical and delivery of the skill. They must have had a great teacher, lol.

The new course they will be delivering is approximately 400 hours and is light years ahead of the current system they have in place.  This is just the first of many BBA international centres that are planned for 2016 and beyond. Each accredited centre will receive training from one of the BBA educators every 6 months and ongoing to keep the standards of work and delivery to the BBA standards.

I was in Toronto for 9 days in total, delivered the full 5 day BBA accreditation program, 4 evening seminars in Barber shops, 3 single day seminars in salons and all that with a helping of jet lag thrown in for good measure. Oh Joy!!!!

So for all of you out there that think traveling all over the world is good its not, its amazing and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Keep your eye out for my next blog all about the Level 4 Male Grooming Qualification.

So until then my friends……………… Bonjour !!!! lol.

UK teaching

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Hey guys, ok so the BBA have asked me to do a blog every couple of weeks for them so first things first, who am I ?

Erik Lander, I’ve been cutting hair now for about 30 years, I work and teach both barbering and hairdressing, I work as an educator for: BBA, Goldwell, Habia, VTCT, Sensei Scissors, Barber Council and my own company Erik Lander Education.

I’m really passionate about education and know it’s the key to success in an every evolving industry like ours.

Having worked and educated all over the world, with some of the best names in the industry I’ve seen some things in my time.   Good and Bad!!!

This year I’ve been all over the UK teaching and fortunate to educate over seas too, its been a fairly mad year for travel having been to Ireland, New York, Orlando, Toronto, Germany, Holland to name but a few.

2016 is looking even busier with Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Orlando, Dubia, Mumbai, Delhi, Toronto booked so far. The wife aint happy, lol.

In my blog ill be sharing some of these stories with you, how the trips go and probably having a proper rant at times no doubt.

So just a short one to introduce me and what you can expect over the next year or so.

That’s it from me today,  so in the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger,

“See you later”  lol !