andrewdoeshair andrewdoeshair

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Andrew  Thinker for @ADHbrand, author of @ADHbook, independent educator, and creative director for @thehairjam_com.

I write this from Galway, with ideas and inspiration for @ADHbrand and @thehairjam_com currently pretty much leaking out of all the holes in my head.
I see a lot of “take care of you” and “#SelfLove” posts regarding vacation, but that’s the obvious thing about it. To me, that idea all alone makes time away from work feel selfish. People say “you deserve this break” but I’d say that your business almost certainly NEEDS it. When you spend a few days thinking, enjoying yourself, thinking more, enjoying yourself more, laughing, etc, but you have the freedom to stop thinking about work at any time, magic happens. You get inspired again, you savor the first few haircuts when you get back, you sprint into the next project (for me, it’ll be recording a technical cutting course for thehairjam.com and making ADH more accessible to EU and UK), and you fall in love with your work all over again— not because you appreciate the vacation it just bought you, but because you’ve missed it!

Here’s a photo I took a while ago, but I really like it, so I’m posting it again... I was also shooting film that day, and I wish I would have gotten this one on film as well, but this digital photo still looks really cool to me.
I started doing shoots like this one (find a fun model, have someone else do the hair, then I plan the photo) as soon as I realized that being able to create great photos was going to help my career more than doing a better haircut would. I wasn’t wrong, I still am average to good at haircutting but I like to think I can take a good photo.
Hair by @AllieDoesHair on model @ohwhale

Haircut and style for this legend, @eoin_hardy while I was working at @samsbarbersireland. His hair was blow dried after a little @ADHbrand #ADHwet, which may soon be available in Ireland 😎

I once walked into a brand new barbershop in my town, hoping for an Adam Levine haircut (this was like 7 years ago, Adam had just buzzed his sides short and it was FRESH) and the only barber that was open, well, I hoped and prayed he wouldn’t walk up to get me. The guy was like 70, and before I was even greeted I already worried that he wouldn’t understand the nuances of what I wanted (natural edges, lots of texture, dry finish). I got in his chair and he butchered my hair, blunt cut everything, lined me up, then styled with a wet gel... It wasn’t a “bad” haircut, it just wasn’t what I wanted. I already knew before I got into the chair that our styles weren’t about to vibe, but by the time he approached me I didn’t have a polite way to get off the bench and run away...
If you’re on instagram (and I think you are) share a little bit of yourself. Don’t worry about looking vain or egotistical by doing so, you’re advertising YOU. Your potential clients will know from your own style a little about what you’re about. Of course you show your work, but people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
These days if I come across a hair account with zero photos of the actual technician, I skip it (good haircuts are boring!). Nobody gets their hair cut by a silent person in a mask, we want to know you while we’re in your chair (or on the ‘gram)... Post some of you!!!
Here’s a photo of me on a brief vacation after traveling to Ireland for some business. I’m not really all that fashionable but I am particular about what I wear. I rarely cut my hair, I own three jackets (light, medium, and heavy), I own only a few pairs of shoes (Solovair and George Cox are my jam) I own about 80 plain black shirts and two pairs of black 100% cotton selvedge jeans. Like I said, not fashionable, but everything has to be made well, and I don’t buy synthetic fabrics. I’m not cool, but I do pay attention to “cool” and I try to sell that with my work in hair.
Anyways, post a dang selfie! Tell us what you like, what you think is cool, what you do for fun. You’re selling more than haircuts, you’re selling your tastes (which will show in your haircuts!!!)

In Ireland my electric tools don’t work because of the voltage difference, so I borrowed some, but I didn’t want to bother anyone for a foil shaver and instead used my cutthroat. I don’t do that much at home, I usually just use the foil shaver, but it was fun to challenge myself. It went okay, nobody bled out... @jordandoneganhair here was cut and styled at @samsbarbersireland... His hair was finished with @ADHbrand #ADHdry for that matte gritty texture without heavy hold.

Haircut and style for @iamsrwin while I was working at @samsbarbersireland this week. Such a fun job, rounded shape with lots of texture and an all-scissor taper. Styled with @adhbrand #ADHdry

If you’re too busy, you’re too cheap. When you don’t know where you’ll find time for all the “squeeze ins” it means you need to lose some clients. The most basic rules of business say that higher prices lower demand, but as barbers and stylists we seem to almost always feel guilty or even afraid to raise prices. What will the lost clients say about us if they can’t afford the extra $10 a month? What will the shop down the street say about us thinking we’re “too cool” when they hear about the price raise? So we grind harder and longer because we don’t want to disrupt anything with a price raise, we don’t want to burn any bridges.
Get yourself a Bryan. Bryan worked two chairs over from me for like 8 years, he does great work, and my clients were familiar with him. Every time my prices went up I recommended him because I knew he was good, and he didn’t charge as much as I was about to. Every time one of my clients sat in his chair I’d greet them and catch up— it wasn’t ever weird. Get yourself a Brandon, a Mike, A Keller, a Jake, Kris, Mari, Alex, Alan, Celeste, and a Travis, too. I could keep listing more. All of these barbers and stylists work in shops near where I work, and I trust that they do good work. Some charge what I charge, some charge less, some charge more, but are more available or closer to certain clients. Of course I’ve gotten referrals from them as well!
It’s not on you to please every person who wants to hand you money, especially if it means you’re staying late daily, coming in on days off, or charging less than you would need to in order to keep your schedule comfortable. Sometimes the best thing you can do is help them find a chair more suited for them.
I see a lot of quotes about it being lonely at the top, or whatever, but that’s a choice! As you grow, grow your network, bring your friends with you. I like what I’ve heard @jamiedanahairstylist say, which basically sums up this whole idea in one line— community over competition.

Haircut, style, and beard lines from my guest spot working in Dublin Ireland yesterday. It was such a fun day, all great clients, some new faces and some familiar. This was styled with a small scrape of @ADHbrand #ADHdry after a few minutes of blow drying with a paddle brush.

Your haircuts look amazing, but maybe you feel like better photos would help you show that to the world...
At thehairjam.com I teach a jam session titled “andrew does photography” that is 100% about how to take better hair photos in the salon or barbershop, starting from the perspective of someone who has never picked up a camera and skipping past all the information a general photography course would cover that isn’t useful for haircut photos. The course covers what to look for in a body and lens that are ideal for portraits (without breaking the bank), where to buy these things, what all the buttons and settings do, where and how to pose your models, how to recognize good light, how to create good light (also without breaking the bank), how to use flash on and off of the camera, how to edit photos, and then I sit with a working professional photographer to talk about the laws and etiquette of photography (since you’ll be creating great photos, you’ll want to know your rights to them!)
This is an online course, content is dripped in pieces over three weeks to allow time for the student to practice what they’ve learned before adding to it. Once you get access to the course you have access forever from your computer, phone, tablet, etc.

It is my opinion that enhancements are a perfectly valid upgrade for the client who likes what it does. Being able to use enhancements doesn’t make a technician any less valuable, just because some people think it’s “cheating.”
Some people knock enhancements or fibers because they don’t last long... Maybe the client only needs to look their best for a single day event or for some photos! As a hairdresser, although I almost always aim to design haircuts to last as long as the client needs, I often do work that is only meant to last for one day (styled wedding hair much?).
Some people knock enhancements because they weren’t traditionally a part of what a barber did. Anyone who says that this means enhancements are bad, as they use their cordless clipper with ceramic blades, is kind of a hypocrite. Traditionally, barbers could do fades with scissors, if you can’t do that then shut up about what traditional barbering was, because even “traditional barbers” today aren’t actually all that traditional. Be traditional or be you and let others be them...
Anyways, huge thank you to @r.braid (a very non-traditional barber) for showing me how to use this stuff, and to @markhasabeard for letting me try it for my first time ever on his cheeks here.
Ps: I’m sorry if I wrote that with a preemptively defensive tone, but I know that a lot of people are very vocal about hair fibers being “wrong” and I wrote this already expecting a comment or two about that.
Ps again: mustache was styled with @ADHbrand #ADHwet... we glued the curls to his cheeks for a few minutes to set them (like the sideburns on a finger wave) before peeling them off to stick out like this.

Any time I see an edgy or unusual cut, a deliberate line in an odd place, a busted edge where there would traditionally be a clean edge, that sort of thing, at least one person with a different definition of “good hair” than the artist who created said cut says that the haircut sucks or must have been a mistake. How would you, personally, define “good hair” in the most universal sense of the term? I mean it, I want to hear how YOU think about the idea of good hair.

Have you checked out @judeviola’s haircuts? She’s very very good, I’ve been a fan for a while. Yesterday I got to texturize her hair a bit, and finally pick her brain. It was a good day.

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