People run, cycle, climb and drive across the landscape and the communal is a sign of a living, breathing, culture.
As we slowly come out of lockdown, those dreams, achievements, skills and experiences are helping us reinvent normal, take our services forward in the post lockdown time. The care and skill of medics in the NHS and throughout the athletic, cycling and motorsport sectors are bringing a level of attention and care to services like hairdressing and barbering. Like the motorsport medics who’ve rallied to ensure experience, technical skills:
“One of the reasons I enjoy motorsport is it encourages adaptability – in a hospital it’s very easy to find out what I need to know, but in motorsport you have to work with more limited information and resources: you need a cool head, empathy and an ability to communicate clearly in stressful situations”
Above: Determined to give you a haircut in the safest possible conditions Sharrowvale Road, Sharrowvale Barber Sarah Bosworth attending to a customer with the same level of safety you’ve come to expect throughout the NHS and in care homes! (Sarah wearing visor, gloves, mask and disposable apron).
Above: The pristine Sharrowvale Barber Shop: (S11 8ZG)
During the three months of Covid lockdown, Sarah and Mick, husband and wife who run and manage the barber shop have moved it on from a spit and sawdust place to somewhere, as Mick says that is…. ‘a bit more up to date!’
Sorry: no beard trims until the world gets back to normal…
New ventilation system constantly changes the air within the shop.
One in – one out system.
All Touch Points within the shop are disinfected after every customer.
How should customers arrive?
With clean hair please and a face covering.
Having a mask (and one that you wash every time you wear it) is probably going to be normal
but if you haven’t got one Sharrowvale Barbers will provide it. All gowns are disposable.
Sharrowvale Barbers are starting with booking by phone 07783 629062 and will let you know when online booking starts.
Partner in the business, Mick was born in the late fifties and like many people of that era have a real feel for culture, history and our place in that history. Mick remembers from his own lifetime the old fashioned barber shop was somewhere that children were ….
…’taken to’ by Mum: -because it was the place my Dad went to.
(I remember the hairdresser as a place where you could access fashion: me and my two sisters had ‘beatle cuts’ then moved on to Vidal Sasson styling….the pageboy…):
Mick remembers hair in the 1980’s went ‘Unisex’ and I can remember getting ‘streaks’ with the rubber cap and crochet hook.
(I think unisex started as the culture changed in the 1950’s and 1960s: the New York Times used the word to describe chunky shoes in 1968….)
Sarah was trained at Castle College under the legendary Don Allott, opening the shop on Sharrowvale Road in 1999 just as many old style barbers were closing and boys and girls leaving college wanted to do colours….
-and extensions in salons where they could earn a much better wage.
Mick remembers how during this time, Brylcreem took on David Beckham (for 4 Million) and the upsurge of interest in male grooming started.
Above: Brylcreem publicity photo of David Beckham September 1998
Over the next ten years new style ‘upmarket’ barbering establishments opened where you would get a coffee or a beer and……..
purchase hair & skin care products.
Mick is right: in 2020 barbering is a self care experience: the old 15 minute hair cut has nearly disappeared….
He notes: “One of our pals dropped in the shop this week to say hello. He pays £24 for his haircut and £16 for a beard trim and loves the whole barbering experience
Customers are prepared to pay more but expect barbers to be blokes with beards, full sleeve tatoos & leather aprons.
I’d argue that it’s not so much that they want men with beards and tattoos but that they want someone to cut their hair look after the shave and any other related care with knowledge and expertise.
It’s more that now people care about the genuineness of the relationship and experience. Men care about your knowledge and skills.
Barber Sarah is always learning, she’s been thirty years in the trade, has seen all the styles come and go and has mastered 99% of them. She admits though that she’s never been totally happy with her flat top and keeps learning, updating skills with the latest gear and is currently enjoying her super fine foil shaver that gives a super tight finish to the latest skin fade styles:
The customers are what motivates her: from the pensioners who come in on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings and the really nice men who came as children and now bring their children. Sarah’s only regret is that she’s probably too old now to play football but she’s got Mick (who supports her passion for Motorsport(!)).
Sharrowvale Barbershop established 20 years, specialising in male grooming.