There have been a few times where I have not sought out a Lady Barber but, instead, she found me. When Lauren first popped on to my radar a couple of months ago, I saw a huge smile and some serious photos of women gathered together. Naturally, this piqued my interest and ever since then I knew that she just had to be featured on here.
Currently located in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, Lauren works at 18/8 Fine Men Salon while representing Wahl Pro on their fantastic education team. Lauren's ambition paired with her absolute love and talent for barbering has brought her this far in her shorter career. I cannot wait to see what else she has up her sleeves, although she did give us a small hint...
HCHH: Did you start off as a Barber or receive a dual license?
LaurenTheBarber: I first went to school for Cosmetology, Missouri does not have dual licenses like some other states, but honestly you couldn't pay me to do women's hair. There is a crossover program that allows licensed cosmetologists and barbers to go back for the other program and learn what they hadn't the first time around so I took advantage of that. I still have a few female clients that come to my salon though and I can cut their hair with clippers, too.
HCHH: So they have short hair like men?
LaurenTheBarber: No, I can cut bobs and longer cuts than a traditional men's cut with clippers. Are you aware of back or freehand clipper cutting? Don't worry I'll make you a video, promise! [laughs]
HCHH: Oh man I feel like a student all over again, that's exciting! So tell me, what kind of reaction, if any, do you receive when you tell people that you're a Lady Barber?
LaurenTheBarber: I was doing men’s hair at the time so all of my clients were super excited. They didn’t really know what it meant. I don’t think anyone ever understood what it meant, why it was important. My family and husband were totally supportive of it, I just got married at the time and my husband said to go for it.
The shaving thing was something that really was important to me just because I was able to do something that nobody else could so that set me apart. I wore that like a badge of honor and I think it’s gotten me a lot more respect especially in the men’s hair world.
HCHH: Since nobody was genuinely shocked and you already had a decent sized male based clientele, would it be safe to assume nobody has ever refused you?
LaurenTheBarber: No, never. Certain guys with more ethnic hair won’t let me cut them because they assume I can’t do it. I go around and hand my business cards out and they look at me like I’m crazy. But I've never had a guy walk in to my salon and say 'No' because I'm a woman.
HCHH: So tell me what your biggest pet peeve is whether in the shop or while teaching classes?
LaurenTheBarber: Just people being late or not showing up. I can’t handle people who disrespect my time – I think they don’t realize we don’t get paid to stand around and twiddle our thumbs. If you’d just pick up the phone and call, I could just get somebody else in my chair.
HCHH: Do you have any events coming up that you can talk about?
LaurenTheBarber: Yeah a few actually! For Wahl I'm heading to Austin, Texas in a few weeks and wrapping up the year in Phoenix, Arizona. I also have a fun gig with Salon Lofts where I go and teach for them. I've been doing some of their regional education but I'm hoping to do some tours as well.
HCHH: What is a Salon Loft? And does Wahl mind sharing you with other companies?
LaurenTheBarber: Not at all! Wahl loves the idea of educating other barbers no matter where or what. I always use my Wahl clippers and tools anyway so it's perfect for them. Salon Lofts is a company that buys buildings & turn them in to 12x12 lofts and everyone has their own locking door. It's private but still communal and a really cool concept.
HCHH: I definitely have to check that out. So tell me, when you're busy running around what is your favorite snack?
LaurenTheBarber: Chips and salsa! You don’t have to heat it up so it's totally easy. I'm definitely not a big sweets person, I like salty and spicy flavors.
HCHH: Cool, I'll keep the sweets and we'll just fight over the salty. Of course I have to ask, what is your favorite tool to use?
LaurenTheBarber: Oh man…girl you don’t even understand how many clippers I have! But I'd have to say the Wahl Sterling Stinger. A lot of people don’t know that Wahl makes a rotary clipper detachable blade. I love that thing like it’s my second child. It doesn’t get hot, it’s probably half the weight of the Oster and ergonomically correct (a shallow point in the center where you hold it).
HCHH: Finally...Do you have any goals, hopes, or dreams that pertain to your career as a barber that you’d like to share?
LaurenTheBarber: People think I’m crazy but I tell them all of the time I’m just so happy with where I am in my life right now. I feel so fortunate that I’m doing everything I love, I seriously couldn’t be any happier. With that being said, I do want to teach more – I don’t want to give up the shop but I do want to teach way more. I feel like what we do with barbering is so special, I can’t think of a better job.
I get to see 250 of my closest friends every month in the salon and I get paid for it. With teaching it’s the same but different – especially when people say they’ve never learned so much before and they cant wait to try a new technique. I’m one of the youngest and least experienced people on the Wahl team so hopefully that just means I’ll be around for a long time.
There you have it: fun, sassy and beyond talented. Three cheers for Lauren! I cannot wait to meet her in person in the near future. Stay tuned Mondays and Thursdays 11 am EST!
Until Next Time,