Sasha: She's Sensationally Talented

Last week I had the pleasure of introducing Chase Monroe, a fierce lady barber hailing from California. Today, I am so thrilled to publish my interview with Sasha (@inotsasha), an amazing Lady Barber from Jacksonville, FL. Unlike most barbers who start at a younger age, Sasha decided to pursue her career only four years ago at 27 while working in a totally different career at a domestic violence shelter. Despite her late start, she is already a shining star at Perfections Barbershop with a wonderful story to tell.

Sasha INOTSASHA Lady Barber HerChairHisHair

HCHH: What inspired you to become a Barber?

Sasha: Admiration…when I was younger it was during the high top craze: late 80’s early 90’s. I started drawing the hair cuts and all of the designs that I could remember. I admire cosmetology but I love barbering and seeing men that are well groomed.

HCHH: So how many men do you groom daily at the shop?

Sasha: It really depends on each day. It could be anywhere from five cuts to 20! Most of my regulars know I have a split schedule so usually Fridays I'm working until 9:00 PM or so. Luckily, my other job at the shelter is really understanding and gives me the opportunity to have a flexible schedule.

HCHH: When people find out you're a barber and not a stylist how do they react? 

Sasha:  I mostly get a lot of what I call the ‘yeah right’ face because I’m a woman. I like challenges, I always have especially when somebody tells me what I can’t do and I’ll do everything in my power to prove [them] wrong. I broke up with two different guys over being a barber – second one because he didn’t like seeing me being 'around those guys.' 

 

HCHH: I can't believe you had to end two relationships because they couldn't wrap their head around you being a Barber. Well if your exes couldn't handle it, could your clients?

Sasha: I had a client who seemed hesitant and I told him if I mess up and [he's] unhappy, it’s on me. My co-workers backed me up saying he was in good hands and I didn’t let him see the cut until I was done. [laughs] When he finally saw it, he smiled so I was happy. Oh! Once I heard a client comment like ‘Oh there’s a girl cutting hair here.’ And the barber across from me said ‘Yeah she cuts nice.’ His client who never seems happy said ‘No girl is ever cutting my hair.’ I’m in the South so there’s still a chauvinistic feel along the lines of 'women belong in the kitchen.'

Inotsasha Sasha Lady Barber Herchairhishair

HCHH: It seems like to me the guys have your back, do you think so? 

Sasha: I work with a cool group of guys but I had to earn their respect. They saw me do something simple and weren’t impressed of course, but I’m glad I earned it after all of the hard work. It solidifies my spot in the shop and now they will recommend me if they're busy. I’m thankful for that.

HCHH: Biggest pet peeve....name it!

Sasha: Biggest pet peeve, gosh… My biggest one in the shop is slouching when it’s your time to get your haircut. I can’t stand it. Thankfully I only have two clients [I know personally] who do it so I feel comfortable letting them know. Also the movers and shakers – they don’t sit still during the haircut and I'm trying not to cut their ear. I tell them I’ll shave their eyebrows off! [laughs]

HCHH: I think we should make a PSA letting people know to sit still or they may not have an eyebrow. So clearly...you like clippers to buzz off brows...is that your favorite tool?

Sasha: I do like my pair of Wahl clippers, they’re a bit nostalgic I think. They were the first pair of clippers from Walgreens I had when I used to only cut my nephew's hair. But my favorite tool is the straight razor – I do a lot of shaves and I love doing head shave. The blades are usually Derby.. I’m a derby girl for sure.

inotsasha Sasha Lady Barber Herchairhishair

HCHH: You know I have to ask...favorite snack! 

Sasha: I was waiting for this one. Definitely Smart Food White Cheddar Popcorn and a bottle of Perrier and I’m a happy camper. I come in the door in the morning with it two bags and bottles just in case it gets busy. Brea made me want cookies and Chase made me want red bull haha. 

HCHH: Now  I want cookies and popcorn...I'm blaming you ladies for my newfound diet! But while I eat some popcorn, tell me about any goals or dreams you may have in your Lady Barber career.

Sasha: As far as goals go, I would love by the end of the year to double my social media following as well as clientele. Like I said I love a challenge and most clients find me through social media. That’s the era we live in now, in my opinion. Speaking long term I’d like my own shop, I definitely want my own place where gentlemen can come and relax relieve their stress. Whether it's talk & discuss things like sports, news or just recover from their week. I don’t know where I’d want to open it we’ll see.

HCHH: Very nice, let me know when you start planning, I'd love to see what you have in mind for the shop. Anything else you'd like to add?

Sasha INotsasha HerChairhishair Lady Barber

Sasha: I would like to say a big, big, big thank you to my sister Tonya and nephew Nate who have been my biggest supporters. If I said I wanted to sell shoe laces they would say 'ok what kind of laces?'. She let me hack away at her kid’s hair for years. They are definitely Team Sasha, they encourage and push me to move forward. They’re the two people who have my back even when I doubt myself and my work and I feel that a public 'thank you' is deserved. 

I will back up Sasha and say thank you to Tonya and Nate as well, you have clearly helped her cultivate her career and I think it's awesome! To schedule an appointment with Sasha, comment below or find her on Instagram at @INOTSASHA. Have a lady barber you think we should interview? Let us know! And check back every other Thursday at 11:00 AM EST for your favorite lady barbers!

Until next time,

Cassie

ScissorSalute™: Behind the Scenes

This week was an exciting one for Her Chair His Hair primarily because the whole idea behind the site is meeting new barbers while connecting with them on both a professional and personal level. I was generously invited to sit in on this week's airing of the ScissorSalute™ Show which streams on USTREAM.tv Mondays 7:00-9:00 PM EST. To say this group was welcoming would be an understatement; by the time I left I felt like I knew each of them for a long time despite the crazy taping schedule!

Scissor Salute Show Logo Her Chair His Hair Behind the Scenes

The whole crew that you see on Instagram representing ScissorSalute™ was there with a buzz of energy to put on a fantastic show. Sefiroh (@Sefiroh), the creator of the show, Irene (@Newyorican_queen), co-owner, barbers Eli (@Elidabarber), , Ivan, Chauncey (@Chauncey_thebarber), and new addition Nicole Digilio representing Hair Stylists were hilarious and a great group to work with. This week they had Quisqueya Barbershop of Dover, NJ and I actually knew them from high school - talk about a small world! This Monday was a rare one off and I wanted to accept my invitation to see the show so I had no clue that the guys from Quisqueya would be there. Nestor (@Inked_Barber), David (@thefit_barber), Danny (@Danny_stylez91), Domingo (@Sir_Fade_Alot), were all there to show their best work and to answer questions about their career thus far. I know for a fact this shop stays busy! 

The group giving a Scissor Salute after the show! 

The group giving a Scissor Salute after the show! 

What I loved most about Monday night was the feeling of collaboration. Every single person in that room was there because they love what they do and they wanted to share it beyond their shop. Male barbers, Lady Barbers, it didn't matter - we were all just talking shop and discussing what we love which, to me, is what this site is all about. I can't wait to be invited back and discuss Her Chair His Hair  more but most importantly, meet many new creatives and hang with the Scissor Salute crew. 

Don't forget to follow these fantastic barbers on Instagram, I've listed their handles next to their names throughout this article. Also, don't forget to catch the ScissorSalute™ Show every Monday 7-9 PM EST on Ustream.com! When you download it, the site will give you a heads up for tuning in the show.

Until next time!
Cassie

Chase Monroe - the Amazing Lady Barber!


Intense and quirky aren’t typically two adjectives that are used to describe the same person but for Lady Barber Chase Monroe, they are only the start. A fire in her belly to be the best and brilliant humor that is quick to roll off her tongue, Chase doesn’t hold back and I love it.


Currently located in California, this Lady Barber works at Apollo’s Barbershop in Valencia while freelancing for corporate accounts such as Go Daddy.  Despite constantly being booked between the shop and her freelance work, she still finds time to run her YouTube channel to further educate viewers on the Barber industry. Luckily, she found some time to sit down with us and chat.

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HCHH: What inspired you to become a Barber?

Chase Monroe: I started in Cosmetology and loved working with women’s hair for shoots, but not in a salon. It was great money but super judgmental, if I couldn’t pick something up they’d just be frustrated and I felt something was totally missing.

 

HCHH: Approximately, how many clients do you currently see in a typical day?

Chase Monroe: Like most shops, it depends on the day. Fridays and Saturdays I’m slammed – almost no availability but I’d rather have quality over quantity.

 

HCHH: Has a client ever refused you?

Chase Monroe: Yeah for sure! The receptionist just asks clients if they want ‘the girl’ which is totally unhelpful when trying to build repeat customers. I tend to have more younger children and older men thrown my way. One time I had a Yelp review from ‘John’ saying it was the worst cut, all uneven and he wouldn’t suggest seeing me, ‘the girl’. I tried to follow up and ask questions, even offer a free cut, but he never responded. That sucked because there was nothing I could do about it.

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HCHH: Do you feel being a female barber puts you at a disadvantage sometimes?

Chase Monroe: I feel like I always have to be on point because there is something to prove when gender should really have nothing to do with it. A client said to another Barber in my shop “Girls can’t fade…I need a GUY.”


HCHH: Well that’s just rude. So you mentioned that the other Barbers are like your family, like brothers. Does this work to your advantage at all?

Chase Monroe: Like most families, there’s a certain dynamic and you can’t mess with it without getting called out. Us Lady Barbers intimidate them, they’re not used to girls like us. You have to blend in and be one of the guys.  I’m naturally curvy but more reserved, I don’t lean over and rub against the clients like the guys think we do – I want respect.


HCHH: Let’s switch it up! Any projects coming up or that you’re currently working on?

Chase Monroe: Nothing new coming up but I’m just continuing to work on my YouTube channel, I want to brand myself as a Lady Barber and travel to Chicago, Seattle, Miami, even some sleepy town in the Midwest! Maybe have Netflix pick it up eventually because I’d love to discuss the Barber culture and meet great people.

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HCHH: Like I asked Brea, name your favorite tool and favorite snack! They’re important to us Lady Barbers.

Chase Monroe: [laughs] My favorite tool is the feather razor, it’s great for the neck that everyone at the shop uses. I like detailing with the razor around the beard, neck, hairline, forehead, you know – us girls notice these details. Favorite snack? Hmm... Redbull Silver and probably doughnuts – the tiny, wrapped ones that are chocolate or powdered. I NEVER finish them but that’s my thing. Next door, it comes to $4.44, I don’t know why, but I like that.

 

HCHH: What bothers you the most? On set, in the shop, anywhere that you’re cutting hair.

Chase Monroe: Wow…hmm…I’d say I have two. One is related to music; we listen to a lot of classic Italian music in the shop. I mean, I’m Italian, it’s interesting but we work in a Barbershop. My second would be that there is no loyalty anymore in barbershops.

 

HCHH: Anything else? I love chatting with you, I don’t want it to end!

Chase Monroe: There’s other Lady Barbers out there and I’d like to get to know them too. On my wall there’s photos I purchased from Ebay of Lady Barbers, I want these guys to know that, yeah, this is a boy’s club but I’m honoring the past. We’re continually a part of a time honored career and I love it.

 

Thanks so much to Chase for chatting with us! If you want to check out her work on Instagram, her username is @LadyBarberMonroe. Tune in every other Thursday for your Lady Barbers at 11:00 AM EST!

Until then,

C

 

Featured Lady Barber: Brea_DaBarber33

When exploring the options of what to write for Her Chair His Hair, I automatically knew there was one specific topic I wanted to discuss in depth: Lady Barbers. As mentioned in my letter to you, I found that we are a small group but a growing one and we love what we do. What I love even more about this network is that we are supportive and don't criticize harshly unlike other communities. 

About a month ago I put out a call for amazing Lady Barbers to submit their work for an undisclosed project. I knew it would be rough getting people to openly speak with me based on little to no information but I was hoping I'd find some golden nuggets who were willing to go out on a limb for a new blogger. 

Having that said, I'd like to introduce Ms. Brea Retic.

HerChairHisHair Brea Retic Lady Barber

Located in Marietta, Georgia, one of Atlanta metropolitan's largest suburbs, Brea works four days a week as a Lady Barber. Like most people, she had dealt with a struggling economy in 2008 and decided to pursue her passion as a barber when she moved to Georgia. I sat down with Brea to discuss some of her experiences so far as a female barber and while some are funny, others are downright surprising.

HCHH: How many clients do your currently see in a typical day? Are you booked in advance?
Brea: On a daily basis, I typically see 10-15 clients and yes, I prefer they book in advance since my schedule fills up quickly.

HCHH: Has a client ever refused YOU?
Brea: Oh yeah, plenty of times. 

HCHH: So, you're telling me that you're booked solid most days and there are clients who have refused you. Why is that?
Brea: Usually they refuse me because of my gender and blatantly state that they don't feel comfortable with a woman cutting their hair.

Brea Retic HerChairHisHair Lady Barber

HCHH: Unfortunately that seems to happen a lot to female barbers. Let's move on to something exciting though, do you have any fun stories from the shop to tell?
Brea: One fun story is the time that I cut Colin Kaepernick [of the 49ers] and my son had a chance to meet him. When i came to the shop to tell the guys they couldn't believe it! I had to show them the photo plus Kap had posted it on his IG, so they finally believed me.

HCHH: That's fantastic! Are you working on any other projects currently?
Brea:  As of right now i am not doing any upcoming projects just continuing to expand my brand and grind daily. 

HCHH: Any pet peeves? I know we all have one.
Brea: My biggest pet peeve is when clients arrive late but still expect to be seen immediately. Also another pet peeve is bad hygiene!

HCHH: So I want to know what your favorite tool is and favorite snack when you're too busy to eat a real meal.
Brea: When cutting in the shop, my favorite tool would be the Oster Fast Feeds. Favorite snack? Hmm..it would probably be chocolate chip cookies & grapes. Oh and I always have water on hand.

Brea Retic Lady Barber HerChairHisHair

HCHH: Do you have any goals, hopes, or dreams that pertain to your career as a barber that you'd like to share?
Brea: A goal I have for myself is to own my own shop in Atlanta within the next four years. I also want to continue to inspire young woman and men, letting them know you can still be creative, be yourself and do what you love everyday.  Dreams I have are to travel the world blessing others with my gift and just continue to inspire and become one of the best! It's the barber life: the best life i could have ever chosen...well it chose me and it saved my life, for that I am forever grateful. I will never work another day in my life because I love what I do and I am blessed to say that.

HCHH: Anything else you'd like to say?
Brea: I just want people to know that this is industry has no limits and you can be as creative as possible so if you want it - go get it. No limits. Never limit yourself.

**If you'd like to schedule an appointment with Brea, feel free to leave a comment below with your name and e-mail address and she will be in contact.**