Name: Altaaf Bauhadoor
Barbershop name: Altaaf Hair Studio
Location: Camp Fouquereaux, Morc Pinewood, Mauritius
What got you into barbering & how long have you been in the game?
I managed to pass the SC level but decided to call it quit. I needed an internship somewhere and I secured one in a reputed salon in Rose Hill. Coming from a very small area, I was amazed to see that such level of hairdressing existed in Mauritius.
After gathering some enriching and fruitful experience, the owner and myself mutually agreed that I needed some training as well as exposure from other well-respected institutions. I had my mind set in to enter into the best salon in the island. I was lucky and got selected there. It was just wonderful.
However, after some time, I decided to take a break to think again about my future. Thus, I accommodated a small space in my home to exercise as a hairstylist while my permit got approved.
From there, my solo journey began. I’m still far from my goals but my dream is to lead a team where each one has a different talent and specialises in one specific area. Giving youngsters with potential the chance to show their worth is also something I have close to my heart
What was your biggest mistake/learning curve when training?
It was when I was learning to use a razor and shaving my friend who was learning too and I mistakenly cut his cheek and it started to bleed.
With new barbershops popping up all over, what do you think makes a successful barbershop business?
Knowing how to treat your clients is one of the tips to have a successful shop. Like knowing their last haircut or colour and do a summary with them, they appreciate that.
Sponsorship like I did last few times where Altaaf Hair Studio was the main and official hairstylist for the Miss & Mr Eco Mauritius and for the events organised at the University of Mauritius. I don’t get paid for that but it increases my popularity and I gain many clients from it.
I’m a solo hairstylist but I have two students doing their stage in my shop and they’re doing well. I bring them along whenever I go to events or home services. I don’t have staff but Altaaf Hair Studio consists of 4 members. Me, a make up artist known as Make Up By Yushrah on Instagram and the 2 students Junaïd Jackie and Taariq Issimdar.
What are you finding is the most popular style/request/trend recently?
For Men : The classic haircut with a side part and a skin fade on the sides and sometimes a style like a pompadour
For Ladies : Bob haircut is the word which comes out of every female who sits on the chair. A bit slicked and inverted is what I propose
For Colouring some grey babylights on guys head and balayage caramel or platinum blond for the girls
The barbershop is the perfect place to relax and discuss all manner of topics. What’s the funniest story you’ve come across when chatting to clients?
I think it’s when teenagers come back to me after a crazy hair colour and have to dye it black again because of the bad times at home. They tell me what their dad said and the grief they get over it. This happens at the end of every semester
Guys growing out beards have been popular over recent years; do you think this trend will continue/what’s your opinion on them and the styles?
I think that some guys will keep the trend because I still have clients that maintain their beard and want it to grow longer. For clients who don’t have hair on the top they prefer to shave their head and keep a large thick beard. They like that badass look.
Men’s grooming is only getting more popular, what new styles/products or techniques would you like to see improved/brought out or developed within the industry/peers?
To be honest I really like the effect of PACINOS product but unfortunately, we don’t have it here. I would develop the deep skin fade and keep the length on the top to play with the styles and using different types of effect.
There’s a lot of banter between barbers which helps makes the shop a fun place to be. What’s the funniest joke played/situation occurred in your shop?
When a client doesn’t have hair and he want a style that have long hair on the top, like he shows me a picture of what haircut he wants. Or when a lady sit on the chair she says she want a big change, she’s tired of that hair, she wants to be transformed.. BUT KEEP THE LENGTH!! HAHAA
What one bit of advice, if you could back in time would you give yourself when you were just starting out in barbering?
I would say never give up and keep on moving forward. This job is like something to be crafted with your own hand. You can see how magical your hands can be and what can be created
What’s your top tip for cutting/trimming/fading/styling/skin or hair care etc or favourite tool to use in your shop? (We like to find unusual tips with this question so the more unique the better) Please explain as if explaining to a new apprentice.
Hmmm for fading I prefer to clean the sides with a guard 3 first and then draw the line zero follow by guard 1 to blend the contrast and then using appropriate angles I cut in the top and always style the hair after so that the client have an idea of how to style it at home and how it should be.
My favourite tools are my Wahl Clipper
Final question, it’s Monday morning your team are lagging from a heavy weekend what track do you put on to get everyone motivated?
We absolutely love Arman Cekin, Good For You ft Glaceo.
It just makes me think about my project which is going to be on this year itself. That is opening my big salon. A bit more comfortable with 2 or 3 working stations. A welcome desk and products on shelves. That’s my dream and my motivation to work hard and to achieve more in life. I get back on track to get
motivated by thinking of that beauty. That’s it.