Jalaal Tudge – Barber Jalaal, Birmingham, UK

Name: Jalaal Tudge

Barbershop name: Barber Jalaal

Location: Barber Jalaal, Unit B, 312 Green Lane, Birmingham B9 5DP

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What got you into barbering & how long have you been in the game?

I first started barbering at the age of 19 due to the inconsistencies of local barbershops, one week a good haircut the next week an awful one. Thereafter I decided to start cutting my own hair and didn’t do too bad at my first attempt. I probably owe this to my background in Art & Design, which enabled me to have a steady hand with an eye for detail. I have been barbering ever since and have over 11 years of experience.

What was your biggest mistake/learning curve when training?

My biggest mistake was not learning from the correct sources at the beginning, which would have helped me to progress quicker throughout my career. I’d also say that in the early days I had a lack of patience on the financial side, which led to me moving around shops far too often.

With new barbershops popping up all over, what do you think makes a successful barbershop business?

Branding is everything. The large majority of barbershops neglect to understand, that a strong brand identity is what will separate them from their competitors. Its imperative that staff and management reflect the strength of the brand through the products/services they offered. I agree that the market is somewhat saturated and we find that many shops just focus on undercutting prices to attract customers. But the best way in this day and age is to offer a quality service that leaves a lasting impression, solidifying the brand ethos with every client.

What are you finding is the most popular style/request/trend recently?

Textured Crops, Pompadours and Skin Fades are the popular styles I’m requested to produce, but I always like a challenge to keep me on my toes.

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?

Well I once was working alone and had a client ask if he could sit on the empty seat, so I could cut two heads at once. I responded in amazement “Are you being serious?!” He replied “Yeah the other barber does it for me.”, I just broke out laughing and said “It’s a good job I’m not the other barber then.” I was just in awe of the fact that someone people really think we’re the real-life Edward Scissor Hands! LOL

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 beards were always going to make a comeback, because let’s be honest a bearded man is in his natural state and closer to his once caveman like masculinity. I love cutting, shaping, shaving and trimming beards, clean shaves are boring and tasches look dodgy Haha!

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?

The introduction of laser hair removal tools would be great for the cosmetic side of barbering and could be a very lucrative addition to the existence income streams.

What one bit of advice, if you could back in time would you give yourself when you were just starting out in barbering?

Be patient and passionate then progress will follow. SIMPLE.

What’s your top tip for cutting/trimming/fading/styling/skin or hair care etc or favourite tool to use in your shop?

To eliminate lines when fading the best technique I’ve found is flipping the trimming upside down and gently scraping over the area of line you wish to remove. You can also use the corner of a foil shaver in a flicking motion to refine your work and completely remove even the faintest of lines.

It’s Monday morning your team are lagging from a heavy weekend what track do you put on to get everyone motivated?

We close on Mondays so this wouldn’t be much of an issue lol, but we do love a bit of ‘Billy Ocean – When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going’.