[ Article by Nic Hetherington ]
[ Photographs by Joshua Duncan ]

Though the name of the game mightn’t have changed and the skills have been around for years and years, the ideas, products, trends, and people using them are only growing. In a friendly industry with a common love of people and a lot of hard work, the word ‘creative’ seamlessly describes the trendy and necessary business of the barbers who are attending to the heads of the many men (and women) who turn to them daily.

Hello My Name is Barber, My Fathers Barber, and New City Barbers are three unique and cool establishments dotted around Christchurch. Inside each one, we found a number of chatty, interesting chaps behind their respective chairs. We  stole a quick five minutes with one from each spot, but armed with the same few questions – to get the buzz on being a barber.

© Joshua Duncan - www.duncanphotography.co.nz

Chris at New City Barbers

What got you into barbering?

When the government said there was going to be all these guys coming into the city for the rebuild, I thought I’d give it a go. I was looking for a change anyway. It took a couple of years to get it going and then we were away.

Something that gets you excited about Christchurch?

Just the fact that it’s got such potential!

The most creative thing about your daily routine?

Definitely the work; we get a really wide range of customers that come in. We focus a lot on the classical and heavily technique based – yeah, it’s definitely the work. We stay pretty busy all day every day.

If you’re not busy barbering what would we find you doing?

Hanging out with my family.

Any particularly memorable moments of your career?

There’s been lots, you know, but I guess just getting to reach and meet a wide range of people and talk to them. Having a good crew. I quite like working with people. I’ve got young Isaac here – it’s his first week as an apprentice (in the chair as we speak). And I’ve got another apprentice in his final year not far away from his qualification, and another guy who contracts himself to me. I went through an apprenticeship. I’m a firm believer in going that way.

© Joshua Duncan - www.duncanphotography.co.nz

Enjalas at My Fathers Barber

What got you into barbering?

I needed a job. I used to cut my friends’ hair, heard My Fathers Barber was looking for someone, so I came in and spoke to the boss. He seemed to like me enough to give me a shot. I just fell in love with this shop and the culture of it.
I never left school being like I wanna be a barber…I’ve been here for three months now  and I’m loving it, eh. I love people. I’m a creative person and it was a job that catered to that.

I sit at home and I’m like how can I make my cuts better, how I can do this better – you know what I mean?

Something that gets you excited about Christchurch?

It’s always been home. I love the people. I think Cantabrians are people who have a lot more time for people. You know, you’re walking down the street and you’re definitely going to get a smile or like a ‘hi, how are ya’.

The most creative thing about your daily routine?

Obviously the haircuts; trends come and go – the part where you wanna make it work for them. We’re in an industry that thrives on trends working in and around that.

If you’re not busy barbering what would we find you doing?

I’ve been youth leading in my church for the past three or four years, so busy doing that or if I’m not there, probably in the gym.

Any particularly memorable moments at My Fathers Barber?

All the guys in here are so cool. Oh ok yeah, I cut a guy’s hair; he’d had dreadlocks for 15 years and I definitely got to know him. It was interesting to see how you can get emotionally attached to your hair. He keeps coming back though; he brought his daughter in and I met her. That’s another thing I love – the relationships that you build.

© Joshua Duncan - www.duncanphotography.co.nz

Levon at Hello My Name is Barber

What got you into barbering?

I’m not actually even a barber; I’m an owner (though it’s fair to say he seems to know a thing or two about it). I got into it to help out a friend. We’ve been here two years in October.

Something that gets you excited about Christchurch?

The prospect of having a shiny new city that the rest of the world is jealous of in five years.

The most creative thing about your daily routine?

When I get home, I sit in the studio and write music, Drum and Bass, Dub Step…

If you’re not busy barbering/being here, where would we find you?

Making music, and family times.

Any particularly memorable moments at Hello My Name Is Barber?

Oh, these people showing up that had been recommended to come here when they were in Amsterdam.