Before 2000, there was a British Columbia Barber Association that ensured the quality standards of the barbering trade. All barbers had to have appropriate credentials displaying that they were trained in the craft.
After 2000, things changed, for better or for worse. The BC government absorbed the BC Barbering Act eliminating the need for barbers to have credentials. This had a two pronged effect:
- The BC Barber Association was extinguished
- The newly deregulated world of barbering was left open for new entries without qualification
How has this affected the barbering world in BC?
To answer this question, all you have to do is look around. Barbershops are popping up everywhere. Having been in the industry for most of my life, and having owned my own business for over ten years, I have seen a huge growth in interest in the barbering industry. Before the changes, most people interested in the beauty/grooming industry were more drawn to hairdressing. I assume this is because hairdressing may have a more glamorous appeal. Maybe the lure of money is the culprit. Or maybe industry professionals prefer to deal with woman than men.
Well, things have certainly changed. Now it seems ‘men’ are all the rage. With slick shows like ‘Mad Men’, and movies like ‘Mansome’ it seems men, and the professionals that service men, are coming back in the spotlight. Suddenly, there is a insatiable need for all things men. There are colognes for men, hair products, shaving products, clothes, cars etc., etc. Men are the new ‘it’ thing, and the barbering world in BC is left without a strong barbering association to support this demand.
So where do barbering professionals turn to. Where is the ‘rock’ for barbers? Where do they go to find support and exchange? Where can they go to talk men’s grooming with like-minded industry leaders?
In BC, there is the Beauty Council which advocates the rights and standards of all beauty professionals. In fact, this is where I teach a number of barbering courses designed to give would-be barbers the education they need to further their skills. It is a great place to start.
But as a hungry and passionate barber, I am always looking for different perspectives on my craft. This is why I chose to become accredited with the British Barber Association.
What does this mean for Uomo Modern Barber and its customers?
As the first and only barbershop in Canada to attain this accreditation, it means that Uomo and its staff has first hand access to the latest barbering trends and education coming out of Europe. Normally, what hits Europe first, arrives to Canada a few months later.
Secondly, accreditation means that we are a business that has fully qualified and licensed barbering professionals. We take our craft seriously and our service to our customers seriously. It means that we have a high standard of cleanliness (yes…we clean our combs after every haircut and use disinfected equipment including disposable straight razors that are never used twice). It means that when you walk into Uomo, you can rest assured that we are passionate and creative professionals that care about our clients, their safety and their style.
Finally, we did it because we love all things barbering, and to be associated with the BBA is a strong gesture of our commitment to the industry.