Oli Barber cutting hair in barbershop Q&A

Acad Grads: A Q&A with Barber, Oli

We had the opportunity to sit down with recent Barber Skills graduate, Oli, to chat about what inspired him to study barbering and discuss his journey from student to shop-floor.

Hey, my name’s Oli and I study Barber Skills at Servilles Academy.

Why did you choose to study barbering at Servilles Academy?

I was doing a job that I wasn’t really liking; I wasn’t too sure what I was doing as a career. And it was the first lockdown and I cut my flatmate’s hair. I watched a tutorial on YouTube on how to fade… and it was a very bad fade! But it kind of gave me the inspiration and I decided to look up Servilles and enrol.

What do you enjoy about barbering?

I really like meeting new people and learning about people’s lives and it’s such a great feeling when you do a cut on someone and they like it and walk out with a lot of confidence.

Tell us about real-life experience and working in a barbershop…

I started cutting my mate’s hair at Servilles, then Red (one of the tutors here) owns a shop in Te Atatu. I then asked him if I could come into his shop to gain a bit of work experience and I just started sweeping hair, talking to customers and learning off the other barbers. I did that for about a month (every Monday), he then offered me an apprentice job there and for the past four weeks, I’ve been working there full-time.

What’s it like being part of the academy community?

It’s not, like, secluded; barbers aren’t by themselves, hairdressers aren’t by themselves, everyone kind of joins together. We get an hour break for lunch time, everyone goes off to K Road and has lunch.

I was also part of the TBC photoshoot. We spent the day walking around, taking photos – it was a really cool experience. Everyone joined together and it was a great time. It’s a good community at Servilles.

Do you have any advice for aspiring barbers?

I think if you’ve got good people skills, just give it a go. I had a mate who was a barber and I learnt a lot from him, just being in a barbershop. I was a bit scared to at first, especially being a bit older and going back to study, but everyone’s great here.

We take a lot of photos during our time and the cuts we do and just watching us progress and watching your friends progress too is really cool because you do it all together.

I think just give it a go!