MARK MACIVER 


THE BARBER
@slidercuts
Age: 35 | Home: London

I love working in hair because... I enjoy making people feel better about themselves, both in terms of their image and through the conversations I get to have with them during the haircut – sometimes both counselling and encouragement.
My route into this world was… Through not having enough money to go to the barbershop and taking matters into my own hands – literally. I just went to the barbershop and watched people cut hair, and then I started learning.


I’m inspired by… People. For example, Kobe Bryant; he outworked everyone. He trained early, finished late and set an example. And that’s how you’re supposed to be. Hard work inspires me. People who aren’t naturally gifted but work hard to become extraordinary is inspiring. It shows that anyone can do it, and I see myself as part of those people.


When I said I wanted to be a barber, I was... Already six years into my career! I had never actually said that I wanted to be a barber, but by the time I said it out loud, I was already happening, and then it grew and grew from there.

If only parents knew that barbering… Could be so lucrative and respected, then maybe they would feel more comfortable with allowing their children to choose that career path.
My mentor is... A collection of people who don’t even know they’re my mentors, or realise they play a part in my mentorship.

It’s never too late to become a barber because… Unlike other jobs, your skill isn’t based on your body’s age limit. It’s also cheap to get into – the start-up costs can be £50 so there aren’t as many barriers.

That one time, I saw…  A rival gang squash their issue, which I played a part in. As a barber I’m in a privileged position where I can be objective and impartial. And, as everyone needs a haircut, I was cutting members of both gangs. After years of speaking to both gangs about resolving the issue, it finally came to an end. I asked both sides how they resolved it and each side said separately that they listened to what I said repeatedly over the years and they came to the view that it really wasn’t worth it. The reason why they listened to me is because I was their barber, involved in the lives of both sides and was respected – which was a big thing.



Working in barbering makes me feel… Connected to society and people.

The barber who inspires me the most is…Wizzy de barber. 

Want to get started? Your first step should be... After purchasing your equipment, start studying and watching good barbers.

Make sure you… Focus on the craft of being a good barber and not on making money. Good barbers make money.
You’re working with lots of people every day. Always remember to... Communicate, air out your problems in private and actively work on having good relationships. Work on talking to people that you don’t always click with, and develop skills to build on how to deal with others.

If it hadn’t been for hair, I wouldn’t have... Been able to affect the community as effectively in the way that I am able to do.



My ambitions include… Having a healthy home life, helping people who wouldn’t have been able to excel in life, and being the best barber I can be.

The best part of my day is… When I get home and my son, Makelo, runs to the door, hugs my leg and says, “I’ve missed you, Daddy!”.

I’m proud to be a barber because… It’s an honest living that provides for me, my family and friends, and even outside of that, it allows me to make people feel good, both physically and emotionally. I also get to help the community, which is really important to me.



 MARK’S TOP FIVE TIPS 

≠ Cut as much hair as possible and focus on getting clients. Even if it’s free, focus on the experience.

≠ Study and emulate barbers who inspire you.

≠ Be willing to pay to learn from those who know more than you - whether that’s from courses, shadowing sessions or masterclasses. It’s about making an investment in yourself.

≠ Make sure you focus on the business side of barbering as much as focusing on the craft. Most barbers will be self-employed so you need to ensure that you’re set up in the right way - pensions, sick pay insurance and tax. No one necessarily tells you about that side of things, but it’s important.

≠ Stay in touch with current trends and the new things that are coming out.




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