When injury put paid to her career as a professional footballer, Dublin-born Hayden Cassidy found barbering gave her the same adrenaline rush. Now one of the UK’s most high-profile female barbers, she’s travelling the world as an educator, getting paid to endorse brands on her Instagram and has opened her own barbershop, Unit 8 by HAYDEN, in London.

Why barbering?
I was 21 when I came back home from playing football in America and met someone who had just started barbering. I used to drive friends to his house for haircuts and eventually he convinced me to try out a skin fade. It was meant to be a laugh but on the way home I stopped by TK Maxx and bought myself some clippers.

Tell us about your first job
I started barbering in my mam’s kitchen cutting family and friends and watching online tutorials! It was a couple of months before I picked up the courage to walk into a barbershop and convinced the owner to give me a trial. I started as a junior barber and within a couple of months was charging full price and building a busy schedule.

Is it difficult to learn barbering?
It’s frustrating, exciting and lots of hard work. I would be the first in the shop and the last to leave – then I would go straight home to continue cutting my friends and family. Barbering was my life! It took a while to get comfortable in my new profession but I had amazing support from the lads where I worked – I’ll be forever grateful for that.


And how did you get to where you are today?
I moved to a barber shop in Berlin, started doing education work and got spotted at an event in LA by the education manager of a big barber brand who invited me to join their team. I had only been cutting hair for a couple of years at this stage and couldn’t believe the opportunity I was given. Suddenly I was travelling and educating all across the globe! I started to educate for myself too, building up my network and community, which eventually led to me opening my own independent studio and education under my surname Hayden. I’ve worked on some big session styling projects, shot for GQ and big brands and cut some pretty A-List names! It’s been a whirlwind and I’ve no doubt it will continue to be, so long as I stay passionate and hungry.

What do you love most about what you do, and what are the downsides?
I love that every day is different and I love that I’m my own boss but most of all I love the freedom to create! The only downside is the time spent away from family and friends, but it means the time that I do get to spend with them is a lot more special!

 @hayden_cassidy 


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