Barber Connect Meets: Alan Beak
If you’re active on social media, it’s more than likely you’ve seen Alan Beak and his work at some point. If he’s not cutting the hair of Manchester City players, he’s educating barbers all around the country with his expert knowledge. Alan will be the compere of The Modern Barber Live Stage, supported by American Crew at Barber Connect 2017. We caught up with Alan to talk about his early days of barbering, valuable life lessons and what to expect at Connect 2017!
After being trained in traditional Italian barbering, ladies hairdressing & Afro Caribbean styling, how did you manage to combine these different experiences to make your own style stand out as much as it does?
Experimentation was the key element, I wasn’t afraid of trying something new. I found that the best way was to communicate with clients and tell them what I was doing and what I was trying to achieve. They always knew I had their best interest at heart so they were keen to let me try different styles!
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learnt from barbering?
The most valuable thing I’ve learnt is to stay grounded no matter how high up the ladder you get, your shop and day to day clients are what matters the most. I’ll always answer questions every time I get the chance, we all started from the same place so it is nice to give back.
Education is obviously an important part of becoming a barber, how did you get into the industry and what inspired you to start becoming an educator yourself?
I first started in the industry when i was 12 years old: sweeping, washing hair and making cups of tea. As a junior I used to treat the shop as my own, making sure that nothing was out of place and I was very particular about the cleanliness of the shop. It was because of this attitude and mindset I was encouraged to take the next step up which was to go to college to learn to become a barber. At college I had an incredible tutor, who saw that I was trying to push boundaries and they pushed me in the direction of education. I loved finding ways of turning new skills that I was learning, into a simple interpretation of delivery, making the method easier for someone like a student to understand. I love using fun analogies, it just makes learning more fun and there’s a great sense of satisfaction watching someone progress from the help that you’ve given them.
As the compere of The Modern Barber Live Stage, sponsored by American Crew, what are you expecting to see from your fellow barbers?
It’s a great honour to be asked to be so involved with Modern Barber Live and I’m incredibly excited to be involved. There is going to be some amazing talent on stage so its going to be cool to see how people work as a team and individually!