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Ulster men are ahead of the style pack, says the Nomad Barber

By Claire Williamson

What's the most requested haircut for Northern Ireland men?

According to a roaming 'Nomad Barber', last year it was that of fictional character James 'Jimmy' Darmody from American period crime drama series Boardwalk Empire played by Michael Pitt.

The wandering scissorhands is Miguel Gutierrez, who’s from Liverpool, based in London and who this week has set up shop in Co Down.

While there are fears that the traditional barber is on the way out among younger people, the Nomad Barber is on a mission to keep the tradition alive as he makes his way around the globe picking up tips and hints along the way and filming his journey.

He said: “The trade is booming at the moment with hundreds of people wanting to get into barbering and crossing over from hairdressing.”

Miguel has now stopped off at Garry’s Barbershop in Holywood to see what trends are influencing the locks of Northern Ireland men.

He left school at the age of 16 looking for a trade, signed up for a barber course and the rest is history.

On June 12, 2013, 10 years to the day that he began his career, he set off on his journey around the world which is being recorded for a documentary series on YouTube.

Miguel said he was impressed by the state of men’s hair here.

“It’s pretty good. The same sort of trends are happening across the world right now, a lot of people are getting side parts, but slightly more extreme.

“People are going down to almost skin on the side — people are being a bit more brave. Those trends are in Northern Ireland, as well as more people having beards as well which is cool to see.” He added: “It’s called a side part with a quiff, sort of like the classic slick looks.” While in the past it may have been the likes of David Beckham setting the trend for hair styles, now it seems inspiration is being drawn from social media picture app Instagram.

“There are so many barbers on Instagram they would bring in pictures they have seen on there instead of famous people,” Miguel said.

“At the minute there are no big trendsetters.” He added: “Last year there were a lot of people asking for the Jimmy Darmody off Boardwalk Empire and then it slowly moved in to skin fades, side parts and things like that.”

The 32-year-old barber said he has been made very welcome and loves the friendly attitude.

Background

In June 2003 the Nomad Barber enrolled in a barbering course and began working in an occupation he knew little about. This has seen him go from sweeping floors to winning the American Crew Face/off global men's styling competition 2013 in less than a decade. On June 12, 2013, 10 years to the day since he began his career, he began a pilgrimage over 12 months to uncover the secrets and history of barbering and male grooming worldwide.

To follow his journey visit www.thenomad barber.com.

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