Not your average Barber Shop; Not your average Barber 

What is the difference between a barber and a hairdresser?” is a question we get asked regularly in our shop. My answer, “Would you ask your hairdresser to trim your eyebrows, de-fluff your ears or even advise you on whether to leave the missus for Mandy in IT?” I think not.

Barbershops are traditionally a hang-out where it’s acceptable to simply be “men” away from “judgement and nagging”. Therefore, it often throws folk (especially guys) that I, a “Sheila”, would choose to not only work in one, but to run one.

I can stand the smell (trust me: there is one come 4 o’clock when the tradies rock up, and my boys are in full swing). I can stand the banter; I encourage it – that’s what a barbershop thrives upon. Plus, one day when I write a “tell all” book on the inner workings of the male psyche, it will make me a killing! I can even stand the constant teasing from my boys every time a customer leaves and they think I just right-swiped on the live Tinder gig I supposedly have going. However, the one thing that is a daily challenge, alongside keeping four unruly lads in check, is the regular reminder that I am a barber-girl in a man’s hairy, beardy world. Some assume I’m the receptionist, question my ability, look worried at the site of me brandishing a razor, or even on rare occasion deny my services without me lifting a comb.

It’s a bit of a jab to the jugular when blood, sweat and tears (all of my own, don’t worry) have been shed to help produce our thriving York Street man-cave that has now, I’m proud to say, made its mark upon the Sydney barbering-scene. I love my job. Yes, some days I have an internal screaming session, spend many a toilet break banging my head against a wall and often run to the girls across the road at our local coffee haunt for solace, but it’s all because to me this is not just a job; it’s my passion, career and way of life. I’m barber through and through and lucky enough to meet interesting guys from every walk of life, daily. I learn more about the world and myself every day and thrive upon it.

So I say one thing to anyone out there doubting the female barber, questioning her place within the testosterone trenches of the barbershop, ‘I’ve got the balls, mate; do you?”