Aref Hamed- Owner
The Barbershop
930 N Colony Rd
Wallingford, CT 06492
Instagram- @arefdabarber
JOIN US for a Facebook Live event on Men's Haircutting. Monday July 24th at 10am EST. Hosted by Nina Tulio

When my husband and I moved from Pa in November. I was in search of a talented barber in CT to cut my husbands hair. And of course, through Instagram, I found Aref. I checked out his work and was really impressed with his super clean and  polished haircuts. My husband was really happy with the entire experience that he received at the Barbershop. From the customer service, to the conversation, straight razor shave, and the amount of attention to detail to his haircuts. When my husband came home the first time I said "WOW!" I need to feature this guy. After a phone conversation between myself and Aref, I quickly realized this guy is not only talented, but he is the real deal. He understands the business, how to treat his clients, he works hard, is very humble, and most importantly, he wants to share his passion with others through education. He said to me " It's not about just the haircut, it's about the experience you provide for your clients." And that is why he has been succesful in business for the past 3 years! If you are looking for a skilled, master barber to host an in salon worksop, I highly recommend reaching out to Aref. It can truly change the way you and your team look at men's haircutting behind the chair. As always, we hope this interview will motivate you, inspire you, and encourage you, to continue to share your love and passion for the beauty industry. Enjoy!

1.   How long have you been in the industry? How long have you been a barbershop owner?
I've been in the industry coming up on 9 years professionally and I've owned the barbershop for 3 years

2.   What has been one of the hardest things you had to overcome since becoming a barber shop owner? The hardest part about owning your own barbershop is being able to cultivate a team that believes in the same vision you do, I always joke and say, "I wish I can clone my self."

3.   Tell me about your mentor and the importance of having a mentor in this industry.
I met Mario and Laura Landino when I was 18 right after high school. I attended the school they owned, Paul Mitchell the School. Everyone needs a mentor that can coach you along your journey and be brutally honest with you even when you don't want to hear it. 

4. What piece of advice would you give to other barbers that are just getting started in the industry?
For anyone who is starting out new in barbering industry I would highly recommend you find a great mentor and really focus on being personable. Learn how do great hair and don't settle for mediocrity. There is a world full of mediocre barbers. When a gentlemen sits in your chair provide them with the best haircut experience they ever had so your service will never be forgotten.

5.   You pride yourself on giving your clients the full barber experience. Can you explain the importance of offering an experience as opposed to offering just a service.
You can look at a barber and think he just cuts hair right? But it is far more then that. It's lifetime bond that the barber and the guest builds together. They share very important life experience and there is a lot trust there from the aspect of his hair and the information they choose to share with you. When we think about how many men allow another man to touch them in a personal way it's your barber, tailor, and doctor. A great haircut experience begins with a consultation to identify the needs wants and desires. After that, we need to start with clean fresh canvas so shampooing your guests hair is essential. It allows us to feel for certain bone structure which will help you while your cutting there hair to tailor fit the hair cut. The most important part is possessing the technical ability to get to that end result, whether it's fading, scissor over comb, clipper over comb etc. The final step is being able to teach your guest how to recreate the finished look at home everyday. This insures that they are the best version of themselves day in and day out. Make sure you recommend what you used on them throughout their service so they can take it home with them.

6. List 3 tips and tools you utilize to grow your business?
3 tips that made me successful is asking your guests to refer their circle to you, listen to your guest when they are speaking to you, and remember certain things about them. That's what makes it personal. And remember to have fun, because if you are not, why are you doing it!

7.   You are also an educator. Tell me me the importance of continued education, whether you are a new barber or a seasoned barber.
Coming from the Paul Mitchell schools helped me grow and look at things differently at a young age because of the structure they had. I wouldn't be anywhere close to where I am if wasn't for a strong foundation. Seeing the educational process role modeled to me, helped me further my own background in education. I truly believe success unshared is failure, and that is why I love teaching people what made me successful. Always seeking new education is the key to growth. You're never to old to keep learning and reinventing yourself.

8.   Describe in a few words the most important attributes a salon/barbershop owner must posses to be a success in this business ?

9.   You started in this business at a very young age. Describe your passion for this industry and how has it helped you grow your business?
At the age of 10 I learned my natural ability to cut hair and shape and mold it the way my friends wanted it to look. After asking them a few questions about how they would like to see their hair, I'd begin cutting it to there liking. I tried to begin with the end result in mind, that was the key to success. I would really have to envision the steps in my mind before I even began. The more and more I practiced it became like second nature. I was able to really understand the look the guest was going for and then it was up to me to execute. It all starts with a proper consultation. And remember, don't assume you know what your guests want, maybe there looking for some change. I always begin each service with how was your last haircut? And is there anything you would like to see differently?

10. What is your biggest accomplishment? What are you most proud of?
My biggest accomplishment is owning my own barbershop, and being able to employ like minded people so we can all grow and cultivate a great team. I love being able to inspire other barbers whether you are just starting out in school, or have been at it for quite sometime. My background in education really helps when training a team, the art of cutting men's hair is one thing, but being able to teach someone how it's done is another. 

Meet Master Barber, Aref and check out his work!    

Meet Master Barber, Aref and check out his work!