Sid Sottng – Master British barber & one of the head tutors for MyHairDressers.com – is visiting Moscow for the third time to deliver barbering master classes. Sid sits down with Kseniya Shervakova to share his passion for his art, predictions for the coming season, and discusses the style of Russian men.
Sid, how did your career start?
25 years ago I was living in New York. There wasn’t much on my street other than a barbershop & my Mom suggested I work there. I felt right at home the moment I stepped inside & haven’t looked back. Actually, there was also a police station & a fire department nearby, but as you can see I haven’t become a policeman or fire fighter, probably for the best!
Who do you class as the guru of hairdressing?
I got lucky as I had many amazing mentors but the main one was of course Vidal Sassoon, I studied at his academy.
What was the best advise that was given to you by your teachers?
Never give up. I tell my student’s the same thing. You need to give your maximum effort, nothing else will do.
What qualities should a good teacher have?
Passion! You have to love what you do.
I know that you now focus on mainly being a tutor. Is there a reason why?
I weighed up my priorities and decided to do what makes me truly happy. It’s pointless wasting my time on anything else.
Can you share with us what male hairstyles you think will be popular in the new season?
Very short hair on the sides and back, and quite long on top. The biggest mistake people make when creating this look is creating a solid line at the back, it’s not a good look. I advise you to urgently check the back of your head! There should be an emphasis on the blending. In the near future men will start growing their hair out, you’ll see. They’ll be more of a focus on texture – bed head will be making a comeback.
How would you go about achieving this look?
A combination of the cut & styling. I’ve actually developed a new technique for this style. I cut the first strand at one angle, and the second at a different angle & so on. This achieves a lot of volume & a structured messy effect.
Which celebrity’s style do you admire the most?
David Beckham always looks great. He’s a mass-marketed celebrity but let’s be fair, he’s got style!
What about shaving, what’s the latest trend?
With each season, beards become longer and thicker. I think people need to learn how to look after their facial hair, a beard shouldn’t look like it’s growing out of control. And of course there’s always the option of a moustache. But remember, it’s either the beard or the moustache.
What do you recommend for usage on facial hair?
You can start with simple hair wax. I also often use argan oil as it helps to tame stubborn hair & smells great.
What mistakes do hairdressers make most often?
I’ve noticed that the majority don’t recommend products despite every good haircut being enhanced by well-selected styling products. You should give your input when it comes to products.
Tell us about your daily hair/face routine?
My girlfriend shaves my head for me every three days with a straight razor. For facial care, I like to use a scrub by Baxter of California and a post shave cream by Lock Stock and Barrel. I am planning to release my own range of products next year; in the meantime I am testing everything on myself.
What have you noticed about the style of Russian men?
You have loads of hipsters but I must admit that it really suits Russians, especially with the haircuts that they sport. Unfortunately men over here seem to occasionally neglect the styling side of things when it comes to hair. Regarding style in general, I would like to see a lot more men in suits and can’t accept the combination of socks and sandals!