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Photograph: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

What’s it really like being a barber in Finnieston, Glasgow?

Scott Hughes, the owner of Soul Barber Room in Finnieston, says hairdressers can be like therapists. Here’s why

Written by
malcolm jack
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Scott Hughes, 46, thinks men need more places where they can just rock up and chat – and says barbers like his, Soul Barber Room, are the perfect fit. So, what else has he learned styling hair in Glasgow’s Finnieston? 

It’s all about the chat
‘Cutting hair is the middle ground to a good conversation. The amount of people you meet, from every walk of life, is the great thing with this profession. I’ve worked everywhere from London to San Francisco and Dublin. But Scottish people will talk about anything.’

Barbering has enjoyed a big renaissance in recent years
‘A massive hole developed in barbering in the 1980s, for the simple fact that a lot of older barbers were dying off. A lot of guys started visiting ladies’ hair salons, because it was a much more pleasing environment. Now there are loads of new barbers, doing super-cool cuts, which is great. Men need more places where they can come and just chat. There should be a barber shop or hairdressers for everybody.’

Some men will open up to their barber more than they would to a therapist
‘There’s not a desk between us, a barrier. We’re in close proximity, there’s contact, it’s a pretty personal thing. I’ve had people who have told me about coming into hundreds of thousands of pounds and going to some exotic destination and squandering it all. An elderly gent who had been in the shop bequeathed me his northern soul record collection after he passed away – it turned out he had been a DJ at Wigan Casino.’

Boring conversation is the scourge of the job
‘We’re human beings, we’ve got an infinite amount of things to talk about. If I ever do that clichéd hairdresser thing of asking someone, “Are you going away anywhere nice on your holidays?” you can punch me in the nose.’

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