In 2013, award-winning barber Miguel Gutierrez set off on a crazy around-the-world adventure to learn more about his trade.
From Turkey to Singapore, India and beyond, Miguel, aka the Nomad Barber, has been using his expertise to explore cultures and customs in the many barbershops around the world.
For those who don’t know you, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you became a barber?
Now I first became aware of you from your excellent YouTube series “The Nomad Barber” Where did that idea come from and was there a lot of alcohol involved in your decision?
It actually started out as a small idea over coffee. I knew I wanted to travel again but I didn’t want to disappear from the industry.
Combining all the things I love into one project was just the start, the idea grew and grew and it turned out into what it is today.
How on earth do you plan for something like that and what sort of organisation was involved?
It was very improvised, I took it one step at a time ticking things off the list. I got a cameraman through crowd-funding, I also got a sponsor and just planned out the general route.
The barbershops were either randomly picked or contacted through social media ahead of time. As I say, all improvised.
Ok, you’ve been to many places as the Nomad Barber and you’ve probably been asked this one a million times, but where was your Favourite place or the best experience? (And the worst?) And anywhere you didn’t get to but wanted too?
My favourite place was by far India and behind that, turkey. The barbering cultures are so rich there and you still feel like a fish out of a water. I find most excited as a traveler when I’m out of my comfort zone.
What was your most challenging experience on the road?
The whole trip was a challenge really, because not only were we travelling we were also filming, and when we weren’t filming we were researching, and when we weren’t researching we were editing video.
We did 20 countries in just over 10 months. To keep up with that was really tough.
How has your barbering/shaving technique changed because of your travels? What sort of things do you do now that you didn’t do before visiting these places? Do you remove evil spirits while doing a head massage for example?
I’m constantly trying to improve but a lot of is down to the service and the flow. I’m very open about the way I shave and cut so you’ll have to watch the video’s to get a better idea
As you’ve said you recently set up your own barber shop. Can you tell us a bit about that?
We are now a team of 5, it started off as just me in a pop up store around the corner and it’s quickly grew into a shop you have to book a few days in advance. We offer mostly the traditional services like haircuts and shave but we put our own spin on it. It’s all about the service though as the end of the day.
Ok, when you’re not travelling to the ends of the earth, what’s a typical day for Miguel Gutierrez?
Pretty standard really.
Wake up – Emails, go to my office or the shop. Take photo’s, edit video’s, do and accounts and plan my next move. My days change so rapidly though and it’s very inconsistent
Can you tell the Barber Banter members, what plans you have for the future?
Lot’s going on but I don’t like to jinx myself anymore. Probably another barbershop though and more travels, it’ll all be planned in the next couple of months, Exciting times.
Have you any advice for any barbers out there who fancy doing a similar thing to what you did?
I’ve had emails off people in the past wanting my to lay out a plan for them to literally copy my whole idea and it’s pretty strange. But like Nike says, whatever you want to do ‘Just do it’ You’ll read that in every business book .