Teenage barber who taught himself to cut hair in lockdown wins award

A teenage hairdresser from Batley is hoping to open his own barbers after discovering a natural talent for the profession.

Sunday, 12th December 2021, 7:00 am
Ismaeel Nawaz, a 16-year-old barber at 1Kal Barbers in Batley who taught himself how to cut hair during lockdown, has won a major competition

Ismaeel Nawaz, 16, says he wants to open his own shop in the next two to three years after taking up hairdressing during the first lockdown.

After cutting hair for his friends and family, he learned he had an ability for it.

“In the first lockdown, my brothers needed a haircut, so I just used these cheap clippers and started cutting their hair,” he said.

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“Then from there, I’ve just gained more interest.

“I did a good job so I just carried it on, ordered some cheap clippers from eBay, used them for a while, invited some friends over and it’s gone from there.

“I carried it on in my garage, built a name for myself.

“I’ve got a wider clientele now.

“I didn’t love it in the first place but it just grew on me and my talent just got awoken.

“It’s a good art, a good life skill to have, it’s enjoyable and there’s a lot of money to be made.”

Ismaeel recently competed in a Barber Battle in Liverpool, winning the competition ahead of more than 40 contestants.

“It was a barber convention and at the end there was a competition,” he said.

“It was whoever could do the cleanest fade in 20 minutes.

“I expected to win it though!”

Ismaeel has had his own chair at 1Kal Barbers in Batley since June.

Owner Kaleem Khan, 24, thinks Ismaeel has a big future in the profession.

“I saw him on Instagram and got to know him through there,” he said.

“He’s a great talent, he’s just so passionate about it.”