Over the years since Chris has started on his barber journey, I’ve learned about the time, commitment, history, tradition, and importance of the world of barbering. The Lansing Barber College is all to thank for that. The school makes it affordable for anyone to become a barber without diluting any of the tradition or history. They care about their students, work with them, cheer them on after their graduation, and have produced some of the most successful barbers in Michigan.
So when I heard that Aveda tried to buy LBC, and subsequently decided to open their open “barber school,” I was peeved. It’s not about the art of barbering to Aveda. It’s about the money. Obviously, since it costs twice as much without any of the lasting support.
I’ve never really had very good experiences with Aveda. My hair is thick, so razoring has always been my go to when I get it cut because it seems to reduce the bulkiness I end up. And yet, Aveda has a really hard time doing it and I, more often than not, end up getting it recut. Before Chris went to barber school, he went to an Aveda owned salon for his haircut. It was so bad, that we remember it to this day. It was about twice as short as he had asked for, wasn’t very well transitioned from the different lengths, and just wasn’t that great. It’s not the stylists fault though. When Aveda teaches their 1 week of mens hair, they don’t touch clippers, it’s all shears over comb. I had one Aveda graduate tell me that she didn’t even know there were guards for clippers. If they can’t even get it right with barber tools in their cosmetology department, how are they going to get it right now?
The sad part though, is that any student’s who end up going to their “barber school,” will miss out on a lot of the best parts of barbering.
Barbering is such an awesome community. The comradery that we experience to this day with the Lansing Barber College is incredible. We’ve all gotten together and our kids have played together, they’ve posted our job opening in the school, the instructors are proud of the tradition of barbering, the skills they teach aren’t artsy and lacking, they’re the real deal. Aveda trying to piggyback off of LBC is taking opportunities away from future barbers. And it makes me mad.
It makes me mad that future barbers attending their program are going to learn a watered down version of barbering. It makes me mad for future clients who walk into another Aveda location and get a terrible cut and leave with a poor impression of barbers. It makes me mad for our product suppliers who have such great, tried and true products who are now going to have to share profits with Aveda products that don’t work worth a shit in my opinion.
Do yourself a favor, if you’re considering going to the Aveda “barber school,” look into the Lansing Barber College. Go in and talk to Walt, Kevin, or Alex. And if you think this scathing post is a paid affiliation? That’s not how we do. The REAL barber community takes care of their own. It’s not about the money here.