'Native Meets...' gives us the opportunity to talk about life and barbering with some of the most exciting and cutting edge barbers. Our first feature is on Michael Beasley founder of Michaels Barbershop & Loco tattoo lounge. Michaels Barber Shop is based just outside of Birmingham in a small town called Cradley Heath. Established in October 2011 and now with 3 full time barbers.
Follow Michael on instagram @justmikethatsme
What got you into barbering?
It was more the person that inspired me to get into it, I didn't like school, I was never good with being told what to do and it was an escape for me when I went to the barbershop, the atmosphere and everything, it kinda paved the way for me to be myself.
What's your greatest achievement to date?
I don't have a greatest achievement at this moment in my life because there is so much more to come, owning both my barbershop and my tattoo studio, having two of my passions next to each other with no one telling me what to do is pretty awesome.
What are your goals for 2016
Yeah quite a few tbh but I don't like talking about them because if they don't happen you look like a bit of a d**k.
Another shop is on the cards pretty soon and another exciting project but I'm not somebody that wants to open up shop anywhere and put any old barber in them as many do these days I want everyone to have worked with me at some point and see how I do things so that I can keep things to a certain standard, I think a lot of people get ahead of themselves and ruin their own reputation and let their standards slip because of money when it's always been pride over profit for me.
Ever cut any famous hair?
What's famous? We're all just people right? Im not an A list barber just a normal dude, I could tell you a few 'famous' people that could do with a good haircut tho haha
Funniest work story/anecdote or story told to you by a customer?
Someone's girl came in one time and started stressing because he went home smelling of perfume, he waited outside like a puppy. Either he did something or was just using me as an excuse. I love the old boys they have the best stories.
Is there a particular style that is trending within the area you are native to?
80% skin fades where I'm from.
Show us some of your recent work...
What styles do you see breaking through in 2016?
Easy! Cropped fringe always the haircut to do.
Where do you think the British barbering community stands on a global scale?
I'm glad you asked, leaders definitely, the Americans have the fade game strong but all these haircuts you see are so photoshopped and so touched up its not even real, most towns and cities across the globe don't have the range of hair that we do its so hard to master a craft when you are constantly having to change your style of cutting to suit that hair type, we have so many different origins etc but it's awesome, keeps you on your toes.
What is your current favourite style, and your techniques to achieve the cut?
This was an exciting haircut to do with a double hard line skin faded, slicked and of course the mighty beard sets it off. Dried on a medium heat pushing it the desired way, styled with a pomade and medium size comb.
Ten things you wouldn't have known about Michael...
Fear and loathing in Las Vegas, Snatch, Ray featuring Jamie Foxx
Birmingham of course.
Has to be Greek, I grew up in a Greek household so I'm all about the real kebabs and fresh salad
All time favourite brands have to be vans, stussy, the hundreds
Resolutions for 2016?
Last place you visited / Next place to visit?
Ibiza in September and I will be in Amsterdam this month or next doing a guest spot, then Iceland in January.
Do you have a ethos/ motto you live by?
Fortune favours the brave.
Who or what inspires you?
Every day life inspires me, everything we do, everything we touch, life should be inspiring otherwise you'd go mad trying to work it out.
Describe your style
People say I'm different but I just think I'm Me I like to think out the box, mix fashion with street wear and skate, I dress most days how I dressed when I was 15 it's just seen as 'cool' now. Dont do things that you think people would like to see - do the opposite make your own shadow don't live in other peoples.
Favourite type of music?
Never been able to answer this question, I listen to soul and swing music because it was always playing whilst I grew up but I love hip hop and house. Again my mood plays a massive part.
Follow Michael on instagram @justmikethatsme and be sure to drop in at Michaels Barber Shop & Loco Tattoo Lounge.