Barber Of The Month: Madison Skye from Town Barber
In any industry largely dominated by men, it's always refreshing to see a woman succeed. The world of barbering is certainly a field that is making more room for the ladies these days, and Madison Skye is paving her own way as a men's grooming expert.
Currently garnering her clientele list at Town Barber, a retro-inspired shop in the ultra hip Dundas and Ossington area of Toronto that combines a modern atmosphere with the old school barber shop charm. Not to mention, every cut ends with a straight razor clean up and hot towel. Talk about a shop that is seriously committed to you walking out the door looking and feeling like a million bucks.
MenEssentials had the chance to chat with the incredible Madison Skye about her experience at Town Barber, grooming tips, and what it's like to blaze her own trail in the industry.
MenEssentials: Tell us a bit about yourself
Madison Skye: My name is Madison Skye. Im originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia and have been living in downtown Toronto for almost four years now. I work at a traditional barber shop called Town Barber located at Dundas and Ossington along side barbers Chris Hammell and Kiwi Dan. We work primarily on a appointment suggested bases but do accept walk-ins whenever we can. You can book online at Townbarber.ca
ME: Tell us about how you got started as a barber. What drew you to working in a male-focused barber shop as opposed to a female-focused salon?
MS: I started doing hair back in 2010 and attended HDC (The Hair Design Centre) back east in Halifax. I primarily was taught to focus on women’s cuts and colours and have learned everything from extensions to perms, relaxers and up-dos. There wasn’t a ton of focus on mens cuts at all. I then moved to Toronto and started working in a salon downtown where there was a high volume of walk-ins and most of those walk-ins were male clients. I was doing anywhere from 10-25 men's cuts a day and realized that I was a lot stronger in that area and lost interest in doing women’s hair all together.
I was walking downtown on Queen Street one day and noticed the Town Barber pop-up shop in the Skate for Cancer store and then reached out to the owner Chris Hammell with an interest in working in a more relaxed, male-focused barber shop. The time came and I was given the opportunity to pursue my interest and now have been working with Town Barber since September 2014.
ME: Was it intimidating entering a male dominated industry? As a woman, have you ever felt you’ve needed to “prove yourself” to clientele?
MS: It is intimidating working in a male dominated industry. When most men come into a barber shop they expect that their barber will be another man. Its only been the past little while that woman are now getting into barbering. There have been times where I have felt
that some of my clients were a little uneasy and were out of their comfort zone with having a woman do their hair, but once they see the final result I usually see them back in my chair again.
ME: What's your number one grooming tip?
MS: Try to maintain your haircut every 2-4 weeks. A maintained haircut is easier to groom. Also having a good pomade is a staple in men's grooming.
ME: What shaving mistakes are most men of today making?
MS: Most men tend to rush when shaving. Shaving properly is a process. Always shave after a nice hot shower, that helps to open up the pores. Shave with the grain. Also using a good shaving cream with natural ingredients, a good blade (double edge safety razor) and an alcohol free after shave with cold water helps to achieve a proper shave.
ME: With the traditional barber/shave trend on the rise, how do you feel Town Barber sets itself apart from other shops?
MS: We offer a very friendly environment with a vibe that people want to come back to. We like to go above and beyond with a straight razor clean up and a hot towel for every client. We want our clients to feel at home when they come to Town Barber.
ME: What stage are you currently at in your career?
MS: At this stage I still have a lot to learn. Theres things I want to focus on and areas that I need to strengthen.
ME: What's next for you?
MS: I look forward to pursuing and focusing on my career in barbering and luckily I have been given the opportunity to work with such a great team here at Town Barber.
If you would like to book an appointment with Madison at Town Barber, check out their website at TownBarber.ca.
Town Barber is located at 1114 Dundas St West, at Dundas and Ossington in Toronto.
(Photos by Patrick Moore)