Chris Foster talks BBA barbering at Chris & Sons’ HQ
Larry The Barber Man interviews Chris Foster
I met up with Chris Foster at the Chris & Sons’ barbering supplies store in North London. While Chris is quick to point out that he’s not the eponymous Chris of Chris & Sons, he is a phenomenal, award-winning barber. Today, he’s representing the British Barbers Association – and his work with the BBA just goes to show how well respected he is in the industry.
We’re here to discuss their new range of shaving products, which have just gone on sale at the Chris & Sons store. If you’re in the North London area, we would heavily recommend checking the store out. As Chris says, “It’s the biggest distributor of products or hair – I mean this place is vast. This place is huge. So, if you need anything from hair colour to all your barbering kits, you need to be here.”
Chris Foster at Chris & Sons HQ, showing off the BBA range
To kick things off, I wanted to find out what had spurred the BBA into creating their new range:
“It’s a really proud moment that we’re here in Chris & Sons in North London, displaying the BBA range. The BBA Is the largest organisation, we have about 12,000 members, and we surveyed our members to find out what exactly they want from a product range. They wanted a product range that would help elevate the service level of the barbershop in a comprehensive way”.
This is a product range designed to both help the industry and educate clients. It also boasts an impressive array of products:
•A multifunctional face wash, scrub and mask designed to be used twice a day
•Moisturiser, again designed for twice-daily use
•A shaving cream which Chris describes as “one of the most luxurious on the market”. This is a rich, long-lasting cream with a lid that can double up as a shaving bowl – a great idea for encouraging clients to use a brush rather than their fingertips!
•Non-lathering shaving cream, which can help barbers or clients to see the lines as they’re shaping up.
•Shaving oil. This contains prickly pear seed oil, making it a great product that skin will simply loves. Chris uses the following analogy when describing the oil to customers: “I say if you’re going to drive a car you use an oil to stop the friction and stops the engine burning out. So imagine what an oil is going to do for the skin before a shave: it stops the friction and protects the skin from wear and tear.”
•Award winning post-shave balm, containing so-called dragons blood which helps to cool the skin and stop irritation.
•This is all on top of their wide styling range, and collection of shampoos etc.
To get the most out of these products, they have to be used as part of the BBA signature shave! I ask Chris what he feels is the best way to promote the products: “First of all purchase from Chris & Sons, or online. Then the best way of doing it is actually using the product. Using the products and sharing your expertise.”
Doing this means that once people are ready to buy, they’ll remember the knowledge that you’ve passed on. Chris’ message is that if you sell your expertise first, then selling the products will follow - and using them in the barbershop also allows you to demo them.
So what exactly is this BBA signature shave? Here are the key steps, using BBA products:
1 – Start with the face wash, removing dirt and debris.
2 – Secondly, use the shave oil. This forms a protective barrier on the skin and also helps with life of the razor.
3 – If the client has thick stubble then follow up with the shave butter, which will help to trap hydration on the skin.
4 – Next, it’s the shaving cream. Chris has a great suggestion for testing the quality of your shaving cream: put some on the back of your hand, then wipe it off with water. Is the silky feeling still there? If it is, then you’re using a premium product.
5 – Put post-shave balm on the area that has been shaved. This helps to heal and protect the skin, maintaining levels of hydration and putting back the nutrients. It’s also anti-inflammatory.
6 – Finally you’ll need to apply the moisturiser. If you want great results, it’s important not to miss this final step!
Feel enlightened? Why not head to https://education.thefossacademy.com/, where you’ll find Chris Foster’s online shaving course – as well as details about booking him for training in your salon or barbershop. You can also follow them at @fossacademy on Instagram. I’m there too as @larrythebarberman: follow me there, on Facebook or on YouTube to make sure you stay up to date with all the latest work.
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Check the interview out below