Influencer barbers are on the rise, will males shift loyalty?

May 16, 2024 | blog

This barbershop on Nairobi’s Kimathi Street is nearly like a movie studio. As the hum of clippers echoes all through the room, there’s a digital camera to seize the shave.

Every barber has a hoop gentle to supply sufficient gentle as they report the boys’s earlier than and after haircuts. These photographs and movies shall be posted on the barbershop’s social media pages with hundreds of followers.

“Social media is the backbone of our business promotion; we get most of our clients from our online pages,” says Charles Kimani, who’s the supervisor of Epitome Barbers.

Contrast this with just a few years.

The barbers of yesteryear had been previous, reserved, hidden until you had been referred to them, or situated in unkempt, cramped rooms in poorly-lit streets. The solely companies they supplied then had been a haircut and a haircut.

However, these days, moreover haircuts, the new-generation barbers who’ve grow to be shutterbugs, [have their cameras ready at all times to showcase their works] have diversified into hair colouring, therapeutic massage after the haircut, facial steaming, manicures, and pedicures; all for males.

These self-proclaimed “architects of swag” put up often on Instagram and TikTok and earn higher than conventional barbers, taking what generally is a monotonous job to new ranges.

“The least we charge is Sh1,000 for a normal shave. The maximum charge for the services of hair and colouring is Sh5,000. We also have a comprehensive package of Sh7,000, which includes everything,” Mr Kimani says.

The 31-year-old, who goes by the artwork identify of ‘Charlo the barber’, says he began by shaving youngsters earlier than steadily getting good at what he does via social media and style developments.

“I always wanted to be an architect, and I feel that I am doing that with the hairdressing thing, even though I did not manage to extend my studies,” he says.

Epitome Barbers

Charles Kimani shaves a shopper at Epitome Barbers in Nairobi on May 15, 2024.

Photo credit score: Billy Ogada | Nation Media Group

Another barber who’s pushing the inventive envelope is Safari Martin. On Instagram alone, he has over 435,000 followers and counting.

In his type of delivering the right haircut, he’s outfitted with numerous instruments, together with hammers, knives, pliers, and extra. This is what has turned him right into a social media sensation.

Now based mostly in Nairobi, the 24-year-old Rwandan barber has no bodily barbershop. He says he has been reducing hair since he was nonetheless in class.

“I was the best in art class, and my friends convinced me to try lining their hair up, and that’s how it started. Although we had a school barber since it was a boarding school, I started gaining clients amongst the students,” he says.

His social media blow made the whole lot totally different as a result of he just lately joined the League of Celebrity Barbers.

“It’s now easier for me to get clients because I have a wider audience worldwide. My price card has also had to change. Currently, I charge $60 (Sh7,875) for a shave and I only do house calls,” he says.

In every week, Safari attests that he would have a minimal of six shoppers. “Most of my clients are not Kenyans, and the Kenyans that I get are the ones who have been living in the diaspora and are back home for a holiday, which I find normal because it was the same situation in Rwanda.”

Safari Martin, a mobile barber and a content creator

Safari Martin, a cellular barber and a content material creator poses for a photograph at Nation Centre in Nairobi on May 9, 2024.

Photo credit score: Billy Ogada | Nation Media Group

Why Nairobi?

“When you talk about barbers in Africa, I looked up to the Kenyan barbers like the Dufanda brothers, Charlo the barber, Jimmy, Fahim and others. I chose Nairobi because I wanted to grow, when I was in Rwanda I won the Grammy award, the content creator of the year among the barbers, I achieved all that but then our barbering industry in Rwanda was still growing so I had to move to a country with a bigger target audience,” Safari admits.

However, regardless of his thrive, the language barrier and persuading individuals to take the minimize for content material creation is among the greatest challenges he has encountered.

“It’s always hard to convince people when I am walking on the streets and looking for someone with nice hair. In Kenya, I tag my friend who speaks nice Swahili so he shows them my social page and how creative it can get to convince them,” he says, “when I’m out on the street looking for people to shave, I don’t pay attention to their financial status because I do it for free. [a way to advertise his services on social media] Most people in Kenya are used to getting a shave for Sh200 or sometimes Sh500.”

Paying to shave clients

Because it takes up most of their time, they usually see that you’re utilizing harmful instruments, generally Safari even pays them for a haircut. All that is to create content material and attain new clients.

As the influencer barbers unfold throughout cities, will males’s loyalty shift to the consolation of the comfortable leather-based chairs and emoji likes of their heads posted on a social media web page?

Conservative males say discovering a trusted barber is like discovering a hidden gem and it might be onerous to yo-yo the allegience.

Ian Kiplagat’s expertise together with his barber spans 14 years.

“It is difficult for a man to do a lot of explaining on how he wants his hair and, most importantly, his beard shaved. It’s always easier when all you have to do is sit and enjoy your time since your barber knows exactly what and how you want your hair to look. That is why I will stick to mine,” he says.

Mr Kiplagat tells the BDLife that earlier than he obtained his present long-time barber, he had beforehand stayed for 3 months with no shave, simply attempting to scout for somebody who would shave him to his liking.

On the constant facet, he has had the identical type of hair shaved over time, paying Sh800.

He says his hesitancy to check out these influencer barbers is as a result of he isn’t as daring.

“I remember some time ago, my barber tried to give me a new look, which was not very different from what I always had, but when I went to the office the following week, most of my colleagues noticed the change and said that I looked slightly different. This made me feel very uncomfortable, so I had to go back to my barber that evening to get my normal cut back,” he says.

Although conventional, he says his barber has launched just a few complimentary.

“When we started, it was just the shave, but gradually they introduced other complimentary services, of which I prefer the facials and head massages that I have also received over the years from another consistent lady in the barbershop,” he says.

Mr Kiplagat says he isn’t about to alter his present barber due to exaggerated companies within the context of recent progress.

“There is a lot of unnecessary pampering with the new styles of shave, which I choose to leave for the young generation,” the 44-year-old says.


The Kenyan barber enterprise has steadily proved to be a worthwhile enterprise.

However, the distinction between the brand new and previous barbers is that the brand new thrives greatest with top-notch companies and efficient advertising and marketing of the enterprise.

They have embraced the cut-and-shave type, providing premium companies resembling beard grooming and head massages which have boosted their gross sales by attracting clients.

Age and know-how have performed a job within the shift in barbering.

Charlo tells the BDLife that almost all of their shoppers are of their 20 as much as 35 years. “They like good vibes and lots of interaction, listening to loud music and things to do with their age, and they also like to be understood which we consistently deliver for their comfort,” he provides.

MoneyMaker FX EA Trading Robot

powered by