Jim Shaw came from a family of hairdressing and started his career 30 years ago at the age of 16. He spent four years in Hong Kong as the stylist to numerous VIPs and celebrities and was also MTV’s resident Art Director. When he returned to London in 2003, he joined the TONI&GUY family and opened his first salon in Billericay, Essex, which became one of the most successful in the group. Today, Jim Shaw is the ultimate men's hair expert - or as he says, ambassador. Here's what else he had to say about his area of specialty the trends ahead for men.
At what point did you know that becoming a men’s hairdresser was right for you?
Jim Shaw: I have always been passionate about men’s hair and hairdresser since I started my career and ever more so now. My goal is to become known as an ambassador for men’s hair and educate other hairdressers on men’s hair and the difference between men’s hairdressing and barbering.
What is it about the specialty that appeals to you most?
Jim Shaw: Men’s hairdressing is so varied and it’s so different from barbering. Trends are constantly changing and this is something I am really passionate and excited about. I am always aware of new trends and ensure I am a year in front by looking at what is going on in the world, what’s happening in the world of fashion and also by working regularly at London Fashion Week. I also love the skill involved with men’s hairdressing – it’s not just about clipper anymore! It’s about putting the clippers away and using the scissors!
Do you have a favorite cut, technique, or finish that you like to do?
Jim Shaw: I love cutting using scissors and one of my favorite looks is scissor over comb. The key with this look is cutting close to the hairline, which helps to create a precise yet soft finish that looks incredible.
In my latest collection, we created a remake of a classic halo to show the versatility of long hair and how it can be sleek and sharp but still carry a modern feel and I love creating this look too. I also love cutting short textured cuts and maintaining their length internally to give them a heavier finish. Fringes are also becoming popular and I love adding these into cuts to instantly update the hair and give it a current finish.
Do you like working with curly hair? And how do you see curl or wave playing into trends?
Jim Shaw: I love working with all hair textures and lengths and curly hair is great to work with. Effortless, textured looks that are more natural are so on-trend just now and will continue to be going into 2020. The great thing about these hairstyles is that they require little styling and all that is needed is some styling products to enhance the hair and give it grit and added texture.
In general, where do you see hair and grooming trends for men going in 2020?
Jim Shaw: Men’s haircuts are becoming tailored but longer. Precision cuts are also incredibly popular; however, they are not so barbered and have an effortless structure. I think what’s next for men’s hair: strong structured looks with movement and expensive, rich-looking hair – not hair that is out to shock.
What are some of the must-have products and to work with these predictions?
A couple of my favorite products are Label M Matt Paste and American Crew Fiber but I’m always trying new products. Textured hair looks are so on-trend just now and both these hair products are great for giving the hair more texture and volume and I love that they are both matte too.
Hair: Jim Shaw and Daisy Carter • Styling: Jim Shaw • Photography: Tony Le Britton