Welcome to Finest Barbers, I would like you all to meet Sarah Farquar AKA @Lady_Von_Barber!
Sarah Farquar is a Hairbond Educator and Finest Barber based out of NOVA Hair and Beauty in Bodmin, which is somewhere off the road between Plymouth and Newquay in the South West of England!
As a Finest Barber I asked Sarah if she wanted to tell us a bit about herself. I was going to format it like a Q&A but the Sarah Farquar story was such a good read I just left it as it was. Enjoy!
What’s your story Sarah Farquar AKA Lady_Von_Barber ?
“Well I first went into hairdressing at 25 years old (ten years ago now ?? I’m getting old) – and I was asked to train immediately after qualifying as a student teacher (because obviously I’m the business ?) but the funding fell through and I was like the last bird out of the nest – there were no salon positions left and I was left wondering what I was going to do.
Eventually I got approached by another student teacher who was opening up his own barbers – never, ever had I considered barbering – I just wanted to be a hairdresser but wanted to get my foot in the door. On reflection, it was awful ? it was a rock, gothic, emo themed place where the same style music was played all day and my ‘uniform’ was a corset.
I made zero money because he took pretty much every client that walked in but I whacked every cut up on Instagram and after about 6 months I got approached by one the top barbers in Gloucester! Got through a trade test and said my goodbyes. To be fair, he taught me how to do a Traditional Shave and I still use his routine today – just can’t get past having to wear a bloody corset to work ?
Then I worked at The Mensgroom for just over two years and it was great there – I made some pals for life and really became a proper Barber there. Got my Advanced Barbering Qualifications and made it through to the Mens Loreal Colour Trophy Semis with my bro for life, Ben. This is also where I fell in love with Hairbond United Kingdom products ✌️✌️
Everyone called me Steve there – so much so that some of my clients thought that was actually my name ?
I loved my clients and without sounding really smooshy my clients are what inspired me (and continue to) to keep going on those busy AF days when you can’t be arsed anymore because you realise that that time in the Barber seat is SO important to guys. Not just to make them look good but to make them feel good too.
I watched a client go through a harrowing year and a half with a brain tumour and he eventually died – he was so grateful to be in that chair though, even when he hardly had any hair left. I treated him exactly the same, gave him the same time, shampooed him, let him pour his heart out, rant about shitty chemo, laugh about stupid stuff and big him up. He’d come in flat and leave bright and I realised then it’s more than a cut. I think about him a lot when Im pissed off with barbering and it boosts me back up again.
Another client lost his wife really, really suddenly. He’d always been quite quiet but really friendly. The first day he came back in after we’d heard his wife died he burst into tears as soon as he walked in the door. I sat with him, let him pour his heart out, get his tears out, held his hand. Every appointment after that you’d do what you could do make sure he was good, he’d never cooked before so I recommended some books and lessons which he did, just did what I could on top of the cut to help him feel better. I’m making myself sound like Mother Teresa – I’m not ? just feel honoured that these guys let me into their life really. I know it’s tricky for some chaps to ask for help or be vulnerable so I really am honoured. Anyway – mushy stuff over ?
I moved to Cornwall in 2017 with my Cornish BF (now husband) who is also Steve and my beautiful boy Scout who’s 14 – who’s raised £500 and donated his hair to Princess Charity in 2018 and shaved it all off for MIND in Lockdown and raised £225 – he’s now growing it to donate AGAIN.
Kids a little legend.
Cornwall is special because you get such a huge variety of clients. Massive characters. As a Barber it’s pretty competitive – like ‘I’m the only Barber in this village’ competitive and a lot different from life as a city barber before but still very rewarding.
The only thing I really hate about barbering is the hair ? hair in my shoes, hair in my bra, hair in my coffee, hair in my teeth once – yes in my bloody teeth. Hair splinters everywhere. Looking like I’ve got an actual beard and moustache because I’ve got hair stuck to my face ?
My worst moment as a Barber was cutting my knuckle open with a cut throat razor. Cut down to the bone – had to have stitches, tetanus shot, lost all the feeling in my hand so had to see plastic surgeons. All that and I’ve got a really boring scar when I wanted to look like a gnarly pirate ??.
Anyway, back to Hairbond, I’m so happy to be a Hairbond Educator, I fell in love with Hairbond Shaper first – incredible versatile, incredible smelling, clients love it. It was only on moving to Cornwall I realised there was a whole range! My fave is probably still Shaper for its versatility but I’m very taken by the Gripper Pomade. Never really been a pomade type of girl but it smells like cola cubes and is banging on longer styles to create movement and texture.
In my spare time, Sarah Farquar is a very enthusiastic cocktail drinker, eater of fine foods, listener of Craig Charles Funk and Soul, Mother of Children, aspiring writer, hypochondriac, keen DIYer, stone cold fox and failing Instagrammer.
I’m a Liverpool fan by proxy (husband) – I like this because it means I could have mid week Tattinger when they won the league ?
Hopefully one day I might get to teach Barbering and inspire other aspiring barbers to get mad barber skills and be good to their clients (and to also become a Finest Barber) and then one day I might be remembered for writing something worth reading but ultimately hope I’m just remembered for being a good friend and a top Ma to Scout and teaching him important things about David Bowie and Russell Howard, how to make a good Margarita and a Yellow Curry from scratch and how to be kind so he can teach his kids the same.”