Arsen Gevorgyan is a 33-year-old barber baser in Yerevan, Armenia. We sat down with them to talk Armenian barbering, local trends and their barbershop.
Can you please introduce yourself?
Barbering has been my profession for almost 12 years. I started as a hair stylist and when beards started to become more fashionable in Armenia, I started to evolve into a barber. I love this profession and can’t imagine my life without it.
What can you tell me about the barbering scene in Armenia?
It’s been nearly five years since barbering has become popular in Armenia, but the field is still young. There are not as many barbershops in our country as there are in western culture, which mostly comes from local trends, cultural behaviour and stereotypes. But, me and my colleagues are working on it and there is noticeable change. We hope it will become more and more popular in the near future.
What can you tell me about where you work?
I started as an employee in a beauty salon, but for almost seven years, I’ve owned my own barbershop where I work with my small but very enthusiastic team. The barbershop has an old-fashioned style but the newest and best equipment. There is a small bar, a couch and good music playing in the background to make a comfortable environment for the customers.
I give master classes in different regions of Armenia and other countries. The money from those master classes goes to charities, such as local orphanages.
What are some of the key differences between UK and Armenian barbering?
One of the biggest differences that I can mention is that Armenians have a very difficult kind of hair to work with. It will be very hard for barbers from other countries to cut the hair or beard of an Armenian man. I’ve worked with clients from various cultures, with different races and nationalities. But, for me, it was much easier and I liked cutting their hair.
Another difference is the mentality. It is hard to follow trends with Armenians. When I offer something new or creative, most of our people are not brave enough to try it. We are a conservative nation with lots of standards and stereotypes.
Are there any general thoughts that you’d like to share with our readers?
Work hard. The more effort you put in, the better the result will be. Barbering is not only a way to earn money, but a way to be creative, to learn and grow by reaching other cities and countries. It would be very sad for me if I was only known as a good barber in the city where I live.