OSMO® Ambassador Tom Baxter certainly isn’t one to dance around the truth. With his new Raw and Uncut education series, in association with Barber Evo magazine, he’s simply showing barbers and hairdressers how to cut hair well and bring colour back into barbering with a basic foundation of steps, great products and no frills or fancy words.
21 Sep '20
Tom Baxter Hair is moving with the ever-changing times. At its helm, Tom is keen to move with the trends of the rapidly-moving industry. His shop is moving towards being cashless – “By next year I genuinely don’t think there will be cash used in barbershops” – but he’s keeping his finger on the pulse of men’s hair trends, too. The trend that Tom wants to focus on now is colour:
“The men’s hairdressing game has gone colour crazy, but the problem is the lack of education around it. People aren’t looking deep enough and understanding how it works. Colour changes a haircut. There’s only so far you can take it without colour. Even just a few highlights or a splash of colour can add texture and definition that you wouldn’t have otherwise. All these simple, basic little things add up. You can transforms something that was a basic, blank silhouette completely with the addition of colour.”
Tom stresses that regardless of the outcome or colour, with his upcoming videos and courses he wants to show new barbers how colour actually works, and why certain additives are used, rather than a ‘how-to’ of a fancy, outlandish process: “I want to teach these guys how to neutralize colour to get the results that they need, but also bring about education focused on PPD and how to ensure that the scalp itself is ready for colour, too”.
For the process of neutralizing, Tom’s go-to product is OSMO IKON®’s Blonde Elevation Premium Violet Bleach. “There are nine levels of lift which help to kill off any unwanted brassiness. It’s genius, it’s taking colour out and putting colour in at the same time. The cleaner the base, the better the end colour and the lift achieved with this product is unbelievable” he says.
Tom is keen to educate up-and-coming barbers on colour, cuts and basic techniques with his new videos, appropriately named Raw and Uncut. They’re Tom’s way of taking things back to basics, something that he thinks is lacking in the industry these days:
“I was watching all these guys teaching and it’s all so complicated. They’re naming all these different parts of the anatomy. So I did a bit of research. I asked about five or six barbers and hairdressers that I know who aren’t really on social media, who stay out of the limelight but do a fantastic job. They know what they’re doing and they’re excellent at it. I asked these guys where the frontal love and apex where, and they didn’t know. But they don’t need to know this. The biggest mistake people make is trying to impress an audience by throwing out big words. If you’re doing that and trying to impress 1,000 people, you’re gonna look like an idiot. You’re not supposed to be showing off the haircut – what you’re showing off is how you cut it.”
And that’s just what Tom’s videos do; there are no frills or filters or fancy words. It’s just Tom in his shop working on real clients, doing what he does best. From colour correction to basic clipper techniques, Tom is hoping to cover all the fundamentals of a great haircut.
“The videos came from me wanting to show the basic fundamentals and foundations of how to do a good, clean haircut. In terms of the very classical, easy, ‘normal’ haircut for someone who doesn’t want to be going around with crazy hair, there’s not a lot of people who can do that. You go on Instagram and see all these amazing skin fades and stuff, but then when it comes to someone who just wants a nice clean haircut that’s graduated by hand or tapered in to a nice finish, some barbers don’t know the basic principles.”
The basic principles are what Tom wants to show in his videos. He’s showing his viewers that cutting and colouring hair is a detailed process, but it can be learned: “Don’t look at something and think it’s impossible – break it up into steps and you can get those basic fundamentals.”
Because of the off-the-cuff nature of his videos, one of Tom’s worries is “coming across like Gordon Ramsay. I don’t mean to, I’m trying to be humble!” he says.
Something that is humbling for Tom is his status as OSMO® Brand Ambassador. The OSMO® products are an essential part of his toolkit, and though he uses them daily he still fully appreciates their quality:
"OSMO® is an unbelievable brand. There’s so much variety in their range. Generally when you get a company with that much variety, you expect the stuff to be mass-produced and not great, but OSMO® is always such high quality. I’m not a one-trick pony, I’m not a barber and I’m not a hairdresser, I just do hair. OSMO® has everything there that I could possibly need."
Though the OSMO IKON® Blonde Elevation Bleach is his favourite for neutralising colour, Tom loves all of the OSMO® range. From styling to tonics and colour correcting products, he relies on it all to deliver the five star haircuts that his clients expect from him:
“The Fibre Sculpt is a favourite of mine, the Power Powder is another favourite. The Corruptor is great, especially on longer hair. The Extreme Extra Firm Hairspray, it stays in the hair for up to three weeks unless you wash it out. The Grooming Tonic which goes into water is great, it’s got a lovely smell too. The Blinding® Shine range for longer hair, the Beard Complex for the guys, you know, there’s nothing that they haven’t covered. They even have a Vegan colour range, OSMO IKON®. Nobody can turn around and say ‘OSMO® doesn’t do this’, because they’ve got it all”