Barber Brian Burt Visits Turnstyles Barbers
Featured in The Cutthroat Journal
Recently travelling from the USA to visit Tim Dodd at Turnstyles in Coffs Harbour, Brian Burt is having an amazing time enjoying our more laid back, Australian lifestyle and our unique barbering scene …
What are you doing in Coffs?
I don’t know what I’m doing here, but I’m having a great time with Tim (Dodd) at his barbershop, Turnstyles. Just riding it out and having a great time.
So how did this come about?
I met Tim a few months ago over Instagram. He reached out to me, I responded, and we started messaging back and forth. I was in Europe and he hit me up and asked me to come out to Australia, so here I am!
What did you think when you were asked to come over to Australia by Tim?
I was flattered. When anyone on social media asks me to do something or a question, I’m flattered that they’d reach out to me. There are so many other barbers doing what I’m doing, and doing it better and they have a better platform than I do. So again, I was flattered to be asked, so I had to come.
What were you thoughts or preconceived ideas of what Australia was going to be like?
I thought it was going to be a lot like what it is. Beaches, a very relaxed atmosphere. People aren’t in a hurry. It’s Australian time and it’s nice for me, because I’m usually fast paced. In Seattle, San Diego, NYC it’s just GO GO GO. Here is a much slower pace, so it’s a great break for me. Good food, good vibes, great scenery, the waves and water here are beautiful.
Why did you become a barber?
I became a barber out of survival. I didn’t go to college; none of my family went to college. Right out of high school you had to figure out what you wanted to do. I tried all kinds of different hands on jobs, and I knew I didn’t like doing them. I did whatever I had to do. I sold drugs for a little while, and in that part of my life I met a barber; I’d get my hair cut every week. He taught me how barbering worked, so I looked into it. I never got started on it until I moved to San Diego and couldn’t find a job there, so I enrolled in Barber College. Ten years later, I’m still doing it.
What do you think is the secret in stepping up from being a good barber, to a great barber?
Cutting hair is the easiest part. It’s the people that come in all day, every day and talk. It’s keeping a good conversation going, not being grumpy, being clean, being able to talk with the people you work with. Then of course, it goes back to cutting hair. To be able to do a good, clean haircut. But I always tell people the haircut is the smallest part of it. To be able to stand on your feet all day, talk all day and get along with the other barbers in the shop is a much bigger part. Talking with the customers and the clients. That’s what makes a barber elite; it separates the good from the great.
What do you hope to get from this trip?
I just hope to get another good friend, or friends. I’m not in it for the money; I just love to travel, and I’m using my barber licence and instagram account as my platform to get out there. I hope to meet more people like myself who are passionate about what they do and about everything in life, whether it’s cooking, tattooing, art or barbering. I like to hang out with other like-minded people with a passion for life.
What’s your musical taste?
I grew up skateboarding, since about Grade 6, and I got introduced to the punk rock scene at an early age. I listened to Exploited, Minor Threat, basically all skate punk. I got to go to lots of punk shows, and we used to set up ramps at the shows. I’d meet other skaters from all around Washington. We’d skate with the roadies and hang out with them. Music’s definitely a big part of my life. I go to a lot of shows still. I listen to everything, though, from country to Frank Sinatra to Slayer back to blues. I like everything.
What has made you into the man you are today?
Just going for it, basically. People say I march to the beat of my own drum, which I do. Whatever I want to do, I do it. I go a hundred miles at whatever I do, and people dig that.
What’s next for you?
Next, I’ll be in Southern California, hoping to get a clothing line going with a barber theme; that’s really getting big now. Luckily for barbers, it’s a good time in our scene. After that I’m going back to Europe and cutting hair in Ireland, England, Scotland and hopefully Germany.