PREMIERE ORLANDO: Ivan Zoot's 5 Tools for Men's Cutting/Barbering

By Lauren Salapatek | 06/01/2013 8:37:00 PM


In Ivan Zoot’s class “This is NOT Your Grandpa’s Barber Shop,” at Premiere Orlando 2013, Zoot discussed the history of barbering, his 5 main tools for good men’s haircutting/barbering, and the needs and demands of today’s male client (they aren’t what they were in the past!)

The highlight of Zoot’s presentation today was his discussion on what tools can make or break you as a barber. The list below are the five top tools he stresses are crucial for any barber’s success.

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THE MIRROR: Watch the video below for Zoot’s commentary about this tool.

THE CHAIR: This tool lets you reorient your client into the position that you want. If the chair turns, turn the chair! Pump up the chair! You can’t cut what you can’t see. Get the client and you eye level so you can see what you are doing.

WHITE SHIRT: Barbers cut hair in white shirts or white jackets? The answer is both. When you step in front of the hair with a white shirt on it serves as a backdrop to properly assess the contour of your style. So what happens when you have a client with white hair? Throw a black towel over your shoulder and assess that way.

GOOD LIGHTING: Zoot recommends using fluorescent lighting. Haircutting environments are designed by people that usually don’t cut hair. That’s why having proper lighting can make or break your style when you’re a barber. Having shadows cast on your style from bad lighting can affect your final look. Zoot recommends situating your fluorescent lighting tubes in back of your clients’ heads. You don’t want to see shadows!

FLOOR MAT: If there is a floor mat in a barber shop, it’s usually situated on the side of the chair. Cosmetologists usually stand behind the chair. How many times have you accidently dropped one of your tools? If you had a floor mat chances are your tool can survive. If it hits a tile floor, the chances are high it can break. The barbering business will hurt you, but your floor mat will protect you! A good floor mat may cost $350, but it lasts 10 years. And, if you have a successful career, you will probably have bought three floor mats in your lifetime, says Zoot. It’s a good investment for your neck and your back…you can’t beat that!

For more information on Ivan Zoot education, visit






ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lauren Salapatek

Lauren Salapatek Lauren Salapatek, Web Editor for Modern Salon | Salon Today | First Chair.

(Previous positions: Associate Editor/E-Newsletter Content Production Manager)

Since January 2010, Lauren has worked for Modern Salon Media covering salon style, product and beauty trends, and business editorial for both print and online content. As of October 2013, Lauren’s role changed to Web Editor—now she manages all online editorial content for, and As part of her responsibilities, she creates, edits, organizes and curates content for all Modern Salon Media’s websites; manages the creation and production of all Salon e-newsletters; promotes Modern Salon Media’s digital content via several social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest); and maintains an editorial calendar to keep all Modern Salon Media’s websites timely and current.

You can find Lauren on Google+ or e-mail her at


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