UPDATED – JUNE 2022
Back in March of 2014, Alex and I went to the Australian Tattoo and Body Art Expo at the Royal Hall of Industries – right next to the Hordern Pavillion.
For those of you too young to know, the ‘Hordern’ was where people of our vintage went to see big concert acts like AC/DC, The Angels, Duran Duran, New Order, Cold Chisel and MANY MORE …
Anyway, back to the Tattoo Expo. Wandering the halls of the Exhibition we were surrounded by lots of people searching for the ‘look’ they really wanted in body art. We were all surrounded by wall-to-wall tattoo artists demonstrating their skills and we were amazed at the level of skill and artistry being achieved in Sydney. First class, if not world leading stuff. Really impressive artists creating incredible art and looks for people.
But what really caught my eye was a booth at the far wall of the Exhibition.
In that booth were two old fashioned barbers chairs, like the ones the Italian barber my Mum used to drag me too had.
And there in the booth standing over those chairs were two people cutting hair with such flair that I was immediately hooked.
Ever since leaving New York the previous year, I had been looking for a hair stylist here in Sydney that ‘gets’ the look that I want. And what I want is a retro chic 1960’s look. That’s the ‘look’ I wanted and I finally found it.
The barbers names – Tommy and AJ of Hair by Tommy J in George St Redfern.
I wanted a haircut then and there but I only had a cut the week before and so I didn’t have enough hair. This is a recurring problem when you’re 50+ like me with a family history of baldness. So I waited …
Fast forward to June 2014. I walked in to Tommy J’s salon in Redfern without an appointment (not recommended) and was greeted by the very cheerful and understanding AJ, who managed to squeeze me in and proceeded to cut my hair in the style I really wanted. We discussed what I was after and she simply ‘got’ it.
Given that I needed more length in the hair than I had, she managed to start the style and then proceeded to comb it to look just like the NY cut I had and so desperately wanted again. To say I was happy was an understatement.
That was three weeks ago and I’m growing my hair as fast as possible to go back again, this time with an appointment on Saturday afternoon, to see AJ for the next instalment in my journey to achieve the ultimate hair style of the ’60’s. I was a kid then but ‘they’ really knew how to dress in those sharp suits and slick hairstyles, not to mention the cars!
At last I felt I found the ‘look’ I was looking for …
FAST FORWARD TO 2022 …
It’s now EIGHT YEARS since I wrote this blog post about finding a barber shop that knows how to cut hair. And I am STILL going there and seeing AJ for a cut and style every three to four weeks.
A helluva lot has happened in those eight years.
Tommy J has opened another shop in Windsor and AJ has the Redfern shop under her artistic direction.
Our Laser Tattoo Removal business is going great and we have thousands of happy clients.
I’ve got older… a LOT older and my hair is still there, just a different colour now.
During the last COVID Lockdown I went four months without a haircut and so I grew a beard and waited for the Lockdown to lift so AJ could give me the ‘new’ look that I wanted. Of course, AJ nailed it first go.
Do yourself a favour and call them for an appointment, you will not be disappointed!
Redfern : 112 George St, Redfern NSW 2016 Phone 0405 331 286
Windsor : Shop 9/168 George St, Windsor NSW 2756 Phone 0481 108 846