‘I couldn’t afford haircut as a kid so became barber – now I work with Stormzy’

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    Mark Maciver is used to hanging out with the rich and famous.

    The barber to the stars has worked with the likes of Anthony Joshua and Stormzy in recent years.

    But he's not always brushed shoulders with the stars.

    READ MORE: 'Bullies called me Frizzy Lizzie at school – now my hair company is worth £10million'

    The 38-year-old, from London, had very humble beginnings.

    He didn't have much money growing up, so his mum often shaved his head to avoid splashing out at the salon.

    And as Mark grew tired of being a skinhead, he learned how to do hair himself.

    Mark first picked up a pair of clippers 25 years ago when he was just a teen.

    And, he's been chopping barnets professionally since he turned 18.

    Known as SliderCuts – the same name as his business – Mark has made a huge name for himself thanks to his expertly-done fades and ability to put people at ease in the chair.

    "To be honest, it's just normal for me," Mark exclusively told us when asked about cutting the hair of big names.

    "In the chair we talk about very normal things; food, relationships, family, music, belief systems, God and things like that.

    "I think that's what keeps these relationships so good because it's not like I'm here like ‘oh my goodness, I'm cutting this person's hair’.

    "I know them as a person, not as an athlete or a musician.

    "I see all of that online but, in person, it's very normal.

    "My approach has always been to treat everybody well and give everyone the same great service.

    "This means when I'm talking to these people, we end up having loads of deep and personal conversations like anybody else because I don't see them as the person everyone sees on the screen or in the ring.

    "I'm not talking to Stormzy, I'm talking to Michael.

    "I'm not talking to AJ the boxer, I'm talking to Anthony the family man, the business person.

    "It's more surreal when I see them do something big online or later on, not when they're in the chair."

    Despite Mark treating his in-the-spotlight clients the same as the rest of his customers, it doesn't mean that he experiences nerves from time to time.

    He says a prayer and gives himself a little pep talk before he puts his razor-sharp skills to test.

    Mark solely focuses on the hair – and not who it's attached to.

    "If I ever feel nervous, I just give myself a talking to and I pray, 'God please let this haircut go well'," Mark candidly shared.

    "But I always say, hair is hair.

    "I have to remind myself that they've come to me because they've seen what I can do and what I've put out there.

    "They want me for who I am and what I do, and their hair is just hair like anyone else's.

    "So, I tell myself to do what I do every day, and that's my little pep talk which calms any nerves, then I just get on with it.

    "I'm not looking at the individual now, I'm looking at the haircut."

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    Giving fresh trims to AJ and Stormzy isn't the only thing that has put Mark and SliderCuts on the map.

    He's a huge advocate for mental health and hopes that his studio creates a safe place for blokes to have a natter about how they're feeling – without any judgement.

    "I don't know if I'd say I was the go-to listener in the community," he explained.

    "But I think people are comfortable talking to me because 1. I listen, and 2. I'm quite open and vulnerable online.

    "I'm always talking about things I'm struggling with, things that are going well, things that aren't going well, I just try to be an open book.

    "I think everyone in the barbershop, the barbers, hairdressers, receptionists, has a responsibility to create an environment where mental health isn't seen as taboo.

    "At SliderCuts Studios we talk about mental health, we set the environment up so that people are comfortable opening up.

    "We lead by example; we're open about things we're dealing with, our fears, anxieties and so on.

    "When you create an environment like that, customers find it a lot easier to talk because they don't feel like they have to put up a front."

    • Anthony Joshua
    • Stormzy
    • Exclusives

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