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‘Black sheep’ barber from Cork celebrates multiple global hairdressing awards – Irish Examiner

Posted in Tattoo Nightmares on Sep 05, 2017

A Cork barber is over the moon after winning awards at some of the worlds biggest hairdressing competitions, writes Denise ODonoghue.

Paul Mac, who is based on Paul Street in Cork city, recently won an award in the US, where he was the only finalist from Ireland.

He will travel to Paris later this month to collect his latest award, bringing to three the number of world titles with which he has been honoured, having won his first global award in Lisbon three years ago.

“I am from a small place in West Cork called Ahiohill, definitely not a common career for a lad down these parts. Id definitely be the black sheep,” Paul said.

“My two winning looks were a total contrast. The first, which won me the OMC Hairworld World Best Barber Cut was an old school rockabilly greaser look inspired by Johnny Depp in Baby Cry. It was shot in my new shop, Paul Mac Special Hair, which also won me Best Classic Barber Image and Irish Barber of the Year at the Irish Hair Photographic Awards back in June.

Photographer:Kest Model – Conor Morley

“The second award, Behind the Chair Hot Shot Hair Tattoo Shot is from my STARR-BOI Collection, which is a futuristic collection and was a finalist for Irish Artistic Team of the Year, the first ever for a barbershop and my first time ever using two female models in that collection.

Photographer: Dark Hearts. Model:Viki Burke.MUA: Nicole Lynch

“For it to win in Texas from 215,000 entrants in all categories and 600,000 votes worldwide was amazing. I was Irelands first winner of the competition and to be hanging around for the week backstage and sitting side-by-side with Kim Kardashians hairstylist, Philip Wolff, was very surreal.”

Paul will collect another prize in Paris later this month.

“I will be receiving the OMC Hairworld World Best Barber Cut Presidents Award in Paris in two weeks as part of Hairdressing Councils Team Ireland.”

Paul, who has been a barber for 14 years, says he spent time honing his craft before he began entering competitions.

“I dedicated my life to upskilling, creating a brand, my own unique style. I wanted my work to inspire. Ive always said Id rather be Marmite than vanilla.

Paul collecting his award in Texas

“I then spent two-and-a-half years entering every competition there was, but fail after fail. I was coming home empty handed, often not even placing [in the] top 10.

“I was told my new style was too crazy. Crowds loved them but judges set in their ways hated them. Most people told me to tone it down, I had to go more commercial to succeed, or quit competing and concentrate on editorial, but this only spurred me on more.

“A handful of mentors told me to stick to my gut stay true and in time Id win the industry around. It was bloody tough and a financial nightmare, but I never stopped believing, even when many laughed in my face. I knew one day Id turn it round. I think its a Cork thing, they dont call us the Rebel county for nothing.

“After watching the worlds best up close and personal the last week it only drives me on more to succeed and keep learning my craft and progressing. Ive had more knock backs than successes in my 14-year career. Lifes a marathon, not a sprint.

“For years I had people grind me down, that I had no chance, that I was nothing special, only a little barber from Cork. But I never gave up dreaming.”

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‘Black sheep’ barber from Cork celebrates multiple global hairdressing awards – Irish Examiner

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