How To Throw A Peaky Blinders Themed In-Salon Event

Hollywood has been having a bit of a love affair with the early 20th century as of late. Thanks to films like Fury, and shows like Ripper Street, Downton Abbey and Peaky Blinders, period fashion has come back into…well, fashion. This phenomenon has prompted men to become a little more open to experimentation when it comes to trying out the hairstyles featured in their favorite shows and movies. After all, if it works for Brad Pitt, why can’t it work for every man?

A great way to encourage such experimentation is by helping your male clients to make the connection between the characters they love and the looks they are soon to by throwing an in-salon event. This event will gather together a group of men with a common interest, to encourage them to step a little outside of their typical style box and to choose a haircut/style based on their favorite look from the show. We are going to focus on a Peaky Blinders-themed event for the purposes of this article, mainly because there are a nice set of haircuts that range from safe to ultra-aggressive and there is a lot of fun to be had with such a heavily styled show with its own personality.

The Event

An in-salon men’s cutting and styling event centered around a specific theme.

The Inspiration

Peaky Blinders—a popular Netflix show set in Birmingham, England in 1919. The show focuses on the Peaky Blinders—a gang so named for the razor blades sewn into the peaks of their caps and headed by the Shelby family. The show follows the family and its ruthless leader, Thomas, as they rise to power in the suburbs of London.

The Looks

Our friends over at Beardsgaard Barbers had been hankering to do a Peaky Blinders-themed photo shoot for quite some time, so when we asked if they had any clients sporting the looks and could help us out with some models and photos, little did we know the wheels that we were setting in motion. Not only did they gather the models and do the cuts and styling, but they coordinated wardrobe, set and props for a full-scale collection shoot. The looks range from ultra-aggressive (Arthur Shelby) to totally conservative (Chester Campbell) with a lovely smattering of looks in-between.

Natalie Anderson of Beardsgaard Barbers breaks down the main points for each of the looks that she created, based on various main characters in Peaky Blinders:

The Blinders

These were the tough guy cuts of the day, took no time at all to cut or style, but they were still sharp and respectable, essentially bowl cuts with hats, but cool. If you wear hats a lot, these cuts super agree with hat wearing.

 

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Photo-Shoots-Portfolio-Peaky-Blinders-Shoot-01-Tommy-Shelby-Natalie-Anderson-02

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Tommy Shelby

– Really short, high buzz on the sides, barely blended (razor blended is good).

– Top combed down and roughly cut at connection.

– Squared off and textured on top, if top needs cutting at all (get the sides cut at least twice as often as the top).

– Almost no lining, just clean up the fuzzies around the edges and neck.

– Product: A smoothing product like Davines Invisible Serum to get rid of frizz.

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Photo-Shoots-Portfolio-Peaky-Blinders-Shoot-03-Arthur-Shelby-Rob-Murphy-02

Arthur Shelby

– Really short, high buzz on the sides, barely blended (razor blended is good).

– Top combed back into a low ponytail just below the occipital and essentially hacked off.

– Get the sides cut at least twice as often as the top.

– Almost no lining, just clean up the fuzzies around the edges and neck.

– Product: slick oil-based pomade like Reuzel Pink or Iron Heritage Model T Pomade.

Photo-Shoots-Portfolio-Peaky-Blinders-Shoot-06-John-Shelby-Maddox-Primbas-02

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John Shelby

– really short, high buzz on the sides, barely blended (razor blended is good).

– Top short, a bit longer than a buzz to a couple of inches, works well with insane front cowlicks.

– Get the sides cut at least twice as often as the top.

– Almost no lining, just clean up the fuzzies around the edges and neck.

– Product: A texture product with medium shine like Davines Finishing Gum.

The Murdery Ones

I don’t know, if you’ve seen the show you’ll know that  they just seem to fit into this category. These are the more classic haircuts.

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Michael Grey

– Great for hair with some wave to it.

– Neatly tapered sideburns and neckline.

– Classic parted taper cut with a good amount of length on top, especially toward the front.

– Product: a pomade with a good amount of oil content, like Reuzel Green or Prospectors Gold Rush Pomade.

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Inspector Campbell

– Classic parted business cut, best on straight to wavy hair.

– Looks amazing on salt and pepper hair.

– Product: Smooth but controlled, excellent styled with a mix of Davines Shine Wax and/or Strong Dry Wax.

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Alfie Solomons

– This is literally a standard haircut, could be in various states of grow out, could be parted, could not, but what it is best at is being a bit greasy and disheveled. Literally effortless.

– Product: Something greasy, Reuzel Green or Iron Heritage Model T Pomade.

The Drink List

No party is complete without at least a little libation, and the drinks in Peaky Blinders may as well be part of the cast. Make sure to stock up on plenty of Whiskey (Irish) and a healthy selection of Irish beers, such as*:

  • Guinness
  • Smithwick’s
  • Kilkenny Cream Ale

*If you are feeling particularly “punny,” grab a few Killian’s Irish Red and some Murphy’s Irish Stout (the show’s main character, Tommy Shelby, is played by actor Cillian Murphy).

Or, if you want to get really fancy, you can serve these themed cocktails:

The Garrison

Combine ¾ oz. Irish Whiskey (Jameson or Bushmills will do) with  ¾ oz. Irish Mist Liqueur in a highball glass with ice. Garnish with an Orange Twist

 

The Old-Fashioned Blinder

Rosemary Sugar Recipe (Makes enough for a LOT of drinks)

3 ½ oz. Brown Sugar

3 ½ oz. Water

Add sugar and water to a small saucepan and stir on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Throw in rosemary and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove rosemary and let cool before using in your cocktail.

Cocktail Ingredients:

2½ Shot Bourbon

½ shot Sugar Syrup

3 Dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters

2 Sprigs of Rosemary

After you’ve made your rosemary sugar syrup and have all your cocktail ingredients, proceed with the following:

Step 1: Combine rosemary syrup + 3 dashes of bitters + bourbon in glass. Stir/mix well.

Step 2: Add lots of ice and insert a single sprig of rosemary into the cocktail.

Step 3: Grab a container that is large enough to fit over the glass that will not catch on fire. Light a sprig of rosemary and let the smoke fill the container. Quickly place the smoke filled container over the glass and let the smoke infuse the cocktail for around 30 seconds.

NOTE: These cocktails sure do pack a punch so please be responsible and limit consumption to 1 or 2 drinks per person.

The Playlist

Peaky Blinders is known for a lot of things—great acting, fantastic sets, lots of sex and violence (which may make streaming the show on a screen in the background uncomfortable for you and your clients….but if not, hey—go for it!) and of course, great music. Really, really great music in every episode. Please click HERE for a printable music playlist, using songs featured in the show.

The Price List

No event is free, and while the buzz generated and potential exposure could earn you new clients and a greater future earning potential, you still need to cover the actual cost of the actual event plus a little extra to make it worth your while. Once you’ve gone out and purchased any extras, which includes not only product but food, drinks and decorations (if you decide to go all out), add your hourly rate for the duration of the event to that cost. Now, add 20%. So your pricing model should look something like this:

Drinks + Food + Extra Product + (3 hours x $xx/hour) = TOTAL COST

TOTAL COST x 20% = TOTAL PRICE

TOTAL PRICE ÷ Number of Attendees = PRICE PER TICKET

The Icing on the Cake

An in-salon event—especially a themed one—is the perfect opportunity for sampling. In this case, it could be fun to make a “So You Wanna Be A Blinder…” Starter kit, with sample sizes of the products used and instructions on how to use them. If you want to include something a little extra—like a recipe card for the Old-Fashioned Blinder— or a trivia card with questions from the show. Get creative! This will be the lasting impression that you impart on not only your loyal clients, but their new friends as well (well, that and their shiny new haircut)

The Bottom Line

Throwing in-salon events is a fun and effective way to attract new clients. We planned this event to specifically attract male clients, since guys like Peaky Blinders (remember how we said the show was full of sex and violence?), but any general theme will do. By centering an event around a common theme, you can cast your net out a little bit wider to keep your chairs full and your client list growing. Of course, always match your theme to your salon’s branding. You don’t want to sacrifice your brand’s personality for popularity, you will only end up attracting the wrong type of client. But by thinking along the lines of your brand, you can get really creative and make a great experience for your clients.

Photo Credits

Hair: Tyler & Natalie Anderson of Beardsgaard Barbers

Photo: Natalie Anderson

Models: (In order of appearance)

Tommy Shelby
Evan Hoffman
Natalie Anderson

Arthur Shelby
Gabe Foss
Rob Murphy

John Shelby
Maddox Primbas
Justin Marone

Michael Grey
David Anderson
David Rudek

Inspector Campbell
Rob Farrington

Alfie Solomons
Neal Laman

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