In Conversation With Carmelo Guastella

This week Men’s Fashion Magazine have shone the spotlight on Artistic Barber and Grooming expert Carmelo Guastella. Carmelo; having grown up on the streets of Sicily has established himself in the UK as one of the most recognised hair and grooming specialists in London; having worked with the likes of Dolce and Gabbana and featured in GQ, Esquire and Men’s Health to name a few… his list is endless! We caught up with all round nice guy, Mr Guastella himself about his career.

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Tell us what you get up to on a day to day basis.

For the last year I have been hooked on Twitter there is not a day that I don’t open the App. Apart from cutting men’s hair I also keep up to date with the world of fashion. Weekends I enjoy a few glasses of red wine and nice food, Italian of course.

How did you land your feet in grooming?

I was taken as an apprentice when I was 9 years old in my home town Ribera in Sicily. My father wanted me to learn a Mestiere (learn an Art). At the age of 11 I could cut hair and shave. I really enjoyed working in the Barbershop environment it was like being part of the big boys Men’s Club.

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You’ve had some amazing experiences in your career so far; what has been a highlight for you?

Has to be 2002, spent four days in Germany for the MTV Awards looking after the Ali G goatee of my friend Sacha Baron Cohen, who hosted the event. Back then I was star struck. Every artist was there but I felt more comfortable when back at the hotel the REM guys played the piano and we all sung some Beatle tunes.

Have you been met with any challenges at all?

There have been challenges and there will always be, otherwise life would be too easy. I have learned to deal with challenges, keep calm and you always find a solution, never panic.

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How did you find trying to establish yourself in England after leaving the home comforts in Italy, was it harder or easier than you thought it would be?

My drive to succeed was greater than leaving the comforts of living in Sicily, if I could I would make the same choice. Everybody is different. Many of my friends are happy in Sicily for me to be happy I felt that I had to experience the world. My motto is “you only live once”.

If there was one piece of advice to give someone wanting to get into Men’s grooming what would you recommend?

My advice to people who want to get in the world of men’s grooming is to love the industry, be dedicated and most importantly never stop learning and always keep yourself open to new trends or better create new trends yourself, be unique. One very important thing you need to learn how to market yourself, think of yourself as a product, let people know about you, showcase yourself. My aim is to reach perfection.

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What are your favourite looks at the minute – can you tell us what’s popular/up and coming?

For the last two years I have been pushing guys to grow their hair longer, I feel this is now a trend and will be throughout 2015. I’m not a fan of unruly big beards, I’m more for stylish looking beards which on some guys look great. The stubble is here to stay but overhaul my chosen look is clean shave and longer hair.

When I say longer hair I don’t mean mullets or strange 70 – 80’s haircuts. I’m educating guys on how to look after their hair and how to use styling products at home, the reason for this is that I can give a guy a great haircut but if he doesn’t style his hair correctly my work is worthless.

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What does your daily routine include – is it the same what you use on clients?

Shampoo and conditioner, face scrub, Softening Pre Shave oil, Shave cream and Repair Balm, eye gel and yes I do use Suntan cream especially in the winter. I go for a facial once or twice a month, very relaxing.

Lastly, what do you have planned for the future?

At the moment I am Ambassador for Dove Men+Care Expert Shave Range, I am proud of this role, the future who knows I avoid making plans. I dream when I sleep.