Get to know the #BOOTLEG PROJECT, a hair education initiative from founders Nathan Yip and Jake Putan with the help of Carl Reeves that is collaboration focused and community driven. The format sees inspiring hair professionals sharing talent and stories in intimate settings, both live and online.

The first event was launched in Brisbane in April this year, congregating 50 hairdressers and barbers in a barbershop for a night of cutting, styling and networking. The event broke down conventional ideas around gender, business, technique and limiting belief systems. 

“What came from the night was beautiful, raw and authentic, hair in fact became secondary to the message of community,” Nathan said. “With out knowing it we created the start of a movement that we are now carrying on as a vehicle to share our message of community and change. The main aim of the  #BOOTLEG PROJECT now is to blur lines between hairdresser and barber as we believe we are all cutting hair, we want to break down dated gender paradigms in terms of technique and pricing and above all have fun with our peers in a safe and nurturing environment.”

Another instalment was an online live variation of the event, due to COVID restrictions, prompting an interactive conversation with hairdressing community members sharing their insights and talent through the screen. The team aim to bring more of these events to life in the next phase of the initiative, within in-person or online platforms as restrictions allow.

“It was so great to tune in to Nathan Yip and Jake Putan chat about community and collaboration over competition,” shared Nadine Johns-Alcock, shared Global Head of Education Showpony. “Nathan and Jake created an open space to openly and positively discuss the many joys they have experienced in our dynamic industry, while being honest about how difficult it has been to create a work life balance that helps them to spend time with family, create the life they have dreamed of, and, for Nathan, spend precious time with his growing family. It was refreshing to see these guys share their ideas for the possibility of creating a future hairdressing industry that allows us all to achieve our own unique goals.”

#BOOTLEG PROJECT will also take over the Barber Hub at Hair Festival 2022 to bring their skills and sense of community to the epicentre of hair next year. Up and coming and renowned artists will take to the hub on behalf of the initiative.

“Our mission is to blur the division between hairdresser and barber and create change in the industry surrounding business practices, connection and community,” the team said. “We want to start positive conversations to ignite and connect our amazing industries of hair transformation.”

Be a part of the movement.