How to Make it As a Barber in New York City

How to Make it As a Barber in New York City

The saying goes “if you can make it [in New York] you can make it anywhere.” Regardless of

your field of choice, that quote rings true. For Orchard & Ludlow barber stylist, Sara Grace

Judge she did not realize how hard it would be to enter the haircare space in the city, until she

got here.

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“I started doing hair in Wisconsin and thought that was hard and then I got to New York and I was like, ‘okay, this is very different, the hair culture is very different here,’” she shares. “No matter where else you are in the country, when you get to New York you have to start at the bottom, build yourself up and make a name for yourself.”

In aiming to make it as a barber in New York City, Judge has learned valuable lessons and has

compiled a few tips that should help anyway achieve their dream of dominating the grooming industry here.

● Be open to learning. You don’t know what you don’t know until you learn exactly what

it is you don’t know. Complicated? Yes, but it is true. Things are changing frequently, so

be open to learning constantly. “This is an ever changing industry,” Judge says. “Style

never stays the same, fashion changes every decade and changes multiple times within

that decade. You have to humble yourself a little bit and realize you won’t be the best at


● Get comfortable with what makes you comfortable. This is the golden rule to life and

is especially applicable when pursuing a dream in the Big Apple. Judge explains that

“barbering in New York City is different from anywhere else because you don’t know

what will walk in through the door.” You will have to familiarize yourself with hair

textures you’re not accustomed to and you’ll have to grow thick skin, if you don’t have

any, to survive in the city. This will all push you to be a better stylist and overall a better


● Networking is key. Although Covid-19 makes networking a little bit more difficult with

human interaction being limited, it is the best way to move your career forward. “If you

want to be the best you have to start making people think you are the best,” Judge says.

Accomplish this by putting yourself out there and marketing yourself. This will go hand

and hand with the two aforementioned tips and can apply to any field you have an interest

in. If you’re search of more barbering tips, itching for some interesting conversation, looking to book a service or all three visit Orchard & Ludlow on the Lower East Side by booking an appointment at or calling us at (917) 639-3646 .

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