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Mark Maciver started cutting hair at the tender age of 14 when he couldn’t afford the cool fades and patterns the other kids had and so decided to experiment on himself. After a failed first attempt got him suspended from school until his hair grew back, Maciver was determined to keep going and to learn and improve his chosen craft by working hard. He has since built a thriving business, written a book, and amassed a large social media following of people who are drawn to his slick shape ups and beaming personality.

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As a barber Maciver is the missing link between people from different worlds. He explains that the guy who sweeps the roads can be in the shop with the Heavyweight Champion of the World and they’ll end up in the same conversation. “When you look at white barbershops, you have different barbershops for different classes, so there’s no place where the working class person and the middle class person actually meet. That’s what’s so unique about the Black barbershop.“

Using the knowledge that he is a central point linking the community together, he decided to actively find ways in which he could help and bring about positivity. But spreading positivity doesn’t stop with his famously motivational Instagram stories every morning, because Maciver takes community and giving back very seriously. Grateful for his family, job and life, he has created programmes that allow him and his barbershop to pay it forward to the community. One of these programmes he runs is the runner scheme where he hires kids to do little tasks here and there such as getting the team food, counting the money, or sweeping up hair, and the kids get paid, an opportunity to pick up barbering if they want, and a safe space away from any bad influences or potential harm in the streets. Another scheme of his helps people fill in forms “We’ll help you look for a job, a course, or an apprenticeship and help you fill in the form, and you don’t have to pay a penny for it and you don’t even have to be a customer.”

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Mark Maciver’s skills, determined work ethic, and benevolence has made him the go-to barber for names such as Anthony Joshua, Stormzy, and LeBron James but he is nevertheless as down-to-earth and community-driven as ever. “When my life ends, I want to look back and think that I really tried to share what I received with other people. There is more fruit that comes from that.”

His book Shaping Up Culture is now out.

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Credits

SliderCuts is at 176 Hackney Rd, London E2 7QL

Video Aris Akritidis
Photography Panos Damaskinidis
Interview Katharina Lina + John Harte
Words Katharina Lina

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