INTERVIEW: Multi award-winning hairdresser Chris Foster

Chris Foster

Chris Foster hairdresser and founder of the Foss Academy

Multi award-winning hairdresser Chris Foster provides a range of services to the hairdressing industry, from training and skill-development with the ‘Foss Academy’, through to session services, platform stylist and show organiser.

How long have you been a barber and how did you get started?

It all changed one summer in 1993, when I went for some work experience at Audie’s Professional Hair Studio in North London, This is where I fell in love with barbering. Audie was and still is an inspiration to me. He gave me the grounding and the initial skills to work from.

Where did you hone your skills?

After working at Audie’s, I went back to college where I achieved my NVQ in hairdressing. Once leaving college I joined the Regis team in Selfridges, where I spent nine years and worked my way to being a Senior Stylist. I am now currently head stylist at the exclusive Mayfair establishment ‘Gentlemen’s Tonic’ where I have been there for the last five years.

So would you say that work experience and apprenticeship was a big help to starting you career?

Yes, very much so. I believe training is a vital part of ones chosen career path. Work experience or apprenticeships can be an excellent way to really get a deeper insight into the job.

What obstacles have you incurred?

Through my experience I have found that sometimes it is all so easy for people to see me as a barber who only cuts afro hair. But for me it’s all about Men’s Hairdressing as a whole. Pushing creativity rather than social boundaries. You only have to look at Errol Douglas and Desmond Murray, who are role models to me. These guys are both award winning stylists in both Afro and European Hairdressing.

Who is your typical client?

My clientele ranges from builders to bankers. With the modern man taking more care in their grooming my clients come from all walks of life.

Any A List Celebrities?

Yes, there are, but I am all about client confidentiality. Name dropping is not my thing! I have worked with top hair brands including Wahl and American Crew. I am currently Creative Director for Forfex Babyliss Pro. Where I get the opportunity to travel worldwide giving talks, seminars and training on men’s grooming. I also write for a number of hair magazines as their resident Grooming Expert.

You Started the Foss Academy, tell us a bit more about it?

I started the Foss Academy a year ago. I noticed, over many years training specifically for barbering has being on the decline. With colleges opting out of teaching barbering modules. I decided to develop a range of courses from wet shaving to the art of hair design with the aim of sharing my knowledge and experience to the wider hairdressing community. At the Foss Academy we partner with ambitious and progressive stylists who want to achieve the highest level of technical excellence and develop their barbering skills. The Foss Academy provides on-site instruction in salons, colleges and distributors with all courses structured to inspire and motivate.

You have received numerous accolades, which one made you feel most proud?

They are all important to me, I am thankful to be recognised by my peers. If I had to choose one, it would be when I was entered into the prestigious and exclusive ‘Barbering Hall of Fame’ in 2008 after winning Black Beauty Hair Awards three times.

span style=”font-size: 20px;”>How do you relax and recharge at the end of the day ?<

I give thanks for another working day, turn on my ipod and put on the head phones and get some spiritual uplifting from Gospel music. I go home to the wife and kids and live life to the fullest.

To find out more about the Foss Academy and Chris Foster training please email: or visit