Are Aussie haircuts any good?

Wherever and whenever they happen to be, a man needs a haircut. Or a shave, or his sideburns trimmed. Taking this theme to extremes is a young Englishman who calls himself "the Nomad Barber", Miguel Gutierrez, who is on a round-the-world journey of discovery to the barber shops of five continents.

He left the UK last June and headed east, down through Turkey, India, Nepal, Thailand and Singapore, filming a series of eye-popping videos on the way he has posted on YouTube.

According to the Nomad Barber website Gutierrez's aim is to "talk to and learn from fellow barbers in over five continents, discovering how a trade, which dates back to 3500 B.C., varies across the globe". Earlier this year, his trip took him to Australia.

What I wanted to know was what did he think of us - and our barbers?

"Australia has a long way to go in terms of technical ability," he told me.

"Australia currently lacks an accredited course for our trade, so until that happens the proper education won't be dished out.

"Of the barbers I met, Fab at Uncle Rocco's [in Port Melbourne] is an excellent barber, having been taught by his father who's a Sicilian barber.

"There are also people like Ziyad Nicolas, who I worked with in London, who's trying to revive the trade."


And what of Australian men - are we 'on trend' or not?

"I'd say that Australian men are definitely catching up with the trend," Gutierrez says.

"After seeing some horrific haircuts from old movies like The Castle, I'd say Australia is having a much better time with their image.

"Men are more image-conscious now and social media and online content makes trends more accessible the world over. And haircut trends in the UK and Australia are fairly similar at the moment."

Where on his travels was the best cut he received? "It was off a barber called Que in Bangkok, and the best shave off a street barber in Hampi (India)."

Key to the travels of "the Nomad Barber" is the fact barbering and haircutting in general has always been a highly portable skill.

"Yeh, you can literally work anywhere in the world. A haircut is something that everyone needs," Gutierrez says.

After Australia - and a side trip to New Zealand, where our photographers caught him at Maloney's barbershop in central Auckland - he headed to the US from which he has taken side trips to South and Central America.

He due to arrive home in May, and is mulling the idea of setting up in business somewhere in the world - "probably NYC" – somewhere down the line. Though, as he says, after a year of travel he "wouldn't mind living at home for a while".

Speaking of the future, does the man who has cut hair around the world know what's next for men's cuts?

"With the whole hipster thing happening on a global scale I can see beards and moustaches lasting a few more years, but with shaving getting more popular," Gutierrez says.

"I think apart from a mullet most things are passable at the moment."

Where's the most exotic place you've had a haircut?