Meet Sheldon Tatchell – the legendary barber who is a cut above the rest

Published Oct 12, 2022


Johannesburg – A haircut to some people may seem like a mundane grooming experience that must be endured to maintain a neat appearance, but to the men wielding the hair clippers it’s an art and an expression of their skill and creativity.

Sheldon Tatchell, founder of the popular barbershop franchise, Legends Barbershop, has taken the craft and the business of cutting hair to the next level.

Legends Barbershop has not only established itself as the leading barbershop in South Africa as rated by the African Hair Awards Council, but has also grown its footprint outside local borders as far afield as Botswana.

His empire now includes hair and beard grooming products and accessories which can be found in some of South Africa’s retail chain stores.

Tatchell started his business cutting hair on the stoep in front of his cousin’s internet cafe in Eldorado Park, South Africa, and saw it as his vehicle out of the township.

Sheldon Tatchell, founder of Legends Barbershop Picture: Facebook

In a Facebook post Tatchell stated, “I was 14 years old when I turned to barbering as a way to escape the reality of poverty that surrounded me.”

Now in an effort to give back and empower the youth, Tatchell has launched the Legends Training and Development Centre in Johannesburg, where aspirant barbers can hone their skills and learn important life skills to succeed.

The graduates from the Legends Training Centre will have the opportunity to be employed in one of the many Legends Barbershops around the country.

The significance of having someone to teach the youth skills is not lost on Tatchell. He had to find creative ways to gain the knowledge that would one day culminate in his successful business.

”I learned this skill by visiting different barbers in my area to gain knowledge on how to cut hair and the different methods they use. They chased me away many times and I just returned, with a bottle of cold drink as a bribe for my next lesson. Simple as this sounds, it was the best way to learn something I love,” Tatchell continued.

Now he has found a way to pay it forward.

“I promised myself that one day I would open a school and help potential barbers… Today that dream is a reality,” Tacthell said.

Tatchell has paid his dues. From the stoep in front of the internet cafe he moved to his own premises, officially opening his first barbershop.

The exhilaration and joy would not last long however, as soon afterwards his business closed down after he left it in the care of his business partner while he was away on honeymoon.

He persevered and began doing house calls on his scooter, driving up to 40km to service his customer base. This element still exists in the form of a fully kitted-out mobile with all the amenities to make having a haircut a luxury experience. There is even a PlayStation and television on board.

Tatchell now looking to impart his lessons on entrepreneurship, ingenuity and perseverance can only bode well for the prospects of aspirant barbers looking to emulate his success.

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