Store Manager at Waves Barbershop, Jasiah Mackie, an Indigenous Aussie, works alongside other young barbers who all have one thing in common – they love what they and their company is bringing to the local community.

This month’s West End’s Waves Barbershop reopening was planned with NAIDOC celebrations in mind.

“Waves is a great example of how the Langanis brand is growing with their clientele and, as an indigenous Aussie and lead barber, I’m pumped to be a part of it,” barber Jasiah said.

We sat down with Jasiah to chat about what it’s like as a young barber in West End.

Jasiah grew up in a small coastal town in Queensland.

“I’m originally from Northern Territory, Alice Springs. I’ve been in Brisbane for you eight years now and in West End for about seven years.”

He chose barbering because he wanted to travel.

“Someone’s always going to need a haircut wherever you are. So, I chose barbering and fell in love with it.”

“I cut hair at Langanis once a week while I was in high school. I’ve been working with Langanis for four years now, so I’m really happy to step up and take the lead at Waves.

“I love West End; I couldn’t leave. The clients are really good, its a good community, and our previous shop was a big part of the community, and hopefully, this one will be too.”

Jasiah said every day is different.

“You never know what you could be doing or who you might be servicing. West End keeps things interesting. There’s always something going on in the area and the vibes are really high around here lately. It’s a great spot. I also really love meeting new people. A lot of my friendships have been formed while barbering – it’s the best thing in the world. At the core of things though, I’ve always had a passion for art. I love painting, and cutting hair is just another expression of art for me.”

“They’re a really diverse bunch, which is great. In store we around a dozen staff total, two others are also First Nation’s. We all get along really well and love what Langanis is doing.”

Fellow barber Kai Kotzikas is from the Gold Coast, but I grew up in Cairns. He said he enjoys making people feel good about themselves.

“It’s really satisfying when they walk out feeling more confident in themselves.

Jasiah said Waves is different from your average barbershop.

“We’re trained by the best to provide the best and Waves is cool because we can still do what we do but at a lower price point, making our service more available to everyday people. Our company really cares about providing that quality service and haircut for everyone, which I love.”

Cover image, by Jan Bowman – Jasiah Mackie seated, Kai Kotzikas standing.