Jamaican barbers cutting their own style overseas

November 17, 2017
Damayo Riley points to his interpretation of the Hollywood Showtime theme during the JN Small Business Loans, Barber and Beauty Battle at the National Arena in May.

Jamaican barbers Marlon Phillips and Damayo Riley met as participants in the 2017 JN Small Business Loans (JNSBL) Barber and Beauty Battle in May.

They then participated in the Cut Yuh Style Barber Competition in Trinidad and Tobago in August.

Now, along with Anthony 'Barber' King and Shanahue Dawkins, two Jamaican barbers living in Trinidad, they have established a quartet that will enter barber and hairstyle competitions in the future.

Riley won the 2017 Barber and Beauty Battle while Phillips is the 2016 champion. However, the idea to create a team came from the advice of Gillian Hyde, general manager of JNSBL.

"She told us that we were talented, and we could enter international competitions to show the Caribbean and the world what Jamaica had to offer, in terms of the beauty industry," Phillips said.

After considering her advice, he remembered that King, who also participated in this year's Barber and Beauty Battle, told them about a competition in Tobago in which he did well.

"I then approached Damayo and we decided to enter," Phillips explained.

Riley and Phillips flew to Trinidad on August 4 for the intense four-day competition, which featured legendary barber and motivational speaker Darrin Lyons, and hair artist, Rob D Original, appearing as celebrity guest judges.

The barbers said they not only learned how to cut hair but also how to be successful entrepreneurs.

Riley, who has been cutting hair since he was 10, finished first in the Fastest Fade competition, second in the Best Freestyle Design, and third in the Best Portrait segment.

Phillips placed second in the Fastest Fade category and third in the Most Creative Mohawk segment. JNSBL supported them for their trip.

Along with King and Dawkins, hey have all been invited to another competition in Trinidad and Tobago in November and are eyeing another in Tampa, Florida.

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