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Meet the man building a male grooming empire

DEDICATION: Daniel Johnson was expelled from eight schools as a teenager, but started his business venture at 16

JUST A short conversation with Daniel Johnson lets you know that he means business.

A man whose skillset has transcended simply being called a barber (he prefers ‘international male grooming expert’ these days), Johnson, who tames the barnets of the rich, famous and those who are in need of his personal touch, told The Voice that following a great summer grooming the tresses of the England team, he’s launched his own signature fragrance, and is promoting his scalp micro pigmentation service.

Catching up with Johnson is no easy feat. He’s up at 5.30am each morning and in the gym, before a hectic schedule starts. As he puts it: “I could get a call and be asked to be anywhere in the world at any time, I have to be ready.” But who is he?

“I was raised by a single mum. I started cutting hair when I was 12 years old and I had my first son when I was 14,” he tells me. “I was expelled from eight schools but had my first barber shop when I was 16, signed a five-year deal with no money.

“I got £86 from the government and bought a set of clippers for £50. I took a garden chair and a bathroom mirror and my with last pound we printed some flyers.

“I had no shop sign, just a green chair, bathroom mirror and a pair of clippers. I made £10,000 in three months, refurbished the shop, put my name on it, put a couple more chairs in and started employing staff. By the time I was 25 I had a chain of five shops, including one takeaway.”

Johnson’s craft was picked up by aspiring footballers who had yet to make a name for themselves – and as their stock grew, so did his.

Daniel Johnson and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Photo credit: Instagram)

“I was attracting players right from the start, aged 16,” Johnson says. "I was building my reputation up and I won several awards but then some of the players who were at Championship clubs elevated to the Premier League, and it’s grown and grown.”

Johnson’s growth has seen him roll out his own scent called Daniel Johnson Artemis, which has several footballers endorsing it in an online promotional campaign.


But it’s his hair care which saw him board a plane this summer to cater for the hairlines and mark-ups of some of the nations best footballers at the World Cup.

“Prior to this World Cup the biggest tournament I’d done was the Euros. They flew me out and I done the whole of the England team, the staff and I did a few other countries’ teams while I was there. Being flown out for this World Cup was amazing, I was in St Petersburg and Moscow – Russia is huge.”

But it’s a recent partnership that has him even more excited about future endeavours.

“I signed a deal with Ryan Giggs when I came back from Russia,” he tells me. “He has a new hair transplant place near Cheshire. I have my own room in there where I do scalp micro pigmentations.

“With scalp micro pigmentation we create a brand new hair- line, so if you’re bald we create a hairline. It’s almost like a head tattoo with pigment ink. Every person has a natural hair colour when you bald them off so I am blending the hair and the ink.

"So not only am I doing he barbering, I am taking it to a whole new level where I’m not just taking hair off, I can also put it back on, hypothetically speaking.”

Johnson says the key to his success has been recognising when a business has a ceiling and being able to reinvent himself, thinking out of the box.

He knows what it means to ‘go viral’ and has experienced mind-blowing success since cutting Gareth Bale’s hair just as the former Tottenham midfielder signed as the most expensive player in the world for Real Madrid back in 2013.

He’s come a long way since being the unruly mixed race kid who couldn’t be tamed, but he hopes his journey stands as an example for any ambitious teen who feels misunderstood.

His future is not one where he wants to simply design haircuts that will be emulated by barbers the world over – that box has been ticked. It’s about helping those who may not have previously believed there was help for them.

He says: “I want to take it the extra mile now, transforming lives and getting paid for it. With the treatments I am offering now I am taking the whole male grooming to another level. I do facials as well.

“When I started, everyone looked down on the whole male grooming thing, people just thought I was a barber. Now, through what I have done, the standard of male grooming has improved. Some see it as competition, but I have always stayed in my own lane.”

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