South East London’s most in-demand barber explains what the ‘fuckboy special’ haircut is, and why his grandfather is his beauty icon
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Nat Bury, better known as Dat Barber Nat, is one of London’s most in-demand barbers. With his vast understanding and respect for traditional and afro barbering techniques, along with his own innovative and creative style, it’s no surprise his client list boasts the likes of Frank Ocean, Tom Hardy, and Adwoa Aboah.
A go-to name in music and fashion, Nat has worked with brands including Burberry and Aries, as well as on editorials for everyone from Dazed and The Face to Beauty Papers. But the 29-year-old didn’t always know he wanted to work with hair. After growing up in Gospel Oak, the “North West London boy through and through” was on jobseekers and needed to look at courses to stay signed up. While at an open day for Kensington & Chelsea College he met Nunzia Meola, the course director of Barbering, and was sold. He started the next week and discovered not only a great proficiency but a deep love for the craft as well.
For the last four years, Nat has been working out of Mo Better Cutz in Ladbroke Grove alongside Rodney Trotters and Rohan Nurse, who he met while on the course. Founded in the 90s, the barbershop has become a staple of the local community and was recently featured in a shoot for Beauty Papers, a moment Nat says was the highlight of his career so far. “Mo Better Cutz has given so much to me and the local community,” he says. “It deserves recognition and I’m happy I was able to put the spotlight on it for a bit.”
Here, the Friendly Neighbourhood Barberman explains what the “fuckboy special” haircut is, when he feels his best, and why his grandfather is his beauty icon.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and where you grew up?
Dat Barber Nat: North West London boy through and through, although I went to primary school in Hertfordshire. It’s my dirty secret but I think it’s time people knew!
What’s your earliest beauty-related memory?
Dat Barber Nat: Getting my hair curled by my cousin Ama when I was maybe eight or nine.
What’s your favourite smell?
Dat Barber Nat: Weed and cocoa butter.
Which fictional character do you most relate to?
Dat Barber Nat: I have wanted to be Spiderman since I was a kid but in reality it's probably one of The Inbetweeners.
Who is your beauty icon?
Dat Barber Nat: My grandad. That Windrush generation always stepped out looking immaculate. My grandma still gets dressed up to go to the cinema! They were always onto me as a kid about looking raggedy and it stuck. I also inherited a few of my grandad’s clothes after he died and I always wear his watch for good luck.
What does beauty mean to you?
Dat Barber Nat: Looking good. Smelling good. Feeling good.
When do you feel most beautiful?
Dat Barber Nat: I feel pretty after a haircut. I feel beautiful when my karma is good.
What is the future of beauty?
Dat Barber Nat: Fuck knows. Hopefully more black people tings.
If you could have a new sense on top of your existing ones, what would it be?
Dat Barber Nat: I’ll take spider senses if they’re going.
You’ve opted to be cryogenically frozen in hopes of continuing the human race. When you’re awoken it’ll be your responsibility to kick-start the breeding. How will you wear your hair on your first date?
Dat Barber Nat: It’s gonna have to be the fuckboy special. Waves with a skin fade. Big beard and airpods. Works every time.
You encounter a hostile alien race and sound is their only mechanism for communication. What song would you play to them to inspire them to spare you and the rest of the human race?
Dat Barber Nat: D’Angelo “Feel Like Making Love”. If that don’t win em over, we never stood a chance!
You can catch Dat Barber Nat at Dazed Live