Upon My Return (part I: hair)

Ahoy all you good rats out there! I’m back with a pretty introspective entry, in hopes of keeping this blog going strong in its early stages.

My day has been one of looking back so that I can look forward.

Life changed dramatically and suddenly on Wednesday January 6, 2016 when I was forced to take decisive action and leave a very toxic and unethical situation. With all my salon gear packed into boxes and cases…I was a barber without a home only for a short while…I was temporarily a photographer without a set.

Life does not always hand us the circumstances we may want. Yet, for me at least….life is better now than I’d ever expected. BECAUSE of the changes…..when faced with trouble there are 2 choices…

  1. grow from devastation and rise above it to new heights
  2. allow the trouble to defeat, crush, and demean us

I my friends…aim to grow.

Through the graces of whatever you pray to..in my case Grandpa Joe (my great Grandfather, who was the barbering pioneer in my family)…I was invited back home to Hair Forever to take back my chair. And you know what, I took that invitation with the deepest sense of honor I could.

in this week back at Hair Forever, I have learned so many things….perhaps not new methods or techniques….but I’ve learned more about myself than the craft.

Before I continue…I want to say this: I will not shed any details on the exact nature of situation I was forced to leave. I will not give those parties the satisfaction of discussing the disturbing lack of ethics they perpetrated against me.

I will only speak of the positive experiences I have had since that day.

Hair Forever….as many of you know, is the shop I grew up in. Owner, Bette Scott, cut my hair for over 20 years in the very shop I now once again reside in. So now on my 2nd tour there…here are some things I learned upon my move back in.

  • My talents and passions are never limited or discouraged at Hair Forever
  • My style of cutting hair is unique and the people who enjoy what I do, are all part of the successes I’ve had…regardless of where I work
  • I am fortunate to always have a chair at the ready at Hair Forever and graced by good light and a drawer to call my own
  • Hair color is once again possible for me
  • Every guest that sits for me is treated like an old friend
  • Seeing piles of hair hit the floor is oddly satisfying while I cut
  • Good product, great service and grand respect are what you can expect when you sit with me

When I took to my first day back, I was nervous…nervous for some reason that I didn’t fit in….yet, I met a new guest and made sure he left more than happy with his new hair cut. And so it began…me picking up the game right where I’d left off. I knew I was home.

I came back to Hair Forever more sure of my tools, more steady of hand, and more focused of mind. I think if anything…in the West Haven fiasco, I learned how to trust my instincts and rely on my training to complete any service without fail.

To come back and pick up the color brushes again and create my first full head of hair color in many months was an awakening for me. It made me realize that the world still has a spot for me as colorist.

For those of you reading this entry by way of Facebook, you have now seen the list of very significant people who made this week the epic success that is has been. I want to thank each and every one of you for the push to rise above the horrible incidents of last week….and to defy the critics as I found my place back among the ranks.

To you all….I extend my deepest gratitude.

And for those who have not yet joined me at the salon for some service….come down, try me out and we’ll have a great time. I promise.

To the future…we look back so we can look forward.


This is Mr Phil signing off,



All New Again

Hello, my name is Mr. Phil Hovey.

I am many things….but most of all, I am a creator.

One might say I am destined to create in anything I do…never content with staying idle, I seek opportunities to make something out of nothing….or to modify what is in front of me.

Many years ago, I ran a blog called “Find Your Light”..where I talked about the inspirational facets of the photography world. The blog took on a few iterations before I felt completely satisfied with its output.

Once I began my journey into the world of hair cutting as a barber, Find Your Light felt too strictly photo related….yet starting a secondary hair blog felt contrived.

Many people run super successful singled ended blogs. I however, cannot be single ended. I am multi faceted….so it is my hope that this new site will bring about a free and fluid manner of expression from me…to you.

My work as a barber-stylist takes place at Hair Forever in Milford CT. I grew up in this salon, from the time I was in middle school to my early 30s, my hair was cut by Hair Forever owner Bette Scott. She now has taken in me in as one of her team members. I couldn’t be happier there.

As a photographer, I work everywhere…the world is my studio…and from time to time I set up within 4 physical walls to bring to life my special kind of studio magic.

Those are details about myself that you all may know. I am always up to creating something with hair or photography.

Yet, what you may not know is that deep down inside….I’m pretty introverted and despite the bold ways you are accustomed to….I enjoy taking time to myself and planning almost every concept…pen to paper, thought to theory…I do so much behind the scenes work prior to launching a new plan.

For so long…I tried to keep separate my barber and photography careers. It seemed like a good idea at the time…yet, the two worlds are greatly intertwined for me. Photography lead me into hair cutting…and now hair cutting features much of my photography. So this new site is a welcomed change where I can seamlessly blend those worlds together into a perfect storm…mixing together all my creativity.

Well, here we are at the end of my first entry…and I guess I have said a lot without really saying much about myself. Keep posted, as in the days to come…I’ll add some new thoughts for you…and maybe even some new photos.
Till then……

This is Mr Phil signing off,