HE’S cut out for a life on the high seas but decided to settle for something a little less hair-raising. Even still, for “Captain” Levi Tusoon, every day is an adventure – for him and customers to his barber shop.
Dressed as a pirate, Captain Levi, the name used by friends and family, has opened for businesses in Corstorphine, bringing the world of Blackbeard to those who stop in for a short back and sides. The 23-year-old from Barnton began trading last week and has already proved a hit with locals.
And being decked out in bandanas, bracelets and bullet belts isn’t just a job for Levi – it’s a way of life. The former joiner, who trained as a barber at Telford College, said the life of a seadog doesn’t stop when he puts his scissors and comb down for the night.
“If I am perfectly honest, it’s my pirate self that’s coming through,” he said. “I dress as a pirate, even away from work. But this is a place where every haircut is an adventure.
“People love it. I find so many people are stuck to normality – I like to bend things a little. Every person that stops in at the shop has said it’s lovely to see something different.”
His barbershop on Corstorphine High Street also displays pirate paraphernalia, from the skull and crossbones to swords and pistols – even a treasure chest filled with (chocolate) coins. I’d been doing hair for many years and I just got this feeling that the pirate idea is what I wanted to base my business on,” he said.
“When kids come along I like to entertain them and they really like that attitude. When I was a kid, the barber I went to didn’t do that.”
Captain Levi said his love of pirate costumes evolved from an appreciation of vintage clothing. “It was more just a love of eccentric fashion,” he said. “And I liked the whole idea of gents with facial hair and yet still being somehow dapper and debonair. I always like a bit of flamboyance.
“The style adapted over the years and got more and more dramatic. Now I always have a sash and four big leather belts on.” Of his decision to open in Corstorphine, he said: “The key was finding somewhere that needed something different.
“I chose to go for the old Corstorphine village because it needs some oomph put back into it, and I wanted to have it next to the school so that the kids could get a sense of adventure.”
Ken Swinney, of Corstorphine community council, said: “I wonder if the pirate theme will take off but then I am of a different generation - when you just went into the barber’s for a short back and sides.
“If somebody has the energy and get-up-and-go to set up their own business, it’s to be welcomed and I say good luck to him.”