Profile Age: 21 /Ontario, California /Barber Haus Rancho Cucamonga
Q: What encouraged you to become a barber?
Honestly I didn’t even want to be a barber at first. In 8th grade one of my good friends wanted a haircut, I lied to him and told him I could cut hair... I never been to a barbershop, But I always got a haircut from my Dad or my Uncle. At the time I was living in Vegas with my Aunt and Uncle, I never liked to ask for money nor did I want to ask my parents for money... Times were mad tough back then and I needed to learn how to make some money. So anyways, when I told my friend I would cut his hair we went to his house after school that day. All the homies came through so I had to make sure I acted like I knew what I was doing. Sure enough I did pretty good and from then on I tried my best to cut anyone that wanted one or had trust in me to do so! Mid-way of High school in my junior year I started to get very busy and I decided why not cut hair? I did my research, thought it through, and realized I loved cutting hair so regardless if I made money or not I wouldn’t mind waking up everyday to go to work. Thats when I decided I wanted to become a barber.
Q: Did you face any challenges initially getting started in this line of work and how did you overcome them?
Yes I did have challenges. I would hear it from a lot of adults within the family, not all of them were against the fact that I wanted to cut hair, but some were. As a Filipino or Asian, most of the generation before me think that only the medical field is the way to make money and live great. I always hated it because first of all I hated school, I hated hospitals, like that wasn’t my vibe. As time went on I kept pushing to do my best by going to Barber school which I still didn’t like by the way, but whatever it’s the only way to get a license lol... and working in a shop! I realized I made more money than a lot of the relatives that doubted me being a barber. I wanted to prove that you can make just as good as a living even better than working in the medical field. Also another struggle I had getting into barbering was simply being Filipino/Asian. I would get clowned on and people will tell me, “I can’t see”, “Can you even open your eyes enough when you cut?” etc. I did my best to ignore it, but it was hard to have people trust me especially because where I’m from there aren't to many Asians nor do you ever see an Asian in a barbershop in my area, so it was different. It was hard to get brothers to trust me, but luckily a lot of my good friends were black haha! They helped me get better at cutting that kind of hair and honestly I just wasn’t scared to cut anyones hair. I was determined and if they asked if I knew how to do something I would always say yes with confidence. Even if I never did their kind of hair or hairstyle I would still lie and act like it’s a piece of cake lol.
Q: What's your favorite thing about cutting hair?
The best part about cutting hair is simply reaction. I love to see a clients face after a haircut and they start feelin' themselves haha! Making people feel good makes me feel great.
Q: What sets your work apart from other barbers out there?
I guess what sets my work apart from others is by being consistent and having great customer service. I see a lot of barbers “grind” and “work hard” for maybe a week or two and then get back to being a lazy barber. Don’t get me wrong I think I serve some fly ass haircuts, don’t mean to boast, but I love my work and I think every barber should... Although I do believe I can always make room for improvement, there is always something new to learn. Making sure you connect with clients and show them you care means a lot. Customer service plays a bigger role in cutting hair than some starters in the game think. That is the key to making sure a client comes back to you is the way you present yourself and show that you appreciate them coming to you... I think a lot of barbers just lose consistency. Whether it’s you not coming to work on time, not taking care of your appointment, losing communication with clients, slacking on the outcome of a haircut, etc. I can go on, but I believe if you are consistent you will be busy. Regardless if you think your haircuts are trash, best believe people will be back because of your customer service and consistency!
Q: What's your favorite haircut to give to someone?
My favorite haircut to give to someone is a fade and textured top. Really diggin' that whole textured/abstract look. Sucks because not a lot of people are down to do those cool haircuts where I’m from, but when I come across someone down for it best believe I’m goin' in!
Q: What advice can you give to students wanting to become an official barber/stylist/entrepreneur?
The best advice I have to give is be professional, consistent, and caring. That is the key I’m tellin' you! Just never stop being hungry too, I can’t stress that enough. You should always want to be a better you. Don’t get lazy, because that’s when you will see that you will lose passion. Always have the passion, keep that fire inside you burning no matter how long you are in the game! Set goals and never get off track, make it happen foreal!
Q: Do you have any personal goals that you would like to accomplish by the end of this year?
I would like to make the most income I ever had this year, travel within the industry, and showcase more. I love to travel and what better way than to do it for your job, CUTTING HAIR AROUND THE WORLD!!! That’s the dopest thing I could ever do if I can come across that opportunity. I also love to teach, showcasing is one way to do so although some showcases there isn't any explanation, as long as the crowd is watching they can catch some techniques!
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I see myself owning a barbershop! I want my own so bad, unless I come across being a traveling barber that would be just as dope haha!