What is a Barber #2 How long does it take?

The Beginning

As much as I love learning things fast, looking back to how I first started was similar to a turtle winning a race. Slow but EAGER to learn more and more each and every day.

Believe it or not, my mom is the reason I have a career. Let’s just say enough was enough and I had to take over. 

Throughout school I would see friends with edge ups, line ups and designs, so I figured I’d try the same. Believe me, I screwed up my head way too many times before I actually got somewhat decent at buzzing my hair down to one size and finishing it off with a line up.

1 Year

I was stoked about cutting hair that I was even giving out free haircuts. Whether it was a family member to even a few friends, I was literally giving them out. For free. The reason behind it was because I wanted to better myself. I loved what I was doing and I was desperate to learn. I was never thinking about the money. Money was the last thing on my mind. What really attracted me was the satisfaction of the person sitting in my chair. The first times I heard “perfect” or “this is exactly what I wanted,” I knew I had something good going on. Though, as much as I loved hearing that, I had to accept that some wouldn’t be satisfied. Believe me, some were NOT satisfied. I definitely felt a little discouraged in the moment but guess what.

I learned something!

Every time an incident like this happened, guess what? I learned something again. And again. And again. And again. I never let it get to me because I knew I was far from where I wanted to be.


5 Years

After 5 years of cutting hair in my so called barbershop, I had finally decided to pursue a barber license. During school hours I’d learn the fundamentals for passing state board. The technical stuff. BUT, the more important things were being learned outside of school. Every day, after school, I’d take my tools back home and practice. Whether it was on my dad, my brother, or someone random, I was being exposed to different textures of hair, different cow-licks(swirl on top of your head), and different personalities.( Don't get me wrong by this time I had a small understanding of hair. So I'd charge accordingly.) I was learning how to better myself without even knowing it. I was learning how to cut hair, how to market myself, and even how to communicate with my client. 



ANYBODY can be taught how to cut hair, but you can’t teach someone how to interact with another person.


5 years of personal experience and an additional 10 months of school, I had finally gotten my license. Years of late night cuts for the homies, no social life, neck pain, hurt knees, skipped meals, mental exhaustion, sleepy days, hand aches and a tired body are what got me to where I am today. Don't get me wrong, my journey is just one of the many other out there in the world. The timing is different for everybody, but the more I'm in this industry, the more and more I realize that my learning has just begun. I am nowhere near where I want to be and I know that I have much more to learn. 


10 Years (Present)

As of today, I have been cutting hair for 10 years. Never did I expect the grind to barely start. For so long I thought, "once I get this license it'll be a walk in the park."


My grind is barely beginning. The "years of late night cuts for the homies, no social life, neck pain, hurt knees, skipped meals, mental exhaustion, sleepy days, hand aches and a tired body" are still continuing today as much as they were back then. Believe it or not, much more has been added to the list. MUCH MORE.

Despite the list of problems(or whatever you want to call them), this industry... this craft... this lifestyle has pulled me in so deep that I don't even want to imagine my life without cutting hair.


So, back to the question that brought you here in the first place.


How long does it take to be a barber?

How long does it take to master every haircut? How long does it take to master a shave? How long does it take to learn how to fade? How long does it take to create a clientele?...

Truth is... You'll never fully complete your learning. We are forever students. A master barber is not a title someone receives after a certain amount of years of cutting hair. A true Master Barber is someone who has accepted the fact that his or her learning has no limitations. Every day is a new day. Every day should be treated as if you are still learning. Every day should be treated with a purpose.

Chase McKim | Livermore, CA |   Instagram

Chase McKim | Livermore, CA | Instagram



What is a Barber #1 The Welcome

Im really excited to announce this new series that will be concentrating it’s topics to help a beginning barber, an experienced barber who wants to refresh his/her memory or even an average Joe who wants a good read. In this series we’ll be covering tips and tricks, building clientele, proper practices, the “do"s and "dont’s," networking and even social media.

DON Barber and Groom    Facebook   |   Instagram

DON Barber and Groom Facebook Instagram

Kind of intimidating right? Well, it can and probably will be. All of these subjects are factors to a barber’s “nowaday" lives. Some might be helpful hints and some might be monumental necessities. Regardless of which topics you decide are beneficial, I feel like one might be helpful to your barber lifestyle.

As time goes by, the more attention is being given to the male grooming industry. It’s actually  getting a lot more attention now more than ever. It's almost becoming a trend. There's no doubt that this industry can be rewarding and lucrative, but as a barber, I feel obligated to let you know what really does matter and what doesn’t. What steps you can take in order to better yourself as a barber. I’m not saying I’m the best nor am I saying I’m better than you. What I do know is that I have a great understanding of this industry. But even with a "great understanding,” I know I have more to learn. You must treat every day as if you were still learning. If that’s not the case, then maybe you shouldn’t be in this industry(or any industry at that).

Wanting to learn something you already know is what separates you from someone who does it just for the money, to someone who actually loves their craft.

I want to see this industry turn to the right direction and not into the wrong. I've been seeing awesome practices throughout social media and in real life scenarios, BUT I’ve also been seeing the bad. This industry is a hustle and a grind, but it’s also a beautiful industry to get into. That is if you do it with the right intentions.


Pretty much what I want you to understand is..


We don’t "just cut hair."

We listen.

We share.


We provide.

Believe it or not, it sometimes isn’t about the haircut. It’s about the energy you push out in front of you. You don’t know what your client is going or been through, but I bet if you follow/remember those 3 simple principles while your providing the service, the client will not only enjoy the haircut but he’ll appreciate the service and genuineness that comes with it.


Tim Avalos "Topshelf Grooming"  Facebook   |   Instagram

Tim Avalos "Topshelf Grooming" Facebook | Instagram


One quote that really got me was...

"Not too many people can tell between a good haircut and a great haircut, but everybody can tell between great customer service and bad customer service."


This quote is something I try to live by every day I enter the barbershop. Remembering this phrase is what gets me through my day and maybe it will for you. Not only that, I guarantee your client will appreciate that as well.

So once again. Im happy to announce this series of discussion topics between us barbers or average Joes! Hopefully this series can better you just as much as it will better myself.

Remember, people aren’t paying for just your haircut, they are paying for your service, your energy, your passion, and your love that goes behind the chair.


Now that you know what this topic will be about, answer me this.

What makes you different?




Let me know what kind of content you would like to see in this series in the comments section below.


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