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BARBERING, OR ANY CRAFT WORKING WITH THE HANDS, WAS ONCE SEEN AS A PATH FOR THE LESS ACADEMICALLY INCLINED. BILLY MCINTYRE OF RAZORBACKS BARBERSHOP, HOWEVER, TURNED HIS BACK ON ACADEMIA TO PURSUE HIS PASSION.
Razorbacks Barbershop is set in the punk rock haven of Long Beach, California. Punk rock musicians and professional skateboarders often frequent the shop: Tony Alva, Christian Hosoi, Jay Adams, Geoff Rowley, the lads from Ignite, just to name a few of the past and present patrons. So, what better place for a punk rock kid to hone and ply his skills?
Southern California native Billy McIntyre became interested in cutting hair because of his anarchic heroes and his desire to experiment on his own locks. Born to a lawyer father and seamstress mother, there were certain expectations of Billy and so he enrolled in college.
“I’ve always had an interest in cutting hair,” Billy explains. “But I had to go to college first. I received a degree in English from UCLA but decided academia wasn’t for me. I wanted to work with my hands like my grandpa George who was a carpenter/electrician/fix anything guy, so I decided I wanted to squander my degree and work with my hands,” he smiles.
Billy met Pedro Zermeno and Scott Serrata – the founders and owners of Razorbacks Barbershop and Imperial Barber Grade Products – back in 2009. At the time, he living around the corner on a friend’s couch and popped in for a cut. The rest, as they say, was history. Regardless of how smart you are, dues must be paid to the craft and Billy’s mentors schooled him the right way – floor sweeping, answering phones etc.
Eventually he got behind the chair. Billy says he was tossed onto the floor without feeling too confident in his abilities but survived his first day and began building clientele. He then, of course, had to go back to school to get his license. Almost a decade later and Billy is guiding others through the same process at Razorbacks.
“At our shop the guys with the most experience always help the less experienced. It’s never condescending. We all genuinely want to share the trade with others. Most recently two of our guys received their licenses – Anthony St. Dennis and Jacob Quintana. I love sharing the trade with these guys and I would want them to share things with me. It’s not something I feel like you really ever master. There’ s always room for growth even is its infinitesimal. It’s still growth.”
Billy’s effusive approach to education comes through a desire to provide the opportunities to others that his mentors did to him. Barbering is about respect. Respecting each other, respecting the craft, respecting the clients, and the rewards are there for the taking. It’s something he was taught at an early stage and he explains he will always remain thankful.
“I owe a lot to Pedro and Scott for taking a chance on me. They showed me that if you treat a shop and your craft with the dignity and respect it deserves it will give back tenfold and it’s proven true. Not only do I have an excellent career and clientele but I was also taught a craft that can’t be taken away. And last but not least because I met my beautiful wife in the parking lot randomly and now, five years later, we’re expecting our first child.”
Keep an eye out on future BarberEvo issues for more articles featuring Imperial Barber Products!
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