Stories from the Chair - Jesse Ortiz

"They gave me my money back and I started cutting my own hair."

Name: Jesse Ortiz

From: Pacoima, California

Barbershop of Residence: Oscar's Barbershop in Burbank, CA

  • So how long have you been in the business? Tell us your path to becoming a barber! I pretty much knew it when I got kicked out of a barbershop for not liking the haircut I got. They gave me my money back and I started cutting my own hair. Did that all the way through high school and college. Found myself in barber school and have been cutting hair for about 5 years now.
  • With all the great conversations you’ve had with people in the chair, which one stands out the most to you? Why? - Some people like to open up. One time this guy walked in with a black eye. I didn't ask what happened. That one sticks out.
  • What kind of hair styles were popular when you were getting started? Which ones are most popular now? Back in the day, it was mostly shorter hair styles. Bald fades, line ups, stuff like that. Now people grow their hair longer on top. This is so they can style it more. Pompadours, combovers, and texturing are popular.

  • What’s a hairstyle you miss or wish was more popular? There's not really one. Pompadours are a good one to cut. It takes a lot of technique to get it done well.
  • What’s the most haircuts you’ve done in one day? Probably 25 - Saturdays can be a lot of cuts, and so can the holidays too. Especially before Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Challenger at the Barber Shop

  • What's your most memorable day cutting hair? My first day working at the shop at Oscar's. This also meant going from a sitting job to standing everyday job, which took some getting used to.
  • What’s the grossest hair you’ve ever had to touch? - Some people that come in super sweaty. That's tough. Dandruff is whatever, but when someone comes in super sweaty like they ran all the way to get there, and the clippings stick to their scalp, and the smock sticks to them. That's when I turn the fan on them! Better for them to show up a few minutes late, than all sweaty.


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