Texas Made Fades barbershop offers popular haircut styles
May 4, 2012 at 12:04 a.m.
Texas rappers such as Paul Wall, Slim Thug and DJ Michael Watts have all made references to them in their songs.
They are as native to Texas as "S.L.A.B.s," swangers and vogues and white tees with starched down jeans with razor creases.
For years, fades have graduated from being just a haircut style into part of a Texas cultural phenomenon.
Victoria's Texas Made Fades barbershop, 3208 Sam Houston Drive, is one of countless barbershops statewide that offers the traditional Texas hairstyle.
A fade is a short, tapered cut detailed by the hair at the back and sides tapered from zero up to around half an inch with longer hair on the top.
"We wanted a name that symbolized where we're from and what we do," said Roy Dehoyes, co-owner of the barbershop. "Our haircuts are our business cards."
With Mike Jones' hit song "Still Tippin" playing in the background, ESPN on the flat screen televisions, sports paraphernalia on every wall and X-Box controllers within an arm's reach, Texas Made Fades is keeping Crossroads residents looking their best one head at a time in a man-friendly environment.
Dehoyes, 26, and his business partner, Bobby Medina, opened the shop in June.
Although he received his barber license last summer, he has been cutting his own hair and others since he was 13 years old.
After getting in and out of legal trouble, friends and family convinced him to go to barber school and get his license as a means to get his life on the right track.
Medina took a different route getting into the barber business.
Unhappy with his retail job at the time, Medina inquired about the men's haircutting business from a barber who would often shop at the store where he worked.
"He was always busy and making money. I asked him for a couple of pointers and the next thing I knew, I was signed up for school," said Medina, who wore basketball shorts as he carried on a full conversation while intricately cutting a customer's hair to specification. "I fell in love."
He continued, "Every day is a good day. You never know what faces are going to come in."
Upon his graduation from barber school in 2008, he worked at a few local shops, but he held steadfast to his goal - to open his own shop.
Already friends, Dehoyes and Medina became business partners after Dehoyes' graduation and opened their own shop.
Demand for the popular hairstyles they specialized in quickly drew large crowds, said Dehoyes.
"I didn't expect it. I figured when we opened, we wouldn't have any clientele," he said. "But within two to three weeks, business picked up."
Today, the pair estimate they serve about 100 to 150 customers weekly with their busiest days being Fridays and Saturdays.
By 10 a.m. on those days, there is already a line of people waiting to get in, said Medina.
Like its name, the shop is a nexus of style and location, promoting popular regional styles.
Styles offered at the shop include "anything with clippers," as Dehoyes put it.
Other than fades, the most requested styles include mohawks, tapers, hi-tops, Gumby's, neck bars and simple edge-ups.
The shop also specializes in 3-D styles created with scalp color and hair designs.
In terms of designs, Dehoyes said customers ask for everything from the "Hello Kitty" logo to "Brass Knuckles."
"It's not rocket science, but you have to have a creative side," said Medina.
There is one style the men jokingly said they don't do - the Justin Bieber look.
Both barbers said they learned their design skills on the job rather than in school.
"They prepare you on how to pass the test. What you do afterward is on you" said Dehoyes. "If you catch it or grab it, it's all on you."
Customers expressed the importance of keeping a fresh fade.
"It's about first impressions. We can be in relaxed dress, but everything has to be clean and presentable. It's the same with your hair," said faithful Texas Made Fades customer Rodney Randale, a 38-year-old service coordinator. "If your hair wasn't cut, the supervisors would probably pull you into their office because it's the same thing as if you came in wearing torn jeans or had stains on your shirt."
The fades are not the only thing soliciting smiles in the shop.
The familial atmosphere in the barbershop also beckons jovial conversation about man-friendly topics among patrons such as women, politics and, of course, sports.
"You should have seen it. I did a Laker's design on this dude's head this morning," Medina told customer Mike Cordoba, who watched ESPN as he was waiting for his haircut.
"You should have shaved it right off afterward," Cordoba retorted jokingly, prompting a roar of laughter from everyone in the shop.
"They come in so much that they know each other," Medina said about the community feel in the shop. "One person walks in and has to say hi to eight people."
Although they rely mainly on word of mouth, Texas Made Fades has also embraced social media to draw in customers, posting pictures of their work and interacting with potential clients.
At last check, the business was up to 2,256 Facebook friends.
"There are a lot of people around town who cut hair, but it's our personality and our twist on how we do things," said Medina. "That doesn't mean you can't go somewhere else and get a good haircut."
"People who come here, like us in general and how we cut hair," he added.
Medina said he hopes to expand the shop into a Supercuts-like chain of urban barbershops, which he hopes to one day pass down to his son.
"He's going to grow up seeing me do it. This is a future I'm building," said Medina. "It will be easy for me to hand something down to him."
In the meantime, however, Medina and Dehoyes will just focus on keeping their current customers happy with good haircuts - Texas style.
"When I come here, I'm getting faded," said Cordoba.