Victoria barbers to showcase skills, creativity in Corpus Christi competition

Johnathan Silver By Johnathan Silver

July 31, 2014 at 2:31 a.m.
Updated Aug. 1, 2014 at 3:01 a.m.

Zero to 100.

That's the speed for barbershop owner Michael Todd when he and colleagues compete in barber competitions.

"We don't do this for fun. We don't do this for play," the Exclusive Kutz owner said. "This is the real stuff around here."

Todd and his shop's cosmetologists take on this attitude while cutting and styling hair and while competing against other barbers and cosmetologists across the country.

The competitions are typically part of hair shows and expositions that focus on improving barbers', stylists' and cosmetologists' work with clients, their technical skills and business performance.

Competitions measure participants on their technical style, degree of difficulty, originality, professionalism and other factors. Cosmetologists from Todd's barbershop competed for the first time Sunday at the second annual Texas Barber Battle and Expo in Corpus Christi. They didn't place, but they are practicing so they are prepared for the next competition, which will be mid-August again in Corpus Christi.

This time, they want to come out on top and get a good look at what others in the industry are doing, Todd said.

"You want to go see things and compete because you get stuck in your own rhythm until you see something new," he said, adding he wanted to see where he stands in the industry.

Cutting and styling hair also is an art form, said Juan Hernandez, a cosmetologist with Exclusive Kutz.

"This is how we express ourselves. Everybody has their own style," he said. "Not everybody has the patience to do it."

Hernandez competes in design-based competitions, which have birthed standout hair styles from other participants, including 3-D versions of a television character and doves extending from a person's head.

The entire experience in Corpus Christi was inspiring, he said.

"I called two of my boys and asked if they wanted a haircut," Hernandez said. "They came over like at 1 o'clock in the morning."

Todd and his colleagues plan to attend and compete in the Beauty Meets Beast Hair Expo Aug. 17 and 18 in Corpus Christi. Jessica Acuna, owner of J-Styles Hair Salon, and her staff are hosting the event.

"You're going to keep them up-to-date," she said about hair professionals.

And participation in these sort of events could make for a better client experience, Acuna said.

"It helps them know that the person doing their hair is educated," she said.

Though pursuing "best of the best," Todd said interacting with clients makes the biggest difference.

"A barber," he said, "is the one person who can meet someone and change their lives just by using clippers."

People want and deserve to look good, he added.

"When they sit down, they deserve to be treated like a celebrity," Todd said. "Whether they're one or not."



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