I’ve contemplated shaving my head, not once, but a million times. This was years ago, mind you. I was convinced the world is coming to an end and that we were the reason behind it. I felt the urge to rebel, and believe me, Metallica and Iron Maiden helped me believe it. I had to relinquish all worldly pleasures. I just HAD TO. I wore black clothes, wanted to shave my head, and get a tattoo on my head. You can’t blame me, I was a 15-year-old pugnacious child.
Well, I am 21 now and I don’t listen to Metallica anymore. Do I want to shave my head? Maybe, maybe not.
My hair has grown to be annoyingly lengthy. I’ve tried taking care of it but I’ve failed each time and, miserably so. I come from an Indian household and believe me, we’re convinced that for every hair problem there is, using oil would solve it. Now, this ranges from coconut to olive to castor, and believe me, we want to groom our hair, so we can go up to any extent. We’re living in a time where we need a hair specialist for almost every occasion. Do you want to head out for dinner with a close friend? Do something with your hair. Do you want to attend a wedding? You ought to do something about your hair, and I can go on with it, but let’s get one thing straight. Hair Care is essential. I’ve applied all things to my hair- from onion juice, eggs, bananas? Yes, you read that right.
The last few months have been difficult. We mustn’t fail to acknowledge how some of us incessantly complained about how terribly we missed the salons during the lockdown, so much so, that there was a whole protest in America where people took to the streets to protest against the government demanding that the salons open up again. It’s hysterical when you bring facts and figures into play here but I remember how unmanageable my hair got by the third month and I lowkey empathized with them.
“Your hair adds definition to your face”. Now, this is believed by most of us and I won’t stand for it. Nothing on the outside defines you.
Experimenting with your hair is a form of art too. Quite recently, I learned about this “barber artist” of sorts. Rob Ferrel is a 33-year-old barber artist. To put it simply, Ferrel makes three-dimensional portraits of mega rap artists on to people’s heads. It’s safe to say he uses people’s heads like a canvas. What a time to be alive!
He creates photo-realistic art out of his client’s hair. This “barber artist” has put together all his artwork on Instagram. It’s amazing what people are doing these days. You develop a hobby, you do something about it and you’ll find enough people appreciating your work. But what Rob does is unfathomable. Rob lives with his family in Los Angeles and has a whooping following of 1.3 million people on Instagram.
This man was the fifth of nine children and had an inclination towards art from an early age. From recreating the Last Supper to Stan Lee, Drake, and Chadwick Boseman, this man knows just what he’s doing. With a turn here and a snap there, this man is capable of bringing anything to life. He paints faces and has experimented with salt art too.
An artist’s mind works in the most magnificent, majestic way. Art finds its way, it comes to you. Art is not tied by any social constructs of what’s right and wrong. He has recreated Pablo Escobar’s (Columbian drug trafficker in the 1980s and ’90s) mugshot on an individual’s head. He has recreated one of Tupac’s portraits using his thumbs. Art is free of bias. Art takes its course. It flows in all directions. It’s 2020 and it’s time we unlearn customs of what’s beautiful and not. Long hair is beautiful, short hair is beautiful too and no hair, well, you know it. If she has painted her face with makeup, she’s beautiful. If she hasn’t, she is still as beautiful as beautiful can be. Individuals today want to cover their bodies in the art for the love of aesthetics.
Men like Ferrel become huge inspirations for individuals who are starting as barbers, and feel visionless and worthless because society doesn’t add enough prestige to this position. In our country, it’s increasingly normal to belittle someone. It’s normal to tell them what they’re doing is “wrong”, but that’s not how it must be.
Barber Artists are real and Rob Ferell is here to vouch for that.