Imagine walking into a Safeway. Just as you go through those automatic sliding doors, you see a fellow classmate as the cashier, and you have a gut level urge to duck away and avoid a potentially uncomfortable interaction.
We have all felt this awkwardness that comes seeing someone in the wrong context like a teacher at a movie theater; it often feels off to be in the dynamic in which a peer serves you. Aragon sophomore and freelance barber Jacob Daguio, though, doesn’t see this as an issue.
“Every single time I cut someone’s hair we have a certain kind of bond, and most of the time it’s not awkward, but actually pretty fun,” he said. “Most of the time I have a lot of people with me. It’s really, like, a social experience.”
It was a family member who inspired Daguio to snip hairs and push fades to their limits. “It all was based off of my uncle cutting my hair,” Daguio said, “and I just wanted to try it myself.”
The whole situation pleasantly snowballed, and classmates asked Daguio where he got his haircut, and, upon learning that he did it himself, his friends started asking him for haircuts. Said Daguio, “A lot of people [came to] know me as the guy who cuts hair,” he said. “It’s kinda my thing.”
His haircutting enterprise is very much a social activity, one centered around a close knit community. Dagiuo’s friends serve both as a network and a foundation of his expanding consumer base. “People that I don’t know usually come with my friends, and then they bring their friends,” he said. “Cutting hair got me to meet a lot more people that I doubt I would have met.”
Daguio relies on word of mouth, and the satisfaction of friends and previous customers to build his base. He also shares his work on instagram with the handle @jacobs.clips and receives shoutouts from friends and customers on their social media.
While Daguio will take a tip if offered, he typically does not charge for haircuts.
“It’s less an enterprise and more a passion and a hobby I got into,” he said. “It’s cool having a job that a lot of other people my age don’t have, and as well as having one I take pride in. Each haircut I make is unique, and I can always push myself.”
“Don’t mess up,” he said in regards to what he has learned from grooming, “because they can tell when you do.”