“We started going to the barber college and that’s where we would get our haircuts at. When we would go in everybody would kinda look at my brother. Umm he was burnt, he’s a burn survivor. Everybody kinda looked at him weird and they’d be scared to cut his hair. It made me and my mom upset pretty much, and so we would tell them you guys just cut his hair he’ll be fine and everyone, they didn’t react to it cool. So I would sit there, me and him have a close relationship, so I would sit there and I was the one who would keep him calm; keep him cool and he wouldn’t trip about it. Still everytime we went in there people would get nervous. They’d be scared to cut his hair just because the burns were around his ear.”
Santiago Castillo is a West High senior who started cutting hair as a hobby so that he could cut his younger brother’s hair.
“One day I was watching a barber video and I was like ‘this would be cool to learn how to do’, and also I realized if I could learn how to cut hair, one it would help to not having to pay for my brothers haircuts because I could cut my brother’s hair, and two I would be able to cut my brother’s hair and I know my brother and so it wouldn’t be a problem with me cutting his hair, it would be perfectly fine.”
Cutting his brother’s hair was his start, throughout the years cutting hair became more than just a hobby to him, it became something important in his life. Cutting hair has been apart of his life since Freshman year.
“At first it was hard, no one really let me cut their hair or anything. And then after about a year or two people started realizing I cut hair.”
It took time for Castillo to be recognized but when he did receive recognition his calendar was always booked.
“Barbering, cutting hair, doesn’t affect school but in a way school does affect cutting hair. Because there have been times were you know someone would hit me up and people would ask me ‘hey bro, can you cut my hair today’ or ‘can you cut my hair right now’, and I’d tell them, ‘Well I’m in school right now.’”
Though cutting hair is what Castillo is focused on, education remains a big priority for him.
“People don’t realize that I’m in school and I’m cutting hair, so it kinda effects that. School does effect me cutting hair because it takes time, but at the same time without school I wouldn’t be able to cut hair. So to me it’s perfectly fine. I cut hair when I can, after school or on the weekends. I’d say cutting hair doesn’t affect my schooling because to me school is my priority.”