Experience this story and others in the new issue of Highsnobiety Magazine, available from retailers around the world and our online store.

In times like these, the power of barbers can be felt whenever we see a fresh line-up around the edges of a face mask.

The craft of barbering stretches back to Ancient Egypt, where instruments crafted out of oyster shells were used to tame unruly hair. People who cut hair were revered in ancient societies — not only in Egypt, but in Rome, too, where barbering was introduced through Greek colonies in Sicily, becoming a popular service with a marketplace location:a node in a city-wide network for daily news and gossip.

Centuries later, barbers have become an essential part of the way we live, influencing our lives on both macro and micro levels. So who are these everyday heroes and why did they get into the game? We got fades from five of Los Angeles’ best barbers and chopped it up with them in the process.

Highsnobiety / Pat Martin
Highsnobiety / Pat Martin
Highsnobiety / Pat Martin

Sofie Pok (@staygold31)

“I love being able to make people feel good about how they look. Strengthening someone’s confidence is something I am proud to be able to do. People should understand the intention and mindset of their barber. Are they growing and elevating? Are they making suggestions and getting excited about doing hair, and knowing what is going on in their industry? The ones who are will always guide you to have the best look.”

Ray Santos (@raysantos)

“I’m always hearing stories about what my clients believe the cut did for them, whether it helped them get a job, helped them perform better, or gave them confidence when going out on a date. All clients should know that their barbers are also their friends. When you’re in that chair, it’s a great place to vent. I have clients tell me things before they tell very close people in their lives.”

Highsnobiety / Pat Martin
Highsnobiety / Pat Martin
Highsnobiety / Pat Martin

Ronnie McCoy III (@barberextraordinaire)

“I began cutting friends and family when I was 14 years old. I’m a fourth generation barber, so when I picked up the clippers it felt natural. The most important element of a haircut to me is the fade. You can change the shape, contrast, or dynamic of any cut with a properly done fade. Nobody can deny a good fade when they see one.”

Renjworld (@renjworld)

“People should know we’re not just barbers! A lot of my inspiration is from fashion and design. I enjoy creating looks for an individual that wants to express themselves. I see myself as a multi-talented creative artist. Barbers and hairstylists shouldn’t sell themselves short.”

Highsnobiety / Pat Martin
Highsnobiety / Pat Martin
Highsnobiety / Pat Martin

Julius Cvesar (@juliuscaesar)

“Barbers curate the culture. A client can go to a barbershop and find themselves immersed in conversation about current events, business, fashion, music, art. I find inspiration in society’s vast array of personalities, lifestyles, and the evolution of what’s considered ‘the everyday norm.’ As an artist, I reference a lot of inspiration to things outside of hair, especially fashion and architecture.”

Head here to get a copy of the new issue of Highsnobiety Magazine.

  • Photographed by:Pat Martin
  • Production:The Morrison Group
  • On-Set Producer:Meredith Lackey
  • Models:Alexander, Jorge Ramos, Jeffrey Robert, Vince Staples, India Graham, Coco Blake, Jeffery, Monique, Tristan Santiago, and Kenny Oyama
  • Photography Assistant:Julio Lane

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