When you go to Rob Ferrel for a haircut, you know you’re in for something really special. The professional hair artist can sculpt logos, designs, patterns and even celebrity faces on a head of hair. He runs his own salon called Rob the Original Barbershop, in San Antonio, where he works his magic every single day.
At first glance, some of Ferrel’s customers look like they’ve got stuff painted on the back of their heads. But take a closer look and you’ll realize that it’s all hair. Super-talented Ferrel discovered his special gift only eight years ago, when a kid walked into the barbershop he worked at and asked for a small little swirl.
“From there I started doing stars and more complex designs, team logos” he said. “And then I wanted to do something different and stand out, so I did portraits. Now if they bring me any image, I can replicate it in their hair”. Back in 2006, Ferrel’s clients had to bring him images of the portraits they wanted, but now, with the help of modern technology, he can just look up the image on his phone and sculpt it freehand, using regular tools like trimmers and clippers.
His tools are pretty basic – standard barber clippers, trimmers and razors, and colored eyeliner for the finishing touches, all put together in a neat toolbox. The trimmer is the one he uses the most when he’s doing designs, and the clippers are for creating shades.
A single head of hair takes Ferrel 30 to 45 minutes to carve. “I create every shape and shade on the portrait – like a puzzle,” he says. “You can only do so much with hair, so the eyeliner perfects the picture and makes it look realistic.”
Some of Ferrel’s most regular clientele include football and basketball fans who want their favorite players etched into their hair. With the Football World Cup fever still lingering in the air, Ferrel’s latest hair carvings have been of players Cristiano Ronaldo, Guillermo Ochoa, and Tim Howard with an American flag in the background.
And when his local basketball team San Antonio Spurs played Miami Heat in the NBA finals in July, several fans of both teams came in requesting styles with basketball themes.
I don’t think haircuts can get any better than this!
Photos: Rob the Original