Oleg Maksakov, a hairdresser from Sevastopol, Ukraine, has a very unique way of cutting his clients’ hair – wearing a blindfold and masterfully wielding two pairs of scissors at the same time.
Most clients visiting a hairdresser are worried they might get a bad haircut, but Oleg Maksakov’s customers are more worried about getting one or both of their ears sliced off. That’s because the young Ukrainian likes to cut hair with both hands and wearing a blindfold. He has been a hairdresser for 10 years, but only recently took up the dangerous challenge of cutting hair blindfolded. “I wanted to test my skill level,” he told TSN. First he learned to cut hair with his left hand, than with both hands at the same time, and finally, while blindfolded. “It’s kind of like meditation,” Oleg says. “Each haircut for me is extreme. The structure of hair, different people, it all goes a different way every time.” According to local media, Maksakov has become very popular after word of his special skills spread in Sevastopol, but his very first client was the person that trusts him the most – his mother.
The gifted Ukrainian started cutting hair when he was just 10 years old. One of his first “victims” was a long-haired action figure. After seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator, he realized long hair wasn’t made the toy look too feminine, so he grabbed the scissors and turned him into “a real man”. He refined his hair-cutting skill during military school, in Saint Petersburg, and realized that’s what he wanted to do with his life. Coming from a military family, he had some trouble explaining to his relatives that hairdressing was his real passion, but says it was worth it because “you cannot run away from yourself, otherwise you’re just living someone else’s life, and you’ll never truly be accomplished.”
Mastering his blindfolded technique began with studying Leonardo Da Vinci. The Rennaissance master wrote his notes backwards and using both hands. He then learned this technique was recommended for developing both hemispheres of the human brain, so he started practicing. Then, during a televised talent show, he saw a little boy with a had pulled over his head, cutting something, and realized nothing in this world in impossible. He decided to apply the skill to his hair-cutting craft and began practicing on mannequins. When Oleg thought he was ready, he practiced on his first living model – his mother. Taking advantage that she usually watched TV while he gave her a haircut, he just closed his eyes. Both her ears remained intact and the hair came out great.
Now Olek Maksakov practices his blind hair-cutting at the salon where he works, but only charges for regular haircuts. The extreme ones are offered for free to patrons brave enough to allow him to sharpen his skills.