It all began with a haircut gone wrong for Kevin Richards when he was just 14 years old. After that he experimented or what he calls ‘freestyle’ by cutting his own hair.
Soon everyone in his East York neighbourhood was going to him because of his talent for cutting unique things into people’s hair. He then jumped from salon to salon, expanding his knowledge by cutting different types of hair.
Now, everyone who gets their hair cut by him swears to never go to anyone else ever again.
Richard has been cutting hair for 21 years now, and says he doesn’t just do haircuts, he does artwork.
His tools are multiple shavers – eight of them to be exact – scissors, and a few straight blades to get close enough for the small details. One of the shavers in the collection was the first one he learned on.
“Cut and comb, cut and comb,” he says with the rhythmic action of moving the shaver up the side of the hair and combing quickly after, an action he does hundreds of times a day.
He recalls when he was younger he never sat down with a barber to learn, but instead practiced on multiple people. Now he claims to be able to create any design, from logos to graffiti-style names.
“I would mess up a haircut and fix it,” Richard said. “That is how I learned how to cut hair.”
Richards starts his art with a rough outline of the design and often glances back and forth at the image that sits to his right.
“I often visualize the outcome is going to be before I do the haircut,” he says.
The process normally takes thirty minutes or longer, depending on how intricate the design is.
His favourite cut is a look that appears like braids but is actually a braid illusion created from shaving into the hair. But he also enjoys doing any sports logos, including the Toronto Blue Jays or Raptors logos.
The finishing touch is added using a coloured eyeliner.
#kevinrichardsthebarber #barber #barbershop #hair #haircut #hairstyle #hairtattoo #red #blue #black #tribal #toronto #banger A photo posted by Kevin Richards (@torontobarbers) on
“I can do anything,” Richards says. “If someone says they want a Timberland tree on their head, I’ll do it.”
To see more of the work Richards has done you can visit the Toronto Barbers Instagram account here.