TJ Balsamo

by TJ Balsamo

As a young individual I became extremely interested in hair around the age of 10. My Mom who was a single mother typically gave me a haircut to save a couple of dollars, but didnt know much about Shape-ups or atleast not the type I was looking for. A sharp hair line with long points on the sideburns was my ideal hair style at the time. In fourth grade I remember seeing kids on my little league team with long points and saying to my mom i wanted mine to look like that. She turned to me and said " you can't have those sideburns, you have no hair on your face."  At that very moment I became driven to have the look I disired, so i took the initiative upon myself.  Starting off with disposable razors i started trimming my edges, a year later I remember my mom getting me a battery powered trimmer to assist me with my line up.  During my haircuts at the Barbershop I became infatuated with watching every move and technique the barber had in store for me to pick up.  Slowly over time i tried more and more with hair  my which brought to my attention "I can do this on my friends!" Approaching my peers in every conversation, I persisted to convice them to allow me to cut their hair.  It took some time and quite a few attempts but eventually I got one friend to volunteer. This was around 7th grade I became someones barber out of my garage, and with one friend became two, two became three and so on. With my newly found passion I ended up over using my equipment, my trimmers and my mothers orignal wahl clipper's had come to a end of their time.  At one point i remember holding the cord on the clippers for that they could work because there was a cut on the base of the wire where I had to keep together so that the electric current would stay connected. At times sparks would fly, professionalism at its finest lol, I think it was time for an upgrade! Around the end of my 8th year of school, I bought with my own money that saved an Andis T-outliner trimmer.  Shortly after my purchase I got for X-mas an Andis Speedmaster, not the best of clippers but it got me through most of Highschool and worked well for my level of experience. Throughout my four years of H.S. I gained some knowledge from a friend of mine that was an apprentice at a barbershop aswell as continuing to watch my barbers learning every style possible. The Summer after graduation my clientele was fairly decent but nowhere on the level of a well established barber, with that said i was confident enough to ask the owner of the local Barbershop for a starting position.  The owner and I had a small conversation about what he expected from me in exchange for a chair in his shop.  He wanted me cut a few of my friends and see how well my Barbering skills were, with his offer I gave myself some time in between to build on what i knew and practiced all that i could.  December of 2006 i finally made my way back to the barbershop ( Xtreme cuts ) and presented a haircut that i did on myself.  After being told i did a good job, I shortly after brought back a friend to give a haircut, little did i know i would be cutting myself into my first Barbershop.