By Lakhram Bhagirat
Without a doubt, barbers are a guy’s most trusted friend. From the moment we sit in their chair and explain “the cut” we put all our trust in them to execute our vision, perfectly.
The perfect execution is exactly what Kevin Warner delivers. The young man has been a professional barber for just about a decade now and shows no signs of ever delivering anything that is less.
The 25-year-old is part owner of Razor King Barbershop located on the corner of Robb and Albert Streets in Georgetown.
Chronicling his journey from childhood to where he is now, Kevin said that he has always been interested in the world of barbering. Hailing from the village of Richmond on the Essequibo Coast, Kevin and two of his brothers moved to Georgetown following the murder of his grandfather and popular Essequibo businessman Victor Warner.
The 70-year-old Warner was found lying in a pool of blood in the lower flat of his home just after 07:00h on May 19, 2011. He operated a 24-hour general store and when he was discovered, his face, nose, mouth and eyes were covered with duct tape.
Police reports from back then indicate that an undisclosed sum of cash along with jewellery and other items were missing. An autopsy later revealed that he died as a result of blunt trauma to the head, compounded by compression to the neck.
“I actually grew up on the Essequibo Coast and I lived with my grandfather. We had a business and I used to sell in the shop and so and growing up I always liked barbering. I used to cut my grandfather hair and sometimes I would use two mirrors and cut mine and my brother hair and I would do a good job.
I always had a passion for barbering but I also behind my grandfather business but after he got murdered some time back in 2011, I had to take a different journey. I had to come out of Essequibo while my brother was studying at the University and we end up and start to rent apartments in Georgetown,” he related.
The move back to Georgetown also reunited him with his mother, who was separated from his father when he was just about a year old. His mother, at that time, was living in Berbice but moved to the city to begin living with his brothers and him.
When Kevin moved with his brothers to Georgetown, his elder brother introduced him to Gavin – his barber – who operated a barbershop at Fifth Street, Cummings Lodge, Greater Georgetown. There he was hired as an apprentice at just the age of 16.
“He (Gavin) was the owner of the shop and I was his apprentice. I used to watch his cutting style and so and when them youngsters come in, I used to get the chance to cut them hair and I learned a few things. Barbering is a thing that you might look at all the time but you never learn until you can practice. I get the chance to cut them small kids and from there on I kept improving and become better,” he explained.
Slowly, he started to build on his skills and clientele. After some time, he made a move to another barbershop in the heart of the city. There his clientele started to grow and about seven years ago he moved to his current shop and started to further cement his place in the world of barbering.
“I started building myself as a barber all the time and eventually we bought the shop over from a guy – me and 2 guys and we managing it unto this day. Working for yourself is better because you get to do things the way you want to do it and you learn to manage your own business and to be responsible. When you work with people you have to stick to their rules and regulations. I get to manage the shop and set it the way you want it and so.”
Kevin never had any formal training rather all he learnt was due to practicing. He said that he was most of the time forced to practice on himself since he was the primary person in his grandfather’s shop and that meant no time to visit the barbershops.
“Barbering – you learn so much. Every day is a new thing you learn like going to the barbershop, you develop a way like to deal with different type of people. People might be going through their own things at time so it is not about barbering alone, it is different things to because sometimes a man might get he own problem so you can give him advice or correct him in such a way to make him better.
“Barbering is not only about cutting hair, it’s also about being there. I have grown from strength to strength and improving my skills and getting better and better at my job. The journey has been such a good journey so far,” Kevin said.
While the journey has been a good one for Kevin, it certainly has not been without challenges. There have been times when he felt like giving up and even came close to throwing in the towel. However, whenever he felt that way, he would remember that he loves barbering too much to give up.
The father of one also makes sure he gives back to the community as well. In the past he has partnered with organisations and even former First Lady Sandra Granger to give haircuts to children and the elderly.
Cricket is Kevin’s favourite sport. In fact, he was an avid cricketer back when he was younger and even represented Essequibo at the Under-15 Inter-County cricketing level. The love for cricket never left even when he left Essequibo.
Over the years, barbering has presented him the opportunity to cut the hair of most of the West Indies cricket team players.
“Cricket was one of my favourite sports and I was able to cut some of the West Indian players due to barbering. That experience was a joyful moment for me. Growing up watching some of these cricketers and then getting a chance to cut their hair was so overwhelming. It was a good feeling and barbering is responsible for it,” Kevin boasted.
For now, Kevin is continuing to do what he loves and that is making sure his clients get the best cut they can possibly get because a haircut can transform a guy’s look for the good or the bad.
You can check Kevin out at Razor King Barbershop located on the corner of Robb and Albert Streets in Georgetown or call him on +592-649-3981 for that perfect cut.