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Barber and social media influencer Vic Blends does more than cut hair – he inspires

Barber and social media influencer Vic Blends does more than cut hair - he inspires

Victor Fontanez, better known as Vic mixes up on TikTok, recalls how much he enjoyed spending time at his neighborhood barber shop in Fayetteville, North Carolina in the 2000s. The camaraderie between a barber and his clients was like family. There was something about the environment that made it feel like home.

“I’ve always been inspired by the barbers who cut my hair and the impact they had on the community,” Blends, 23, told MySA in a recent interview. “My hairdresser told me that if I learned to cut hair, I would make money for the rest of my life. I was young and with the restlessness in me at that time, I thought to myself : ‘Dude, I need to see what I can do.’

This inspiration led Blends to start his own haircut business out of his garage while still in high school. He then went to hairdressing school after graduating. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, no one was going to get a haircut, so Blends had to find another way to reach new customers. He decided to join TikTok.

“I was trying to figure out a way to keep adding value to the world,” Blends said. “I’ve always wanted to use my voice to inspire others.”

In two years, Blends grew its TikTok audience to 12.4 million followers. He still has 1.7 million on Instagram. On the platform, he brings his barber skills to the public and gives free haircuts to random people he sees in random places, like at the park, on the street, or on a college campus. All he asks in return is to have a good conversation.

@vicblends To watch until the end ✊🏼?’? Kudos to @canamonroad for blessing me with my Can Am Ryker to bring this impact to the city?’? #vicblends #canampartner #wecanallride #canamryker #motivation #Mental Health #to like #inspiration #veteran #Haircut ♬ Lofi nostalgic antique music box (833007) – NARU

“The passion that I have for cutting hair, I developed that same passion for people,” Blends said. “More than anything, people will always need someone to take care of them. I want to be that guy.

Blends’ interaction with the stranger usually begins with him asking the person if he could “bless” them with a free haircut. Once he gets them on the chair and finds out what kind of haircut they want, he starts to work. The haircut session includes shuffles asking a series of questions about the person’s life, career, aspirations and other topics to get to know them better and exchange meaningful dialogue.

“I really found my purpose,” Blends said. “People want you to ask them how they feel. I think some people are offended by this because it’s rare that someone can feel vulnerable while sitting in my chair. I just open my ears and listen .

For Blends, it’s not about the haircut or how many millions of viewers one of his videos gets. All he wants is to provide the person sitting in his chair with a way to express their emotions and to understand that there is someone who really cares.

“I want to be able to uplift my community,” he said. “People need me, and I need them just as much.”