When you have someone who has been there, done that, and made it so much greater, you think of none other than the Hair Bender himself, Darrl “Dee” Roberts. Darrl has seen what the worst has to offer, but in patience and perseverance, he pushed through and made a name for himself as a celebrity barber. Now owning his salon, Darrl shows no signs of stopping his empire or taking a step back into the past. Take a look as Darrl inspires us to be patient and reinvent ourselves.
What about your salon sets you apart from the competition?
The first thing would be professionalism. The entire shop stays on one accord. We aim to be very kid-friendly because we have a lot of parents that come in. So with that, we watch what we play as far as music and what is talked about. We want to keep this a space for all because not every shop is kid-friendly. We have a lot of healthy conversations to push the culture forward relating to politics, music, relationships, and fashion. But most of all we value people's time and experience.
Being a former prisoner, what besides the crime, was the biggest lesson you learned. How did this impact you becoming a celebrity barber?
The first thing was patience. To me, it was the biggest thing. Coming from drug culture, everything is fast-paced. Prison gave me time to sit still and plenty of time to think. It allowed me to examine myself and realize who I wanted to be moving forward from this situation. I had to become a law-abiding citizen all over again and all of that takes time and patience. I had to reinvent myself.
How does it feel to be an inspiration to other young men in the community?
I never intended to be a role model, but over time it happened. People always ask me how I made this turnaround. I had younger guys in my neighborhood see my whole transition and now that they are facing the same obstacles, it helps them to not make the same bad decisions. They saw how I overcame, and it inspired them.
What do you feel is the greatest thing about giving back to your community?
It brings a lot of joy and satisfaction. The free haircuts are a really good time. It’s a bridge to bring the community together. We host cookouts and many types of events to show support. It’s like a big neighborhood block party(laughs). My biggest goal is to go back to the neighborhood I grew up in. I want to help restore it. Its always in the back of my head to go back. I want to help rebuild parks, restore houses and much more. I wouldn’t feel complete if I don’t get the chance to make that happen.
What are the 3 top techniques that you would say to men and women to maintain healthy hair?
The top 3 to me are number one, staying groomed. Making regular appointments every two weeks is important. The other two are shampooing and conditioning and then building from there. With beards, the best was to me is clippers because they get a lot more done as far as the shape and sculpting of the beard.