By Frank Diez, ,
Published January 11, 2017
Want a portrait of Cristiano Ronaldo or Thiago Silva on your head? San Antonio just might have the barber for you.
Rob Ferrel, also known as Rob the Original, is a barber and stylist originally from Los Angeles. He learned to combine both his drawing and barber skills in order to make unique hairstyles and go even further by making portraits.
“It’s so uncommon for people to see something like this,” Ferrel told Fox News Latino. “I want people to see what’s out there.”
"I grew up in a big family and didn't have an allowance or anything like that so I was always cutting my own hair, cutting my brother's hair,” Ferrel told ESPN FC. “I was always drawing, too, when I was a kid. Art is my passion so I've just combined the two.”
According to ESPN, Ferrel came to San Antonio eight years ago and opened up his shop in the downtown area. The first portrait that he made that brought him notoriety was on his brother’s head. It was of rapper Tupac Shakur.
Before the World Cup madness, people would come in to get portraits of music artists and San Antonio Spurs players. But lately, he’s been overwhelmed with the amount of requests of soccer players such as Tim Howard and Javier “Chicharito” Hernández.
"When Mexico were still in it, we got lots of requests for them," the 28-year-old Ferrel told ESPN. "We are getting lots of requests for Neymar and Messi… It's amazing, fans of these teams and players are everywhere."
The process of making the portrait cuts starts with Ferrel working off a picture on his phone. He uses a trimmer and straight razor to create the drawing, followed by non-toxic eyeliner and lip liner pencils to fill in the colors. He then uses hair spray to give the 'do another protective layer. The whole process takes about two hours to complete.
"I put on my headphones to get in a zone and jam out to music while I do it,” Ferrel said. “When I'm done I sometimes even impress myself with my work.”
Ferrel’s work has been featured on the website WorldStarHipHop, Yahoo! and Fox Sports Nation.
“Hair portraits is a trend that is only growing,” he said.
Ferrel says he has some big plans. He's talking about opening a second shop and considering the possibility of franchising.
He has also organized a two-day event next week in San Antonio featuring stylists from all over the country. There will be styling competitions, live music and seminars for those who want to learn the tools of the trade.
“I’m already getting booked for TV spots,” Ferrel says. “But in the future what I really want to do is open up a barber college.”