He blows warm air between his hands as the evening’s light fades into cold darkness. The trek home is miles long, and his feet ache from the day’s work. Most 13-year-old boys do not opt for twelve-hour days, but Sam happily obliges, knowing that all of it is in pursuit of his passion.
Walking into Headzup Barbershop now and being greeted by a 1925 Bugatti Type 37 on the floor might distract you from the humble beginnings of the shop’s founder, Sam Bayazid. While he may be giving his clients sharp line-ups and polished fades now, his barbering journey started across the world in his home country of Jordan. As a boy, Sam was intent on becoming a world-class barber. His parents, however, thought it best for him to finish school and take a more traditional path to success. While he understood their position, Sam secretly refused to put his love for cutting hair aside.
When he was only 13, Sam convinced his barber to let him clean up the shop after school in exchange for barbering lessons. This meant long days, long walks, and hard work—as well as lying to his parents, who would have forbidden these lessons. Every day after school, he would walk 3 miles to the shop to sweep up hair and watch the barbers; it was there that he learned all there was to know about cutting hair.
By 15, Sam felt ready to try some of the skills he had picked up. He began by asking his friends to let him cut their hair for free. Sam spent the next three years honing his craft on friends and even picked up a few clients along the way. During this time, Sam even convinced his parents that his career path was viable, and they came to accept and even encourage it..
At 18 years old, thanks to some inspiring hard work from his mother, Sam moved to the United States with his family. As soon as the plane landed, he was eager to start cutting hair. Within two weeks of arriving, he secured a barbering job in Anaheim and quickly began accumulating clients. He continued working at that shop for three years, eventually amassing more clients than the owner of the shop himself.
As a 21-year-old, Sam felt he could no longer work for someone other than himself. He decided to open up his own shop after accumulating even more clients, this time on house calls during the pandemic. After finding the perfect space on Tustin Street, Sam quickly got to work on fixing up the interior and adding some old-american charm to its design. The final test Sam would face before his grand opening would come from the city itself. Just two days before launch, a building inspector was unable to sign off on the permits needed to open the shop due to an interior wall being placed two feet off regulation. With time running out, Sam and his crew moved the entire wall to fit the city’s guidelines. Now that the wall had been moved, Sam marched into city hall with a pen and all the required paperwork the very morning of his grand opening and got the permits signed. He successfully opened on time and has since planned the expansion of Headzup as well as other projects. If the past is any indication, no amount of hard work, distance, or even the slow gears of government will get in his way.
You can find Sam on instagram at @sambayazid_official