Martin Molina, 21, has been a barber since he was a sophomore at Deming High School has had plenty of success over the years of cutting hair.
Molina began t cutting hair at 15 because it was the only way he could make money to have fun.
“I started cutting hair at my mom’s house when I was in high school. It was a learning experience for myself,” Molina said. Molina admits he hard time adapting to people’s hair and styles of haircuts they wants, but it didn’t affect his confidence of becoming a barber.
After he graduated high school his plan was to move to Las Cruces because there was more opportunities to grow as a barber and make money than in Deming. He had to keep cutting hair at his apartment till he graduated barber school.
“It was a difficult process because you have to learn how to do certain hair cuts and the written part was probably the hardest part,” Molina said. He ended up failing his first attempt, but it didn’t affect his confidence of becoming a licensed barber. The cost of the barber test is close to 250 dollars so it made Molina feel that he had to pass his next attempt.
In 2014, he was finally a licensed barber in New Mexico. He began cutting hair at Milo’s barbershop before moving to where he is now, Zucos Barbershop.
“I was so scared being the new guy at the barbershop because it meant I had to make new clients, but I had to do it to support my family,” Molina said. Molina started to become a go to barber in the shop for the crazy designs he would do on clients, which is called freestyle. One client in particular was Nick Lopez, who has been cutting his hair with Molina for seven months now.
“I think he’s the best barber in town because he is always making you look like a new guy once he is done with your hair,” Lopez said. Lopez has brought in his friends to the barbershop to get a haircut done by Molina, which helps Molina make money for his girlfriend and soon baby. Moving to Zucos has helped Molina learn from Master Barber and shop owner, Boomer.
Molina has since learned how to adapt with busy and slow days considering Zucos is across from NMSU campus. Molina says you have to learn how to spend your money because slow days can make a barber think twice about spending money on things he doesn’t need. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are considered slow days to Molina because it’s the middle of the week.
The change was a surprise for Molina because while he was in Deming he would charge 5 dollars for haircuts.
“I make more money here with the haircuts and tips, I just have to continue to do a good job on people’s hair,” Molina said.
Jonathan Burciaga, 22, an NMSU senior majoring in Criminal Justice, is another client that Molina has made a good relationship. Burciaga believes Molina will become a very good barber if he continues to practice in certain areas.
“Martin is always making you feel and look good when you leave the shop. His haircuts are definitely a confidence booster,” Burciaga said.
Leaving a good impression on clients is a number one goal for Molina since there was a nine percent rise of barber employment in 2014, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rise of employment for barber doesn’t change the way Molina continues to cut hair.
“I have a lot of loyal customers that continue to come back in the shop and get a haircut by me so I’m not worried at all,” Molina said. Burciaga is one of the loyal customers of Molina. He has been getting his haircut by Molina since he moved from Deming to Las Cruces.
“I don’t let any other barber touch my hair because I like Martins’ work and I will continue to cut my hair with him while I’m at NMSU,” Burciaga said.
Molina has a lot of respect for the barbers that are barely starting because he remembers his beginning days when people would hesitant to get a haircut by him. It helped Molina’s self esteem grow to have trust in his work and take it one haircut at a time.
“The only thing I would say to the young barbers is continue practicing even if you suck. People will either love or hate your work, but remember you can’t please them all,” Molina said.