How Entering a Contest Changed This Barber's Career

Kevin Nguyen

Kevin Nguyen (@yakuzabarber) grew up in a family of hairstylists, but joining the beauty industry wasn’t a sealed deal for him. It wasn’t until his father introduced him to barbering that his interest really piqued. Now the winner of Wahl’s Barber Battle and a new member of the Wahl Education and Artistic Team [W.E.A.T.], he can’t imagine doing anything else.

Aha Moment
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to follow the same path as my family. My father eventually introduced me to barbering, and the more hair textures I came across, the more interested I became.

Training Days 
Fortunately for me, my parents opened up a barbering college—California Barber and Beauty College—and that’s where I went for my education.


Enjoying this story? Subscribe to the American Salon Newsletter

Get inspirational trends, techniques, tips, education and the latest beauty news delivered right to your inbox! To read on the go, sign up today to get weekly beauty news and updates.

Claim To Fame 
A career high-point for me was owning my own shop at a young age, but my most recent accomplishment was winning the Wahl Barber Battle and being given an honorary one-year term as a W.E.A.T. member.

Social Butterfly 
My Instagram handle is @yakuzabarber, and you can also search the hashtag #yakuzabarber to see more of my work.  

Words To Live By
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.”—Confucius 

Secret Weapons
I’ll use anything that Wahl creates—they’re the most reliable tools for barbers and stylists.

My Mentors 
My mom and dad have been my biggest mentors throughout my life, and that still holds true to this day!

Bucket List 
I constantly dream of traveling the world and donating my services to the less fortunate.

Bright Future 
My time as a W.E.A.T. member is just getting started. I’m looking forward to sharing my education and passion around the world.