Joe Camacam

Interview by Troy Bernardo
Photography by Jonas Tamayo

Joe, one of our barbers in Ortigas, talks to us about how he started cutting hair, and the differences of cutting hair in a salon vs. a barbershop.

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F&S: How did you get to Felipe & Sons? How do you like it here?

J: Before joining Felipe [and Sons], I was in David’s Salon for 8 ½ years. Before that, I spent 2 years working freelance, giving haircuts to friends and mga tambay sa tabi.

I first started cutting hair at an orphanage for boys in Sta. Ana back when I was in St. Agustin School. Some classmates of mine noticed that the boys at the orphanage had really long hair, so we volunteered to cut them. Though it was my first time to cut someone’s hair, my classmates asked me if I had any background experience, because I had a certain style, and I showed some skill. The cuts looked good.

My partner, who also saw my work, then got me into David’s Salon. A barber and a salon are two different things, and I eventually opted for change.

Felipe and Sons is unique, because you get a complete barber’s service and the atmosphere is different. It’s a fun environment to work in. Barbers are rock stars here.

F&S: What do you love most about cutting hair? How do you view cutting hair?

J: When I cut hair, it’s like I’m feeding my passion. If other barbers cut my hair, the style is lost. But when I cut hair my way, no matter how rushed the client is, the cut always looks good, feels good. And I only give haircuts that I can be proud of.

With me, you don’t get just an ordinary haircut.

In a salon, you have assistants. But here, in Felipe [and Sons], they’re awesome barbers. My body ached after just a day of cutting hair. My forearms, shoulders, everything, because we had to do massages as well. Plus you’re standing all the time. It’s a difficult job. You need dedication and passion.

F&S: What kind of people / hair do you like to cut? Dream haircut? Favorite?

J: I love thick hair, because when you use fading, thin to thick, you can see just how good the haircut is.

It’s easier to cut women’s hair. In 10 minutes, we’re done. You can see easily how accurate your cut is. With women, it’s all about styling, color, and everything else.

With guys, it’s more detailed. It’s more difficult. Because of the shorter hair, you can see a tiny mistake easily. And, you’ll have to keep on correcting that mistake without cutting the hair too short. The hair length is limited, so your options are also limited.

I don’t like clients who rush, who’ll give me only 10 minutes to cut hair. I like those who say: It’s up to you. That’s trust. They trust you and I like that.

I believe that there really is a haircut that fits you, that’s unique to you. Some people have haircuts that don’t fit them, but they have the confidence to carry the cut correctly or overcome being self-conscious.

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