Sterling barber instructor brings more barber education, respect to profession

“Plus” Davis, owner of Headz 1st Barbershop in Sterling, Virginia, is more than an entrepreneur; he is also an instructor who ensures barber education is readily available in Northern Virginia.

Meet Plus

Davis is an entrepreneur, instructor, and father wrapped all in one.

He owns a barbershop and barber institute in the same proximity. He said this is because Northern Virginia does not have a plethora of barber schools for those interested in the industry. He said barbering can strikes anyone’s attention at a young age.

“Barbering first struck my attention as a kid, going to the shops and seeing the barbers as the cool guys with a lot of money,” Davis said. 

Another way Davis aligned with barbering was through his aunt.

“My aunt was actually a barber and cut my hair for the majority of my life,” he said. “She always had new cars and money. It always stayed in the back of my mind as, ‘This might be something I am interested in.’”

Davis admitted that he would barber a little bit in elementary, middle, and high school. However, he said he really did not pursue barbering until after college.

His degree is in communications — his plan was to go into broadcast —local radio. However, being a broadcaster was not panning out, he continued barbering on the side, but he finally made barbering his full-time career.

Headz 1st Barbershop Experience

He explained what the customer’s experience is like at Headz 1st  Barbershop.  

“I want them to have an experience they will not forget — in the sense of customer service,” he said. “I’ve been in the business for a while and I realized customer service is the most important thing in business.”

He said his customers are treated right and fairly from the beginning of the appointment to the end. He said this treatment is needed, but many barbers are great at their barbering skillset, but they lack customer service, which enhances a customer’s barbershop experience.

Headz 1st Barber Institute

Davis teaches customer service skills at his barber institute, Headz 1st Barber Institute in Sterling.

He started the institute because he wanted to bring something different to the barber industry.

“Now that I have been submerged in the barber industry for over a decade, I noticed there a lot of things the industry is missing. One of the things missing is education, especially in Northern Virginia. There are not many barber schools.

“I wanted to provide an opportunity for those who may not want to go to the four-year university, who may not have the money to study barbering. I wanted to provide a legitimate avenue for people to get education and learn a credible profession. Something they can be proud of, versus walking around without direction [and getting caught up in the wrong thing].”

He teaches more than cutting hair — he educates those who attend the barber school about business and life.

“I personally feel barbering should be called a profession or career, versus being called a trade,” he said. “This is one of the longest running professions since Biblical times. It is not disappearing or going away anytime soon. At this point, we are a multibillion-dollar industry, so I feel we have earned the respect that we are here to stay and growing steadily. We deserve the respect of not being called a trade or side hustle.

“If called a career or profession, young boys and girls can go home and say, ‘I want to be a barber.’ Their parents will be proud and understand that their child is doing barbering — not just for fun, but (also) as a career and profession.

Davis wants his students to experience a fun, professional learning environment and learn the skills they will not receive while being an apprentice or learning on YouTube.

“I want them to understand it is more than just cutting hair,” Davis said. “Do not come to barber school thinking barbering is just cutting hair. This is a billion-dollar industry and not just because of cutting hair. You learn soft skills like communication, leadership, teamwork and problem solving.”

A second experience is learning the basic skills to pass the state board examination.

One of the students from the institute, Trav, explained what drew him to the school.

“To be quite frank, there are not a lot of barber institutes in the area,” Trav said. “This is one that is close to proximity to me; I was referred to this institute.”

He said what he gained from the institute was experience and confidence.

“I have confidence to cut hair of diverse hair types because a diverse group of people come into Headz 1st,” he said.

Davis said diversity in hair care skills is important. He said it is even detailed in his logo.

“My logo is representing how we cut all hair types and textures — no matter where you are from globally,” Davis said.

Headz 1st Barbershop is located at 46000 Old Ox Rd. #104 in Sterling. The institute is a few doors down in the same plaza in suite #106.

For more information on the barbershop or the institute, visit their site.

This was edited by Catrina Francis.