Inside the World of NBA Barbers

We loved the recent article "My Taper's Keeper: Inside the World of NBA Barbers" by Haley O'Shaughnessy of The Ringer. You can read it in full at

The following passage in particular gets to the essence of life as a hairstylist:

“I used to draw in high school,” said West-Potts. “For me, cutting hair is just like drawing or like art. So I’m intrigued by the artistry of cutting hair. For me, the money, that’s just a plus.”

West-Potts’s passion echoes one of basketball’s most renowned clichés: doing it for the love of the game. That’s what’s behind the red-eye flights, the stress, and beating the sunrise—and sometimes, even Kobe—to their job. When your life revolves around NBA players, it can start to resemble that of an NBA player.

“I don’t think people understand how much pressure it is, how tough it is, and how erratic the schedules are,” Brownie said. “Only the barbers really understand. … A lot of people see the glamour of what I do. They see me kind of run around and all the places I’ve gone and people I’ve met, but I don’t think they really understand all the work that goes into it.”


man taking a shot at a basketball hoop