A Little after 12pm on October 24, Tina Valencia, co-owner of V Collective, was chatting with an audience eager to gain expert knowledge about barbering from visiting V76 educator Marco Delgado. She, her husband David Valencia, and manager Jason Dean had prepared a valuable educational session with this Los Angeles professional in order to expand awareness in San Diego about the fast-paced and ever changing hair industry. Before the demo, Tina warmly took questions concerning her experience as a stylist and business owner.
She set the tone for an engaging few hours with Marco as she shared her own trials and successes from setting up a business, evolving with the economy and hair industry, and how building up a sense of comaraderie with her colleagues and employees has been essential in maturing into a successful and thriving salon owner.
Then Marco stepped through the salon door ready to get acquainted with his audience. But this class didn’t only focus on Marco chopping away on the models’ hair while his audience watched silently. It was about Marco sharing his experiences from cutting hair in his backyard at 13 years of age to evolving into an educator for one of the top hair product brands in the world. His metamorphoses has allowed him to develop, in his words, “the soul of a barber and the vision of a hair dresser.”
When it comes to growing as a professional, Marco had a list of priceless steps: Surround yourself with amazing, positive people, and learn how to cut every kind of hair texture. He emphasized that due to the amazing contributions of social media, stylists can share how they cut different kinds of ethnic hair, giving stylists who haven’t confidently approached these hair textures the inspiration to branch out of their box and provide expert cuts for all hair types.
Following his own advice connected him with celebrities and celebrity stylists early in his career, giving him the boost he needed to keep going when his family approached his passion for hair with skepticism.
As Marco began to work on the hair model, William, an artist who had contributed some pieces to the walls of V Collective, Marco went over the basics of keeping the clipper well oiled and how essential it was to know the ins and outs of the equipment one works with. He moved on to assess the head, feel the hair, and how the hair moves and grows. He approached his task just as you would expect a craftsperson to: focusing on particular details of the client’s tastes, profession, and demeanor so he could harmonize his model’s figure with an expert style.
Then it was on to the technical aspects of the bald fade. He emphasized that he was there to share, not dictate his technique. He established how to let the shape of the head reveal where the fade line falls and to always leave room for error in the beginning. Much like a painter establishing a rough sketch of his vision, Marco began laying in the outlining marks for his final product. He cautioned against digging out too much hair with clippers and how excess hair shadows could be resolved with shears near the end of the cut.
As he moved his clippers carefully and precisely across William’s mane, he shared stories about being inspired by his immigrant parents who were able to build a life and business from scratch, showing him that anything was possible with hard work. He also gave tips for staying in good shape when you work on your feet and with your hands all day and how a humble demeanor goes a long way, even with high paying clients. We will be sharing more from Marco’s class in following posts. But in the meantime, you can check out Marco Delgado’s Instagram @hairmarc, and keep an eye out for coming events at V Collective! “By Christine Arguello”