Rolling Out

Darrl Robert Jr. shares his story from ‘The Hole’ to celebrity barber

Darrl Robert Jr.’s hard work has paid off
Darrl Robert Jr. shares his story from 'The Hole' to celebrity barber
Photo courtesy of Andrea D. Smith

Popularly known as “The Hairbender,” celebrity barber and owner of Team Hairbenders, a unisex salon, Darrl (Dee) Robert Jr. is making a powerful impact on his community and his profession. Set apart by his intense work ethic and distinct style and ingenuity, Dee has cut a direct path to success wielding the tools of his trade with a tenacious “hustle hard” attitude.

Tell us about yourself.

I always like to tell people that Dee Robert Jr is the little skinny kid from Westwego that always dreamed of making it out of his city. Without going into grave details, I grew up in a neighborhood called “The Hole.” So that pretty much explains it all. Fast forward, I’m now a six-figure celebrity barber, inspirational figure, and a burgeoning real estate developer.

What inspired you to get into hair and beauty?

I was actually born into a salon and barbershop family. So, when it was time for me to pick up a pair of clippers it came quite naturally. I didn’t take it seriously until I kept getting laid off from construction jobs. That was the best thing that ever happen to me career-wise. I was ushered into greatness due to a lack thereof.
What are ways that people can get involved in hair and beauty?
I’m a firm believer in following where your gifts may lead. If you have a passion for hair in general, 9 out of 10 you’ll be a great stylist or barber. What level you choose to embrace is a personal preference. There’s salon ownership, renting a booth to service your clientele, become an instructor, working on movie sets in the hair department, and even being a personal to an actor.
What are three ways that people can impact their community?
To become one again and believe in being responsible for one another. Come together and eradicate blighted properties and broken streetlights. Create HOA’s and push out corner stores. Replacing them with juice bars and neighborhood grocery marts that reinvests back into the community that supports it. Bring back that Sunday love in the park where the barbecue is grilling and Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” has everyone dancing and partying in peace.

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