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Juan Sosa – “What’s The Difference Between Us..?”

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We at BARBinc welcome another master barber to our BARBinc Voices team. This week, Juan Sosa of SanFrancisco-based Peoples Barber shares his expert view about barber competition…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Juan Sosa is a heavyweight on the West Coast with over 12 years experience as a master barber. After owning a shop for 5 years, Juan decided to put everything in storage and travel the world and study the techniques of barbering.

Since then, Juan has landed in San Francisco where you’ll find him at the Peoples Barber shop. Juan also likes to test his skills at national-level competitions.

Recently, Juan competed in the SanFran’s HairBattleTour that took place earlier this month — a topic Juan talks candidly about (below) and shares through his pictures…


Barbers all around love to travel and see who’s better than who. East to West, North and South. Category to category one always becomes victorious than the other. Winning First place and bragging rights is the goal, or is it? Is being the best the only reason why we compete? In 2010, I started to travel from state to state and attend numerous barber battles.

(Juan at the SanFan HairBattleTour competition)
I literally zone out. No distractions, no room for it. I am dedicated and passionate about what I do. I don’t brag about it I let my work speak for itself. I compete with myself every time I step on that stage.. I feed off the energy and challenge myself to do the best that I can so everyone can see a piece of who I am and what I represent…

(“House of Fades” from LA showing up to show love and support…!)
hbt-sanfran-004

Every barber has a similar story on how they got started. I’ve heard about barbers starting in the front porch others started in the backyard. A few started in the attic and others in the basement. The way I always looked at it was no matter where you started, the foundation was built at home.

(Juan with Sergio Millan, owner of Fresh Up Barbershop and barber to San Diego chargers football team)
@antoniogaray71 #barber #barberlife #barberlove #barberworld #barberbattle #barbernation #barberrespect #masterbarber #lovemycraft #westcoast #NJ #SanDiego #SanFrancisco

Everything we know about barbering came from there. We all practiced on our friends and family. Then we started getting better so more people started coming to get cuts. To the point where you as a barber starts to work at a shop to keep customers satisfied. Our reward is how customers make us feel but that just isn’t enough for a few barbers.

(Juan’s Freestyle Design at HairBattleTour, SanFran)
Just finished my freestyle design let’s see how I do .. #freestyledesign #barberbattle #sanfrancisco #barbernation #barberlife #lovemycraft

We are told we’re the best. We don’t have much to prove it but word of mouth. So what do we do..? We compete…!

(A young barber showing his competition trophies from HBT-SanFran)
Juan Sosa showing trophies at HairBattleTour - San Francisco 2014

I’ve always want to see my competition and how they behave. I start asking myself would they break under pressure? But then I start to see this confidence grow in every barber as if they knew even if they lost it would not affect them. So I take in this energy and observe.

(Danny Amorim (“SuccessAddict”) mentoring another barber)
While the show is going on my boy @successaddict takes time to Mentor upcoming barbers … Talk about the real deal!! Glad to see someone from home out here in the west coast #JerseyintheHouse #sanfrancisco #barber #barberlove #barbernation #barberrespect #lovemycraft

Every barber has a business card. A way to practice networking. Every barber comes with a barbershop crew. No wonder the confidence in the room is always high. Win or lose every barber still gives credit to the next. The barber who won for the most part will always be humble and grateful. No reason to put anyone down. The best in the industry tell the story of how they became what they became and I slowly start to put together the pieces. There’s nothing different between us.

(Barber Battles are for more than just competition…)
Great night!! It’s more than just a battle #network #barber #beard #barberlife #barberworld #barberbattle #barbernation #barberrespect #barbershopconnect #masterbarber #aboutthatlife #lovemycraft

The barber on stage is a reflection of ourselves professionally. If your goal is to reach to top in your industry, the sky is your limit. Now I attend barber battles and with a bigger smile than the last battle. Simply because the industry that chose me is growing so quickly. We aren’t just local barbers anymore. We DON’T JUST CUT HAIR… We showcase our talent.

We speak about our community and how to make it better. We teach ourselves to be more professional at work. We represent more than just one local barber. We’re representing our feelings to the game. Emotion is a big part of our business and to feel overwhelmed seeing my fellow barbers grow and take the industry to the next level.

So… I ask my self, what’s the difference between us?

    ~J.Sosa

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