Toronto barber blows up on TikTok for cutting the hair of millionaires
A young Toronto barber is rising to fame on TikTok for showing up at the homes of millionaires and giving them a haircut.
At only 17-years-old, Jamiel Bustos known as jbalwaysfresh on TikTok, now has up to 3 million followers who support his video series on the app.
Bustos has come a long way to gain this type of success, he started barbering in the ninth grade and would practice on his own head to learn how to do hair.
"No one trusted me with their hair so I had to practice on my own. I would go to school with crooked haircuts and messed up hairlines, everybody would always tell me 'you can't cut hair'," Bustos said.
He continued practicing until he got better and once others at school saw his progression, Bustos began cutting the hair of his friends.
"When I was trying to get my name out there, at school during lunch time, I would do some cuts in the Tim Hortons washroom, but I got in trouble for that and had to stop," Bustos said.
His TikTok username, "jbalwaysfresh" was inspired by his beginnings at Tim Hortons as he took it from the restaurant's slogan "Always Fresh. Always Tim Hortons".
In June 2020, Bustos started on TikTok as a way to showcase his barbering work and gain more clientelle.
A few months later, Bustos was cutting the hair of his friend Aaron Vankampen who happens to have a huge following on TikTok for going up to owners of expensive homes and asking them what they do for a living.
Bustos was inspired by these videos and wanted to make a similar series of his own. Vankampen introduced the young barber to a few of his wealthy connections and Bustos shot his first video with one of them called "Cutting my Rich Client".
The video was posted in December 2020 and shows Bustos walking up to the client's mansion with all his barbering gear, ready to give him a cut.
That same video garnered almost 10 million views and from there his followers wanted to see more, the video grew into being a 20-part series that's still going today.
"Seeing 10 million views on my video is just a number when I look at it, but it changes when I go out somewhere and people are recognizing me in public and saying they love my videos," Bustos said.
Bustos has been able to make more connections with millionaires after his first video blew up, he just recently collaborated with popular Canadian YouTuber Ricky Berwick on a hair cutting video.
"When I'm surrounded by these guys, my mindset changes. At first, I just wanted to cut hair and maybe open up my own shop," Bustos said.
"But being surrounded by their lifestyle and having mentors, now I want to have several shops, or maybe even own a product line," he added.
Bustos just graduated high school this past June and wants to continue using TikTok as a vessel to improve his craft and brand over the next couple of years.
"TikTok is such an amazing platform for young people like me to grow businesses, connect with people and show creativity, it's a great community on the app and I love it," he said.
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