HUNG NGUYEN. BARBER EXTRAORDINAIRE.
What you do comes from how you feel and how you feel comes from how you look.
The road to cutting hair for Hung “Stache” Nguyen was one paved with a desire to follow his heart. After a bad experience at a barbershop during his teens, Hung decided to start cutting his own hair: “As I became proficient with cutting [my own hair] , my friends soon came to me for haircuts. Still, by then, it was only a way for me to earn extra money. Fast forward a few years, I grew unhappy with my job doing medical billing but was worried it was too late for me to change career paths since I had just turned 30.”
“Then one Thursday night after a training session at the gym I scheduled a haircut for one of my training partners. We ended the training around 11pm and as I was setting up for his haircut all I could think was “Wow, it’s really late and I should get some rest but I really look forward to this cut”. It was then that I realized that this is what I love to do. And making a career doing something you love is one of the greatest and most satisfying things you can do. No matter how tired I was I could always cut hair. Within a few months I left my job and signed up for cosmetology school to start my journey for licensure.”
Hung splits his time between Jersey and New York, getting the chance to enjoy the beauty that both cities have to offer: “The best thing about working in NYC and living in New Jersey is that you have the lively demographic of the city and the tranquil and laid back essence of Jersey which is perfect when it comes time to rest. Living in Jersey City and working in SoHo, there isn’t a shortage of culture and great food. Everything is literally at your fingertips. In my opinion, there isn’t anywhere else in the world like it. That being said, i do foresee my future possibly in a different state. Seattle and Portland have been heavily on my mind as contenders. Those cities will be thoroughly assessed when my lady and I go there for our honeymoon in March 2017.”
Cutting hair is definitely not just a job for Hung, the story goes much further than that: “One of the things that made me fall in love with cutting hair is how amazing it makes you feel when you give someone a great cut. Think about going to work everyday and hearing people tell you how valuable your work is. Think about the effect you made, whether major or minor, on the people who sat in your chair for 30 to 45 minutes and leave with confidence and happiness. What you do comes from how you feel and how you feel comes from how you look. It’s such a powerful encounter and you as their barber consistently get a high from it all.”
“When I was in training for my license, I had a client who had had a stroke and had not left her house much, aside from running errands, for almost a year. She had not gotten a haircut since her stroke. Before the service began she told me that she wears hearing aids as a result of her stroke, but she wanted to remove them so she didn’t want me to feel insulted if she couldn’t converse. We spent most of the haircut in silence. It was a time for her to relax and enjoy her service and it was a time for me to focus on my craft. When the haircut was finished and the final look was revealed to her she began to cry. She told me that it was the first time she felt beautiful again since her stroke. Moments like these are what matter the most. Sometimes it isn’t just a haircut.”
Before successfully turning his career path around, Hung decided to focus his attention on conquering another hurdle; stagefright: “I got into fight training because I was always intrigued by hand to hand combat. When I hit my mid 20’s I began a journey to conquer all of my fears. One of those fears was stage fright so I thought what better way to conquer it than by stepping into the ring to compete! It was then when I discovered YESSTraining Barbell Club, now known as YESSBoxing. YESSTraining is a private strength & conditioning gym for fighters and was not open to the public. Being in this environment it was more than just training at a gym, and over the past 7 years I’ve built a brotherhood with the men and women that I’ve trained, sweat and bled with. I competed as an amateur and had 6 fights. I became the resident barber for all of the fighters and members. It was here that my love of barbering came to be.”
When it comes to fashion, Hung enjoys the laid back but sophisticated look Maians offers. He states: “What I love about Maians footwear is its simplicity, elegance and comfort. It can fit into both the casual and conservative scenes. They are unique in design and because of that they garner a lot of attention by passers-by.”
For Hung, being happy in your environment is what matters most at the end of the day. “I believe that a LifeWalker is someone that lives in constant search of happiness. Fullfilled by their successes but never complacent. Someone who always seeks to improve and be better versions of themselves. Humble in confidence. Assertive in politeness.”