The one-year journey to become a barber can be a difficult one.
In Missouri, barber school tuition can cost up to $15,000, plus the cost of tools, equipment and books. Students also have to complete 1500 hours of training, working up to eight hours every day for little to no compensation.
While scholarships and financial aid are available at many schools, most students struggle balancing a full-time job to pay their bills and going to school full time.
Greg Taylor, owner of G Class Cuts Barber Salon wants to pay it forward by providing scholarships to help relieve the financial stress often faced by students in Kansas City barber schools.
“I see single mothers who are pursuing a career in barbering and their hardship is they have to be mom, go to school for eight hours a day and they still can’t make enough money,” Taylor said. “Other struggles I see are students not having enough time in the day to be able to go make money to live while still pursuing their career.”
Last week, Taylor, partnering with marketing team WyldKard Lyfestyle, announced the start of their second annual G Class Barber Challenge to help support future barbers.
Taylor is asking students from five local barber schools: Ea La Mars Cosmetology and Barber School, Old Town Barber College, Headline Barber Academy, Klassic Transformations Barber Academy and Transformed Barber and Cosmetology Academy to submit a video on Tik Tok or Instagram telling what it means to them to be a barber.
Contestants should include the #GClassBarberChallenge hashtag and tag @Gclasscuts and @wyldkardlyfestyle in their post.
The first year Taylor held the challenge, he loved the creativity some students showed, submitting videos of themselves out in the community, giving haircuts to strangers.
“We want them to answer it creatively,” Taylor said. “There’s no wrong answer.”
Taylor is also challenging the community to help pay it forward. The team’s goal is to raise $10,000 this year.
The winners will be announced on May 22 at the Barber and Beauty Brunch at the Blakk Co social club. “Barbering changed my life, so I know it can change someone else’s life,” Taylor said.
Donations can be made to the G Class Barber Salon via Cash App: $Gclasscuts.