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Line-Ups and Lectures: A Student’s Success As An On-Campus Barber

Dexter Donald, a freshman International Business major from Charlotte, North Carolina, has found his calling in the cosmetic field of barbershop work.

Dexter Donald cuts hair for client Jayden Cartwright. Photo Courtesy of Jackson Whitley

Dexter Donald, a freshman International Business major from Charlotte, North Carolina, has found his calling in the cosmetic field of barbershop work. During the pandemic, Donald taught himself how to cut hair and has been working on his craft since then. 

Donald services all hair types and can achieve various looks depending on what the client wants.  Services range from line-ups to fades to enhancements for those with thinning hair or hair loss. He also cuts beards. 

Donald considers cutting hair to be a combination of both an art and a formula, “There’s a formula to follow, but you gotta use your own knowledge for each client,” he said.

“I wanted to start cutting hair because I felt like it would be a good way to make money in school and still have time to be fully committed to my studies,” Donald said.

While pursuing barbering professionally is not in his plans, he has not written off the idea entirely. 

“I want to work in international trade with food and services and commerce for 10 to 15 years,” Donald said. “And then maybe after retirement, pick it back up again.” 

Upon graduation, he does, however, have plans to move back to Grenada, a small island in the Caribbean where his father lives, in order to assist in the food economy in the country. 

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Until then, Donald’s main focus for his freshman year is his studies and improving his haircutting skills, one client at a time. 

“I think the reason I’ve stuck to Dex is because other than being professional, he’s an all around nice guy,” Colin Murungi, one of Donald’s freshman clients, said. “He always asks what you think and whether he’s done what you envisioned.” 

Dylan Thomas, another one of his freshman clients, admits that Donald was not the first local barber he had tried.

“I tried about two or three different shops before I found Dexter, but I’m sticking with him because his prices, quality of work, and experience are all excellent,” Thomas said.

“He pays attention to details and is always looking to improve both himself and the client experience,” he said. “He also prioritizes professionalism, and that’s rare to find in a student and barber.”

At the end of the day, a job is a job and all jobs come with their share of crazy stories. Donald recounts a time when a client stretched a five minute appointment into half an hour. 

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“It was like he didn’t know what he wanted me to do,” Donald said regarding his most confusing client to date. “I ended up doing five hairstyles when it started out as just a trim.”

Donald and a few of his fellow campus barbers, Jaxon Shelton (@kingme.ceo) and Jared (@340jeezy), make it a point to regularly take their talents beyond the Mecca. 

“We go down to the middle school and give free haircuts, like one Saturday a month,” Donald said. “The kids really love it.” 

“As a barber you also meet tons of people who do all sorts of things and make amazing connections,” he said.

As of Oct. 31, Donald is no longer taking bookings via direct messaging but instead through The Cut App, linked on his Instagram account, @dr.don.cuts. One can find more information regarding prices, bookings and answers to any additional questions on his page. 

Copy edited by Lauryn Wilson

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