Photo by Amani Sodiq.

Originally published in The Fang, Lake Highlands High School’s student newspaper.

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At only 15 years old, Irvin Morales Nambo began pursuing his dream of becoming a barber. Now a Lake Highlands High School senior, Nambo has assembled a thriving client base while learning new techniques and managing school life.

The prospect of working for himself piqued Nambo’s interest in working as a barber. 

“I love having the freedom to make my schedule and decisions,” Nambo says.

When he’s working, Nambo relishes that he can be fully himself.

“I like that I don’t have to put on an image or pretend to be someone else,” Nambo says. “I also like interacting with different people, so being a barber is great. Having a diverse clientele allows me to visit different worlds.”

In the morning, he focuses on school. Once the afternoon rolls around, Nambo heads to the barbershop.

Nambo uses photos and social media to attract new clients, but most of his business comes via word of mouth from fellow Wildcats. 

“Nambo is very persistent,” senior James Ward says. “His cuts are always clean and precise. I first discovered Irvin’s work when he approached me in class and showed me some of it. I later chose to show up (to the barber shop)and get my hair cut.”

The one-on-one time with clients to reconnect makes being a barber so rewarding. 

“Irvin is a great guy,” senior Devon Jacobs says. “He communicates with you and carries a conversation. Whenever he cuts my hair, we discuss things like life and the future. He is worth the money.”

Currently, Nambo is working through an apprenticeship at AAction Barber and Styling College, studying for a written test and a practical exam to gain a Class A Barber license in Texas. Until then, he’ll be honing his craft and making sure his classmates are looking good in the process. 

“After people experience my cuts, people never look back,” Nambo says.