Despite the transition to college and dorm life, Vikram Khosla, a freshman business major, managed to continue his haircutting business by transforming his dorm into a functioning barbershop.
After a year of saving money, Khosla bought the basic equipment needed to cut hair. He said he needed to make money and found cutting hair to be a unique way to do it without getting a regular job.
“I mostly learned off of YouTube and asked my barber questions every time I got a haircut,” Khosla said. “I started cutting my close friend’s hair for free and worked my way up. I started with close friends and moved on to other people that went to my school.”
After practicing for some time, Khosla began working at a professional barbershop. He said working at the shop helped him improve skills that have stuck for years. After starting college, Khosla saw a golden opportunity to continue his passion on campus.
“Cutting hair became a passion of mine throughout high school and I wanted to carry that onto campus,” Khosla said. “Also cutting hair in college would be a great opportunity to make money as I will be conveniently on campus and my prices are cheaper than barbershops around the area.”
To promote his business, he found unique ways to build a clientele.
“I just tried to get the word out as much as possible in the first couple weeks of the fall semester. I told all of my roommates and basically everyone I met,” he said. “In all of my classes I would always work that into the icebreakers and I wrote my Instagram name, @vkcuts, on all of the whiteboards I saw around the dorm buildings.”
He said he tried to follow many students on campus to increase the number of customers. He credited Instagram as a tool to promote and operate his business.
“[Instagram] is the primary way people communicate with me to make an appointment,” Khosla said. “I also post all of my work on my Instagram so people can see how good I am. I have plans to advertise through Instagram to people in the area to promote my business more.”
Clients like Jarrod Jackson, a senior Africana studies and sociology major, found out about the business through conversations. Jackson added that he continues to go as he finds the experience enjoyable.
“Through conversations, I found out that he cut hair so to show support, I began to go to him for my haircuts,” Jackson said. “Comfortability is present when he cuts my hair. There are no awkward moments, and conversations are natural. Vikram is flexible with time and when he is available.”
Jackson added that the prices were reasonable. According to Khosla, a haircut including a skin fade is $15, a haircut with a beard is $20 and a hot towel shave is $20. Khosla added that he “can do any type of men’s haircut. That includes haircuts, skin fades, beard trims, and shapeups and hot towel shaves, etc.”
“Not only are the prices good, but he also gets better after each haircut,” Jackson said. “He gets familiar with your head and hair, and he really gets to know his customer.”
Another customer, Daniel Baluch, a sophomore marketing major, found Khosla to be talented and found the prices to be reasonable. Baluch continues to recommend friends for Khosla’s business.
“He’s very good, has all the proper professional equipment, skill and set up,” Baluch said. “His prices, skill and convenient location on campus made me go back. I’ve recommended over 10 people to his business and I’ve given some traffic his way.”
Khosla said, “I just like to cut hair because it is my passion. It means a lot to me that people trust me to cut their hair and I promise that I will only get better as time goes on.”
Nicholas Hernandez can be reached at nicholas.hernandez@ student.shu.edu.