Detroit teen lands barbershop apprenticeship after school suspends him for bathroom cuts

The 16-year-old high school student is now being mentored by one of Detroit's top barbers

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When a Detroit high school student’s bathroom barbershop operation was shut down by a teacher, one of the city’s top barbers rewarded the hustle by offering the young entrepreneur some pointers — and a new place to practice.

Cameron Tucker, 16, told FOX 2 he was cutting a classmates’ hair in the bathroom at Renaissance High School during study hall on Thursday when in walked an unexpected visitor who wasn’t seeking a fresh fade.

“In the middle of doing that, the teacher walked in, stared at us for about 45 seconds, and walked out,” he said. “I want to say wrong time, wrong place.”

Cameron said he discovered his passion for cutting hair over the summer, first learning the basics from his Uncle Tuck before honing his craft further by servicing his earliest clients, which included friends and younger cousins.

He recalled the exact words his uncle said to him before showing him the ropes: “He said, ‘I’m going to show you one time. I’m not going to show you again.’ And I was like, ‘Alright.’”

As Cameron’s skills grew, he began showcasing his work by posting before and after photos on social media of haircuts he had given to cousins, soon expanding his clientele to include football teammates and fellow students. 

Business was booming for Cameron before the school served the up-and-coming barber a one-day suspension for setting up shop in the bathroom.

“’We need someone to come pick up Cameron, he’s running a barbershop out of the third-floor bathroom,’” his mother, Cassandra, was told during a call from the school soon after. “‘There’s a line in there, hair all over the floor. He’s got his whole setup in there like on the movie ‘Barbershop.'”

Cameron said although his efforts may not have been favored by the teacher who reported him, he received props from several school employees who appreciated his will and resourcefulness.

“While we were walking to the office and everything, all the administrators were like, ‘I respect the hustle and things like that,'” Cameron said.

Among those impressed by the young man’s dedication was professional barber Sebastian Jackson, who was also 15 when he learned to cut hair and now owns The Social Club Grooming Co. in Detroit.

FOX 2 reported that Jackson’s regular clients include former NBA player Jalen Rose, rapper Big Sean and R&B singer Dwele — all Detroit natives — as well as former Lions running backs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell.

Jackson praised Cameron’s work ethic, offering him an opportunity to continue sharpening his skills after the two were put in contact by FOX 2.

“You have become so good at your craft in such a short period of time,” Jackson said. “I’ll tell you man, just based on the hustle, if you’re interested in apprenticing with one of our cosmetologists or myself, that’s definitely an opportunity.” 

Jackson has since become a mentor for Cameron, who said “it was an honor” to meet him, adding that “it was definitely a learning experience, learning where he came from, and his way to where he is now.”

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