What began as a creative outlet driven by YouTube tutorials, Derek Hernandez has taken his passion for hair art as a channel to support the community at his shop HIMC Barber Studio. As a life-long resident of Antioch, Derek aka Derek tha Barber is excited to host the event and give back to the community that he lives in with his family.
A Touch of History
Derek was born and raised in Antioch and shared warmed memories of growing up. He also said that in middle school, he found himself making a lot “really bad” decisions and getting into trouble. After struggling to get through high school, Derek said he “ended up in barber school” – not realizing that becoming a barber would not only ignite a unique, creative passion, it would allow him to grow into a contributing member of the community he was raised in. Derek believes that his life turned around because of hair art.
Turning Life Around With Hair Art
Hair art typically refers to the sculpting and creation of an art piece using hair as the medium. Hair art allows artists to create one-of-a-kind art pieces that demand extensive skills and training in the knowledge of hair, architecture, and balance, and the ability to do intricate work with specialized wires, brushes, and tools; requiring extensive skills.
Beginning his journey through YouTube tutorials and trusting friends, Hernandez began to experiment in hair art. Fast forward a few years, Derek found himself on Episode 3 of Cedric’s Barbershop Battle. This program sets three barbers against each other in competition for a clipper set, a feature article in an online barber magazine, a championship belt, and a grand prize of $15,000. After a grueling competition, Hernandez took the winning title and the $15,000 grand prize.
The Grand Opening of HIMC Barber Studio
Derek decided to take his championship winnings from Cedric’s Barbershop Battle and open his own shop, HIMC Barber Studio. HIMC stands for Hair Is My Canvas – which is very true to Derek and his crew of 7 barbers. At HIMC, a trip to the barber means fades, tapers, personalized necklines, edging and incredibly intricate designs and images shaded into the hair.
As a full-service barbershop, you can choose from a menu of haircuts, shaves, line-ups, full-service hot towel shave, the HIMC Gold -which includes a hair cut, full-service hot towel shave, and a facial with a facial steam. Children’s haircuts are also offered. The option for extra designs added to any haircut is also available with special consults from your barber.
A Commitment to Giving Back
After opening HIMC Barber Studio, Hernandez knew he wanted to give back to the community. He immediately thought about kids going back to school, realizing that for many families, the cost of new backpacks and school supplies were out of reach. He also knew that nothing makes someone feel confident than a fresh new haircut. Hence, “Back to School With HIMC” was born.
This event is hosted by the barbers at HIMC annually. Last year, they gave away over 100 backpacks and gave 60 haircuts. This year, he hopes to exceed both those numbers. Hernandez purchases the backpacks himself, while HIMC clients donate new school supplies to fill the backpack with. To add to the fun of the day, a BBQ lunch of hamburgers, hotdogs, and fixings are provided to guests – or anywho needs a hot meal. The BBQ lunch is also donated by an HIMC client. All 7 Studio barbers donate their time for haircuts. The event is designed to serve students from ages 5 to 14.
Other giving-back events that Derek and his team of barbers host include a coat drive for the homeless during the winter. They also work closely with some of the outreach groups in Antioch to support individuals attending various rehab programs. HIMC Barber Studio not only touts the importance of community and community giving but leads by example.
Don’t Give Up
Hernandez wants every student he comes across to know that school can be a challenge. But, he also offers the advice, “Don’t give up. Keep working!” He explains that his route to becoming a business owner is not a traditional path. He knows he made choices that made his professional path slightly more difficult but knows that because of his willingness to keep working through challenges, he was about to build HIMC Barber Studio to a place he is proud to own. Derek’s commitment to the youth population of Contra Costa County rings through his give-back events as well as his constant advice of perseverance.
Visit HIMC Barber Studio
When you are ready for a new barber experience, stop by HIMC Barber Studio, located at 3136 Contra Loma Blvd, in Antioch, CA. His team of barbers and innovative techniques will ensure you leave feeling great, looking great, and ready to take on whatever challenge life throws your way. You can also book your appointment.