Geek of the Week

Beneath the Scalp

Elijah Westall ’21 changes lives one haircut at a time.

What makes you a geek?

I cut hair.

When did you start cutting hair?

About a year ago.

Did you go to barber school or are you self-taught?

Completely self-taught in my room in Hayes-Healy Hall, off YouTube. During the time most people would be relaxing, I was studying cuts. I would write them down like recipes. But then I realized that you can’t look at any kind of art like a recipe. You have to tailor it and adapt to each piece because each piece is unique. That’s when I understood that barbering is an art form. Growing up, playing basketball, you’re told art isn’t for you. But now I have this outlet of hair. It took me a long time to get to a level where I understood it, but once I understood it as my art and my craft, that’s when I became obsessed.

Does barbering interact with your major?

Psychology interacts with everything. But the further I get into my haircutting career, I’m starting to notice a lot of connections I never expected. For men, the barber chair is the one space they can be vulnerable. People want to be cut by someone they can vibe with. That’s where psychology comes in.

How can barbering change the world?

When a person sits in my chair, I’m making them feel great. I’m giving them confidence. Barbering can change the world by showing love. All it takes are a few simple tools and I can bring happiness to someone. Barbering shows people self-love, too, and through that it shows them how to love others.


Does your passion change the world in a way small or large? Nominate yourself or a friend for Geek of the Week! Email geek@usfca.edu