By Allen Payton
Derek “Tha Barber” Hernandez is not just another barber who enjoys cutting hair. He’s an artist and his talent won his fame and money, earlier this year on Cedric The Entertainers’ “Cedric’s Barber Battle” TV show.
Plying his trade at Ajja’s Barber Shop in Antioch’s historic downtown Rivertown, Hernandez is known for his portraits and design work.
“I’m only 22 but I’ve been cutting hair since I was 12,” he said.
He flew to Los Angeles where the competition occurred inside an actual barber shop.
Derek competed against a barber from Long Island, New York and another from El Paso, Texas. They were judged by three barbers to the stars.
The three contestants had to use soccer balls as the inspiration for the “buzzcut challenge” and had one hour to create their designs.
They had fun joking around and talking smack to each other as they cut their way through the show.
While Derek’s competitors buzzed the hexagonal shapes into the head of the men in their chairs, he went a different direction, buzzing in the design of a soccer player kicking a ball into pieces, instead.
He survived the first round, as one of his competitors got cut.
The second round was literally a head-to-head battle.This time they had to incorporate super heroes into their design. Derek was given Batman, while his opponent was given The Flash. More smack talk ensued, but it was Derek who came out on top.
Cedric referred to Derek as “DTB” and said “Your color work brought the Caped Crusader to life.”
The show aired on May 1st, and Hernandez won a championship belt, a package of hair supplies, a feature editorial on Barbershopconnect.com and $15,000. The editorial appeared on the website June 29th and can be viewed here. http://www.barbershopconnect.com/detail/054760/barber-of-the-week-derek-tha-barber/
Derek is married and lives in Antioch.
The show aired on May 1, 2015 and can be viewed on The CW website (www.cwtv.com) by clicking here.
Ajja’s is located at 508 W. Second Street in Antioch. To make an appointment to get a haircut that’s a work of art call Derek Tha Barber Hernandez at (925) 550-5602.