World Cup hair artist

World  Cup hair artistFar from the beaches of Brazil, Rob Ferrel is a barber/stylist in San Antonio, Texas, who has shot to prominence during this World Cup for his remarkable artistry, namely his portraits of football’s stars that are trimmed, shaved and painted on the heads of waiting customers.

Originally from San Diego, Ferrel eventually made his way to San Antonio eight years ago. In October 2012 he opened up Rob The Original Barbershop, located in a small plaza south of the city’s downtown. Over time, Ferrel started generating attention by doing portraits and designs in people’s hair. The first? The late rapper Tupac Shakur, who was crafted on the head of Ferrel’s brother.

“I grew up in a big family and didn’t have an allowance or anything like that so I was always cutting my own hair, cutting my brother’s hair. ? I was always drawing, too, when I was a kid. Art is my passion so I’ve just combined the two,” Ferrel said by phone to

Since the World Cup started, the requests for music icons and San Antonio Spurs players have given way to those who practice the beautiful game: Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Guillermo Ochoa, Tim Howard, Neymar and Lionel Messi. And for the past several weeks his shop has been packed with people watching games while waiting to have their footballing heroes to be emblazoned on their heads.

“When Mexico were still in it, we got lots of requests for them,” said Ferrel — a logical notion, with San Antonio being a city so heavily populated by Mexican-Americans. “But now that they are out, we are getting lots of requests for Neymar and Messi. ? It’s amazing, fans of these teams and players are everywhere.”



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