National News

Where all the celebrities go to get a haircut in New Orleans

Posted June 9

— He's known as The Hairbender. Celebrity Barber Darrl (Dee) Robert Jr. has the success of a lifetime cutting hair for the famous and non-famous in The Big Easy.

He's cut celebrities hair for NFL players like Brandin Cooks, Nick Toons and Ben Watson, and other stars like R&B singer Keisha Cole and Bryshere Grey, who plays Hakeem Lyons on Empire.

Either the celebrities will come to his shop Team Hairbenders in Marrero, or he has his own fancy portable barber setup he can take with him to wherever the celebrity requests.

His job is so intense that a contract is sometimes involved. It prohibits him from publicizing high-profile athletes and platinum recording artists for whom he's done work.

His schedule is so busy that you have to book with Dee months in advance in order to get a cut. So, what makes his haircuts so special?

Dee specializes in something called hair portraits.

"It's a haircut where I carve out the face of an individual. The last one I did was a Martin Luther King one and it was awesome! He had to go home because no one could focus in class. Everyone was pointing to the back of his head.

That's Martin in the back of his head," Dee said, laughing.

Dee also can make specific designs in haircuts, like a portrait of a butterfly or a flower, for example.

But what makes Dee special is that he stays connected and involved with the local community in New Orleans.

"I do a lot of back-to-school events," Dee said. "I'm more one-on-one with the kids.

That's what I have a passion for - mentoring children. Whether it's for cutting hair or going out for a slice of pizza and just asking them what they want to do, or what they want to be in life."

In early 2018 Dee plans to open a brand new shop in downtown New Orleans to continue his work.

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