President Barack Obama has come a long way from his early days as a young Illinois Senator in the South Side of Chicago to his historic residence at the White House. Despite all of the expected trials and tribulations associated with being the first black president in the history of the United States, he has stayed true to who he is and what he knows. The man’s got the same approachable, down-to-earth demeanor as he did the first day he took office, he’s got the same love for shooting hoops, and, as it turns out, he’s also got unwavering loyalty to his barber.
The man referred to as simply Zariff has been President Obama’s barber since 1998. When he’s not holding down his regular clientele at Chicago’s Hyde Park Hair Salon, Zariff splits his time making regular trips to the White House, where he’s tasked with giving the presidential cut—quite literally—to the leader of the free world. Zariff recently took some time off and sat down with Bevel to discuss what it’s like to be President Obama’s official barber, along with the various trends and celebrities he’s seen come through the doors of his shop over the years. Peep the exclusive interview here.