The bond between one and their hairstylist is sacred, especially within Black and brown communities. Considering that you’re stuck with a haircut for a couple of weeks, it’s only logical you want someone who gets you and your hair. For Roger Bernadina and other baseball players that person is Henry García.
Bernadina, an outfielder from Curaçao, doesn’t trust any one else with his locks and flies García 7,000 miles away to South Korea, where he plays baseball, to get his haircuts. “I tried others before but I didn’t feel comfortable with anyone but Henry,” Bernadina told The New York Times. “It was a no-brainer to have him come over to Korea, too.”
While there, 37-year-old García – who is from the Dominican Republic – also gave other Dominican players haircuts. “Caribbean hair doesn’t get cut well there,” he said. “Their hair is different.”
He’s not the only barber making a trek for their client. Though he doesn’t have to go as far, Bronx-based Jordan López travels to Seattle to give Félix Hernández haircuts. Sometimes, he returns home on the same day. Either way, his airfare and food are covered by the athlete.
While players all have different reasons for sticking with their hair specialists (looking fresh, tradition, superstition), it’s clear that in a sport as Latino as baseball, barbers are part of the landscape.