Like many grooming professionals, life wasn’t always a bed of roses for Edward Galan, an award-winning barber with over 1,800 clients throughout the West Texas area, where enough people to make up a small army affectionately know him as Edward the Who.
The man that Edward is today is totally different from the person he thought he’d become. Edward admits to struggling as a teen with no parents in his life. But he also freely states that he owes all of his accomplishments to the barbering industry and his decision to become a mentor.
After only five years in the industry, Edward has already mentored about half a dozen grooming professionals to show a host of youths a brighter path. That’s in addition to his charitable work cutting hair at a juvenile detention center and his volunteer work giving cuts to the homeless.
Keep reading to learn how Edward proactively made the decision to take steps that would turn his life around. And then, not only did he embrace barbering as a life’s passion, Edward decided to bring others along with him to share his success while inadvertently bettering himself.
For this reason and so many more, we chose Edward for our New Year, New You campaign. Our goal is to shine light on Booksy business owners, who are ready and willing to share their knowledge with others to help people become the best possible version of themselves this year.
Becoming a Mentor to Help Others and Himself
Even when he first decided to become a mentor, Edward knew that the best way for him to be able to reach people was to be totally and completely honest. And that’s probably why he has a reputation for letting trade tips and industry secrets pass onto his mentees like sunshine passes through a window pane.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that being a mentor helps the teens and young adults that come to Edward seeking advice. And his work with youths in his community also helps to spread the word about his skills. But just as importantly, it helps Edward grow as a human being.
“I started mentoring, because I had nobody to look up to. There was no such thing as role models in my area, where I was from. I never wanted another kid to go through what I went through,” said Edward. He added that all of the relationships he’s built happened organically with people in the neighborhood who generally started as clients but wanted advice.
“Eventually, I start asking them, so what do you want to do for a living? And they, most of the time, 90% of the time, they’re like, ‘I don’t know.’ And then I’ll start talking to them about what I do and the advantages and the disadvantages. I stay honest with them, because you have to be a self-motivated individual to become a barber or a cosmetologist—period,” said Edward.
Along the way, Edward shares personal stories of his struggles, which he had trouble sharing before he decided to become a mentor. Edward talks about growing up with little to eat. And he talks about fights at school and brushes with the law, because of his angst and frustration.
But his talks are hardly a sob story. Mentees love hearing about his travels to industry events, trade shows, barber battles, and collaborations with out of state barbers that know the name Edward the Who. And the 13,000 Instagram followers who know his brand become yet another reason that youths continue to come to Edward to learn a few things but get so much more.
Helping Others Become Successful
Of all of his mentees and the people Edward has inspired, the first person who came to Edward seeking advice only to gain in ways that he didn’t think possible was Dalton McFate. At 19 years young, Dalton has already made the decision to become a barber.
Dalton was looking for a barber and first noticed Edward creatively sporting a host of tattoos. Currently, Edward has tattoos on both of his forearms, knuckles, and even the back of his head. The head tattoo is a large question mark that identifies him by the nickname, Edward the Who.
“When I saw him, I noticed he has a lot of tattoos. I just thought it looked cool. I thought he might be a cool person. And I just built a relationship with him, and we’ve just known each other ever since then,” said Dalton, easily recalling the events of about three years ago.
Dalton made the decision to become a barber on his own. He loved hearing about the creativity, flexibility, and independence that the career offers. With regards to his own work, Dalton is currently charging $20 per haircut. And he already cuts about 40 clients a week. His plan is to start attending barber college in the fall.
Edward taught Dalton about burst fades, perfect blends, and creating symmetry in a haircut. But the mentoring doesn’t stop there. Dalton learned how to be more patient from Edward, who stresses that it’s best to take time with each haircut, especially in the beginning. And Dalton also learned to keep moving forward—things that apply inside and outside of the shop.
“In barbering, he would point out flaws where I would need to improve. And it would help me out a lot. Just like if I needed to take some bulk down. Or, if I needed to hit a line a little bit more to get the blend a little bit better,” Dalton said. “Schoolwise and like regular life-wise, he would always tell me to keep on pushing and don’t give up.”
Keeping Mentoring in His Life
For some people, spending months giving back to others would be enough. Those same people would be able to relish in their accomplishments. They would take pride in what they’ve done to help others who needed it. And now would be the time to focus on themselves.
Edward isn’t one of those people. He has taken the steps to become a mentor. And he’s seen how much it can help the world around him, so there’s no turning back. According to Edward, barbers and stylists in particular have a wonderful opportunity to be there for others, especially youths. And that help can literally save lives.
“It’s about being able to change someone’s opinion of themself. It’s not something I see as a job or as a task or anything else—it’s just the way it is. I wake up to thinking how am I going to get to help someone’s day? How am I going to make somebody else feel better about themself today? How can I get someone out of their funk?” Edward said.
In addition to being widely known as one of the freshest barbers in Midland, Texas, Edward is a family man. He has a wife and four children. His schedule stays booked two to three weeks in advance. Additionally, his career gives him the opportunity to travel to meet like-minded professionals.
“Man, what more could anybody want? I’ve even been nominated for several awards for doing hair. I couldn’t ask for more just to be honest. There’s nothing more in this world. I’m a happy man. Barbering saved my life—it’s that simple, and I just want to share that gift,” Edward said.