Grad student cuts hair as hobby

By Hailey Rogenski

Many Youngstown State University students have developed unique hobbies during the pandemic —  Zachary Minney’s is cutting hair.  

Minney, an engineering graduate student, said he was inspired to start cutting hair because of how quarantine forced barber shops to close for a long time. According to him, his friend Yousof Hamza really needed a haircut during this time.

“I told him I’d cut it, and I’ve been cutting his hair and a couple of guys in the equipment room ever since,” he said.

Hamza, a senior telecommunications major, is also a coworker of Minney’s. Both work in YSU’s equipment room for the athletic department. Hamza said Minney is a natural at cutting hair.

“He was pretty good at it. I would say he’s better than some of the people I’ve had,” Hamza said. “The last person to regularly do my hair was also a coworker.” 

According to Hamza, Minney had cut his own hair prior to cutting other people’s. This gave Hamza confidence in his friend’s ability to cut hair for the first time.  

“He did it to himself and if you mess up, it’s just hair. You can shave it all off and it’ll grow back,” Hamza said.   

Minney said he taught himself to cut hair after observing how his barber did it. 

“I go to a really good barber, so just observing what he did kind of showed me how to do it,” he said. “Everyone has different types of hair so it’s nice to mess with it and see what you can do.” 

Minney cuts his friends’ hair for free. While he enjoys his new hobby, he doesn’t plan to pursue it as a career.

“I probably wouldn’t work at a salon, just because I don’t have the experience and I would have to go to extra schooling for that,” he said. 

Minney is a former player on the YSU men’s baseball team. An injury to his shoulder during practice ended his career as a pitcher for the university.

“In the fall, I suffered a torn labrum. I ended up having to get surgery on that, and that put me out for the whole season,” Minney said. 

Minney said he played baseball for 19 years. He’s not planning to play for YSU again because he’s looking forward to beginning his professional career.

“I won’t get back on the team because I’ll be graduating soon with a master’s degree and I’m going to try to get a job as either a chemical engineer or a process or material engineer,” he said.

Minney said he was persistent to be successful and still is. He began cutting hair while he still played baseball. He also attends school full-time while maintaining a part-time job. 

“I wanted to be successful while doing something I loved on the side,” Minney said.