Ready, set, cut.
With razors, scissors and a bag full of tricks, barbers from Rock Hill, Lancaster, Columbia and elsewhere around the state made their visions come to life.
Props - including a pineapple top, colored pencils and bag of Skittles candy - helped these talented hairstylists show off the artistic side of styling during the 7th annual "Rumble in the Jungle" barber contest.
One Rock Hill barber, Cleavon Bradley of Kut Kreators on Albright Road, was inspired to sculpt a fruit basket into the head of his model, Terencio Hughes. Bradley attached the top of a pineapple and even some grapes to Hughes' do to achieve the style.
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"I enjoy the contests," Bradley said. "They break up the monotony of normal cuts. I got the idea for this style from a previous show."
He said it's hard to do a test run on a style like this, so he had to count on his experience in about 20 or so contests to prepare him to complete the style in only 45 minutes Sunday night.
Hughes, of Chester, said he likes the pineapple style, but he'll only be keeping his hair that way for a few hours.
"I definitely can't go to work like this tomorrow," he said. "I don't want people trying to eat off my head.
Bradley said he's used Hughes as a model before.
"It's fun to just sit there and enjoy the excitement and creativity of their (barbers') minds," Hughes said.
Bradley was one of 10 barbers competing for cash prizes during the competition, sponsored by Rock Hill's Shabazz Barber and Styling College. Prizes were awarded for the best hair styles, judged on categories including blend, professionalism and overall look.
The competition gives barber's a chance to hone and show off their skills, said the school's founder, Karen Shabazz. She set the competition during Black History Month to share more than just hair styling.
"Barbering is a big part of history," she said. "I want to bring the community together to share in our rich history."
Proceeds from the event will go to a scholarship for students at Shabazz's school, she said.
While barbers had 45 minutes to perform style magic, the crowd of about 100 in a Winthrop University building watched local women model African fashions, area performers step, dance and sing, and enjoyed history reading.
Carlos Bryson, who gets his head shaved at Kut Kreators, ventured to Sunday evening's event because he wanted to see if his barber, Bradley, could pull off the fruit basket.
"I've never been to a competition before, and I wanted to see what it's like," he said before the competition started.
After the first round of styling, he said he was "fairly impressed" with the fruit basket and a stylist who cut and colored an elaborate cityscape into the side of his model's head.
Like Hughes, Jamal Shabazz's model might also have to watch out for people taking a bite out of his hairdo.
The York barber said he drew inspiration from a bag of Skittles candy.
Jamal Shabazz shaved the name "Skittles" around the back of his model's head, attached candies with hair glue and he even used colored pencils to accent a rainbow above the left ear.
"I spray painted the mohawk red to look like the background of the bag of candy," he said. "Doesn't it make you want to taste the rainbow?"
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