Nashville SC Defender Known Around MLS For Haircutting Abilities
TAMPA, Fla. – Nashville SC training camp takes players away from home for weeks at a time as they prepare for their inaugural Major League Soccer season.
Being away from home for that long means things like quality haircuts can be hard to come by. Luckily for the Boys in Gold, they have a proficient barber among them while they’re in camp in Florida.
Defender Jalil Anibaba is known around the North American soccer world as a great haircutter. He brings his clippers, buzzer and other tools along to training camp with him. During this year’s Nashville SC training camp, he has cut numerous teammates’ hair, including Hany Mukhtar, Aníbal Godoy and Abu Danladi.
Anibaba first honed his haircutting craft while in college at Santa Clara when an upperclassman passed down his set of clippers and set of skills. As he’s moved around to different teams in Major League Soccer, word has gotten around about his special abilities.
“The word has been spread throughout the league, I would say probably in part due to the fact that I’ve played for a number of teams now,” Anibaba said. “But typically the first way people realize I can cut hair is they ask me where I get my hair cut and I tell them that I did it. Then they’ll ask me if I can cut theirs and typically it happens either on the road or preseason when barbers are hard to come by.”
Mukhtar, who is known for his strong sense of style when it comes to his hair, was looking for a fresh cut while in training camp. He came across Anibaba cutting a teammate’s hair, and he was impressed. So Mukhtar stepped into Anibaba’s makeshift barber shop in his hotel room to get his hair cut too.
“I think he cut Abu [Danladi]’s hair and I was really surprised at how good it was,” Mukhtar said. “I asked him if he could do it for me, too. He has a new customer.”
Anibaba is happy to give his teammates quick cuts throughout the grind of training camp, and he understands the responsibility that comes with taking care of his teammates’ hair.
“The way I’ve always looked at it is that hair is always something most people are very particular about,” Anibaba said. “So when someone trusts you to cut their hair, you have to make sure you do it right. Can’t mess that up. I liked my hair a particular way, so I understand that it’s something you can’t mess with.”