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A cut above: These Korean stars were barbers in the army

Park Bo-gum, SHINee’s Key and Winner’s Kang Seung-yoon were quite popular for their haircutting skills during mandatory military service. Photo from their official Instagram accounts
Singer, songwriter, actor,photographer, and now a barber. Kang Seung-yoon excels in almost everything. Photo from Official Yoon (X)

Kang Seung-yoon, the leader and the youngest member of K-pop group Winner, is a lot of things. He is a singer, songwriter, actor and a barber.  He recently shared a photo on the platform Weverse and revealed that he had been busy lately giving haircuts in the army. 

Kang enlisted as an active soldier on June 20 and will be discharged on Dec. 19, 2024.  The update is in keeping with his promise to Inner Circles (name of WINNER’s fandom) that he will communicate with them within what is allowed by the rules of the military. 

If one day Kang decides to start a barbershop, he can ask SHINee’s Key, and actor Park Bo-gum to join him. Imagine entering a shop and finding the three of them behind the seats.  It would be a riot.

MR. POPULAR

Two years ago, Key talked about his popularity as a barber. 

In an episode of “I Live Alone,” Key and his army friends went on a trip and reminisced about their time in the military. He gave them a haircut during the trip to make it even more memorable. He  shared  the story about how he volunteered to become a barber. 

“I thought I’d never get the chance to try something like that,” Key said.  He wanted to try everything.  

” I was so popular because I can cut their hair however they want.” – Barber Key in action. Screenshot from I live Alone

According to his friends, he was so popular that even those from other units came to him for haircuts. Key recalls cutting the hair of about 200 people because it was the number required to finish his duty. 

The artist added, “I couldn’t rest on weekends while serving in the army, because I was so busy cutting their hair!” 

He served as a member of the military band and was discharged in 2020. 

LICENSED BARBER BOGUMMY

What would you do if the adorable Park Bo-gum styles your hair for you? The Korea Times reported last year that Park Bo-gum passed the state exam to become a licensed barber. The exam, according to specialist job content firm in South Korea jobsN,, comprises a written test with 60 multiple-choice questions and a practical test demonstrating hairdressing skills. 

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Would you be able to remain still while having Park Bogum cut and style your hair? Photo from Bogummy (X)

Bogummy served in the Navy military band from Aug. 31, 2020, until his official discharge on April 30, 2022.

Whatever their motivations are, these K-stars’ passion for learning makes them a cut above the rest. They were already successful as entertainers, but that didn’t stop them from pursuing other interests. 

As the famous American author Brian Herbert said, “The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.”

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