“It’s gonna sound really corny to you guys,” Val OS says as he begins to respond to a question on his Instagram stories from one of his followers asking, ‘What makes you happy?’. He then rolls his eyes prior to addressing his 66,000 followers on the platform again, sighs, and finishes by saying, “honestly, it’s making you guys laugh. That’s what makes me happy. I love it.”
Val OS– otherwise known as Valentin Osipov– is a vibrant 27-year-old social media personality who cuts hair by day and runs hilarious content on several digital platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tiktok, by night. Growing up, Val always enjoyed being the center of attention. In fact, he craved it. He was always the class clown, always the king’s fool, and always finding ways to get people to see him for what he was: a natural comedian.
After moving with his mother to America from Ukraine when he was nine, he experienced some of life’s most difficult obstacles. His father left him and his mother on their own; completely out of money and living in a practically empty apartment. Just a few years after they began to finally get back on their feet, Val’s mother was diagnosed with cancer.
Instead of using the sorrow and grief of the situation to be the victim, Val decided to be the hero. He created a YouTube channel dedicated to showcasing his quick-witted personality, ultimately aiming to entertain others and make them laugh as his way of coping with the hardships. Eventually, he also took his talents to Vine — a short-form social media network where users could post six to seven second looping videos. The app has since shut down in 2016.
Allowing himself to explore his sense of humor in front of the camera gained him the love of many, as he used his platform to shine light on the humorous moments of growing up with a Russian mother and the uniqueness of Ukranian culture.
His videos went viral online, mostly gaining the attention of the online Soviet community. Just a few months laters, thousands of people around the world had seen his content. And shortly thereafter, he received an invitation to be on USA Network’s first season of “Temptation Island” in 2018. After his initial appearance on the show, it didn’t take viewers long to pick Val as the fan favorite; he was known to be the funniest contestant of the season, nicknamed “Brooklyn” for bringing a diverse foreign twist to your typical New Yorker energy. And although he did not manage to find love and leave the show with a romantic relationship, he did get to leave with thousands of new virtual relationships within his newly added digital fanbase.
After the season ended, Val committed to creating and further growing his audience. He decided to go in a different direction with his content, pursuing a more lifestyle-based niche than his prior confinement to Russian comedy. And when he wasn’t filming new videos and coming up with original sketches, he was cutting hair.
Val began working as a barber in 2014 at one of his friend’s barber shops in downtown Brooklyn. After learning the ropes and saving up enough money to buy out the place from the owner, it became his own. A complete rebranding later, LadyKillers Barbershop was born.
Work days tend to be lengthy as Val spends 10-12 hours a day at the shop, and then an additional 3-4 hours producing, filming, and editing content for his social platforms. In the gaps few and far between, he also runs a clothing line titled POHUY, which translates to “F’ it” in Russian. The merchandise is meant to represent Val’s point of view on life, which is essentially to not take life too seriously.
As far as his entertainment career, while the pandemic took place, Val appeared on yet another dating reality show as a contestant on social media influencer Serena Kattigan’s “Let’s F’n Date”. The show took place strictly on Instagram and aired on IGTV, where episodic-styled videos showed unedited footage of Serena on real life dates with each of the show’s contestants, including Val. Him and Serena made their attempt at a romantic relationship for two seasons, ultimately mutually deciding it was best to remain just friends in the end.
This fan favorite has stolen the hearts of many within the last few years, and will continue to do so– but maybe not on another reality tv show. Instead, the content creator says he will dedicate his career to creating new content, expanding his audience even further, and possibly even pursuing a career in professional acting. He will also, of course, continue to cut hair at his shop, create new pieces for his clothing line, and continue doing what he does best — handing out laughs.
To follow Val OS’s journey on Instagram at @itsvalos, click here. You can also check out Val’s clothing line at www.pohuynyc.com.