Jackson Blevins’ 20 -Staff Writer-Everyone has been on campus for two months now, and students are officially settled into their busy schedules. When to-do lists get long and hair gets even longer, where do Wabash students go to get their hair cut? Although Crawfordsville does have many local barbershops and salons in the downtown area such as Bombshells, Dapper Dudes and Dolls, and Esquire Barber Shop, Wabash students have turned to their fellow brothers to get a quick and affordable cut. With tight schedules and budgets, it is a perfect match for our on-campus barbers to come out of the woodwork and cut students’ hair.
Many barbers have emerged on campus, one of them being Marcus Torres ’20. Torres had a very unique origin in regards to how he got started cutting hair. He was born in raised in Miami, Florida and moved to nearby Lafayette before his freshman year of high school, and there he ran into a problem.
“My brother and I were used to getting our hair cut at original barber shops in Miami, and when we moved up here we couldn’t find that,” Torres said. “The only hair salons in Lafayette were operated by women, and my brother was used to having men cut his hair. So, I was pretty much forced to start cutting hair.”
As a result of being forced to cut his brother’s hair, Torres quickly became comfortable with clippers and has been cutting hair ever since. Business does fluctuate for Torres, a brother of Lambda Chi Alpha, but he said in his busy times he will cut around five students’ hair per week. Although his Lambda brothers receive a discount, he takes pride in getting new clients outside of his fraternity house, and stated that he cuts hair in multiple housing units on campus. Torres stated that the connections he makes with his peers is his favorite part about cutting hair.
There isn’t just one barber who gets everyone’s business. Brian Parks ’18 and Alex Martinez ’21 are two more emerging barbers on campus.
Parks had an interesting start to cutting hair. About five years ago, Parks decided that he was done paying for haircuts. “I started on myself because I really didn’t like what other barbers did to my hair,” Parks said. “Also, I knew that I would be going to a college that might not have a barbershop in town, so I thought it would good to know how to cut my hair.”
Parks stays busy with haircuts; he stated that he cuts between five to ten students’ hair per week. When asked about the benefits and drawbacks of cutting hair.I love to see someone’s smile after I cut their hair,” Parks said. “It makes me feel like I’ve done some good for someone. My least favorite thing is when I mess up or get a bad reaction from somebody. I rarely get that, but it does happen.”
Back in early September, Martinez marketed himself early on, sending a campus-wide email targeting students who needed a fresh cut, a bold strategy for the freshman from Franklin Central High School. He tagged himself as “Tina the Barber” and established that there is no need to worry about your haircut turning out bad.
“It is something I just love to do because it takes my mind off everything and is definitely a stress reliever,” Martinez said. Martinez’s introduction to the hair cutting business began by observing barbers at Chad’s Barber Shop, just south of Indianapolis. Because of the long waits for a quality haircut, he had ample time to observe the barbers who took their time perfecting every haircut. He eventually tried cutting his own hair and although it was not perfect, he made a few changes to his hair and he was off from there. Word spread and he began cutting his best friends’ hair for practice. After settling in at Wabash, his haircutting talents have brought him about three to four customers a week, with a heavy rush usually being just before the weekend begins.
Wabash has an ample number of barbers on campus that can get the job done quickly and effectively, and with this brought the steady growth of student haircut businesses on campus. Our on-campus barbers have their own story and style, but in the end, they all love to cut hair. Students in the past have relied on a barber back home or one in Crawfordsville, but this is quickly being changed by our personal barbers on campus. So, sit and wait in a traditional barber shop in town, or get a quick cut from a fellow brother on campus? That’s up to you to decide.