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Local barbers behind cuts locals love

Bruno%2C+Wild+Cuts%2C+giving+a+nice+%22old+man%22+haircut.+Photo+credit%3A+Jordan+Rodrigues
Bruno, Wild Cuts, giving a nice

Bruno, Wild Cuts, giving a nice "old man" haircut. Photo credit: Jordan Rodrigues

Bruno, Wild Cuts, giving a nice "old man" haircut. Photo credit: Jordan Rodrigues

Jordan Rodrigues

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I went to Barber Jon’s Barbershop, 5 Star Barbers, Wild Cuts and Chico’s Barber Shop to ask local barbers a few questions regarding different hairstyles they cut, the diversity of their clientele and their favorite memories as a barber. All of these barbershops are within a mile of the downtown area in Chico. The diversity of their clientele, haircuts and stories are all over the spectrum. I was most surprised by how the barbers reacted to my question “How does school being in session affect your business?”

Compiling most of the answers into a short summary, the college students typically contribute more to local businesses than the locals do. Some barbers mentioned that during the summer their shops, neighboring food and convenience stores all thought about changing opening hours or closing their businesses. However, now that school is in session, business among these shops are booming.

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Jerome "Rome" Martin, barber at 5 Star Barber Shop cutting client, Isaac Clipper, 16, Pleasant Valley High. Photo credit: Jordan Rodrigues

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Jerome "Rome" Martin, Barber, 5 Star Barber Shop 245 Walnut St Ste 100. Chico, CA.
Starting a haircut on client, Isaac Clipper, 16, Pleasant Valley High. Photo credit: Jordan Rodrigues

Most Common Hair Cut?

Jerome “Rome” Martin: Fades, comb-overs, anything that’s common, classic sleek haircuts.

How long have you been a barber?

JRM: I have been a barber for 4 years.

Most interesting thing that’s happened since barbering in the downtown area?

JRM: Every day is a different day, they each have their own memories. If I had to choose my most memorable moment, it would be opening this barbershop. This was a milestone for me in my life because my main goal was owning my own business and working for myself.

How does school not being in session impact your business?

JRM: Because of our location, when school is in session we get a lot of foot traffic from the college kids. The shop tries to focus on keeping local clientele from kids to older men who need a haircut. But the college does bring in a lot of business that keeps the shop busy almost all opening hours.

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Jose "Pepe" Mercado, Barber, 5 Star Barber Shop 245 Walnut St Ste 100. Chico, CA.
Scissor work on client, Jesse Sanchez, 20, local.

1) Most Common Hair Cut?
" Fades, leaving long hair on the top, combovers."

2) How long have you been a barber?
"I have been a barber for 2 years."

3) Most interesting thing that's happened since barbering in the downtown area?
"When we opened the shop."
Being young in the game, owning a shop this early in any career is an awesome milestone for anyone. The thing that is cool about 5 Star Barbers is they are very diverse and each really good at certain things. These skills have been passed along to each barber making each of them well rounded at all type of haircuts.

4) How does school NOT being in session impact your business?
" We try and keep a steady growing client base with locals of all ages and types. But when school is in session we will accept the extra business with open arms, being busy in a job like this isn't something to complain about." Photo credit: Jordan Rodrigues

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Jesse Sanchez, nor cal local, getting a fresh cut for the weekend by Jose "Pepe" Mercado of 5 Star Barbers. Photo credit: Jordan Rodrigues

Most Common Hair Cut?

Jose “Pepe” Mercado: Fades, leaving long hair on the top, comb-overs.

How long have you been a barber?

JPM: “I have been a barber for two years.”

Most interesting thing that’s happened since barbering in the downtown area?

JPM: When we opened the shop. Being young in the game, owning a shop so early in your career is an awesome milestone for anyone. The cool thing about 5 Star Barbers is that they are very diverse and each have a unique skill set. These skills have been passed along to each barber, making them well-rounded for all types of haircuts.

How does school not being in session impact your business?

JPM: We try to keep a steady growing client base with locals of all ages and types. But when school is in session we will accept the extra business with open arms; being busy in a job like this isn’t something to complain about.

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Furn Boca, barber at Barber Jon's, works on client, Brandon Ellingson.

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Furn Boca, Barber, Barber Jon's, 532 Nord Ave Chico, CA.
Working on client, Brandon Ellingson. Photo credit: Jordan Rodrigues

Most Common Hair Cut?

Furn Boca: Classic Men’s haircuts.

How long have you been a barber?

FB: I have been cutting hair since I was a kid, but I have been licensed for seven years now.

Most interesting thing that’s happened since barbering in the downtown area?

FB: The most interesting thing that I have done as a barber is give women undercuts. Another thing is going to Chico State every year to shave heads for the cancer support event. We’ve been doing that a number of years; it’s a great feeling. We appreciate the school calling out to us.

How does school not being in session impact your business?

FB: “If we didn’t have the hospital or the university, we’d be a little cow town.

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Sage Bragg of Chico's Barber Shop. Photo credit: Jordan Rodrigues

Most Common Hair Cut?

Sage Bragg: My favorite style is to cut a fade and use shears on the top. I still love using my shears; it brings me back to cosmetology days.

How long have you been a barber?

SB: I have been a barber for about two and half years now.

Most interesting thing that’s happened since barbering in the downtown area?

SB: I don’t know which story to tell you because being a barber brings you so many funny, crazy and interesting times. Every day in the shop something new happens that tops the last story we had. But the coolest thing is a guy’s face when I hand him the mirror and he sees his haircut.

How does school not being in session impact your business?

SB: Students being gone definitely impacts my clientele because we are downtown. We are a shop a lot of students go to. Thankfully we are also a very well rounded shop that has a big variety of clients, so we remain somewhat busy during the summers and holidays.

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Bill Rhoades and good friend, Bruno own Wild Cuts. Photo credit: Jordan Rodrigues

Most Common Hair Cut?

Bill Rhoades: Short men’s haircuts, fades, and old man haircuts.

How long have you been cutting hair?

BR: I have been cutting hair for a long time now and have been at this shop with Bruno for about five years.

Most interesting thing that’s happened since barbering in the downtown area?

BR: A couple of roommates came in together looking like they had a ‘fun’ night. The first guy gets his haircut, then the second. While I was cutting the second guy his roommate says, ‘You should’ve seen this big bitch he brought home last night!’ That was probably one of my favorite memories.

How does school not being in session impact your business?

BR: Chico State students make up about 65% of our business. Last summer was bad for everyone on this corner. Probably the worst since I’ve been in Chico.

Jordan Rodrigues can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.

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Local barbers behind cuts locals love