Pop-up Barbershop Brings Custom Cuts, Care and Culture to Campus

A pop-up barbershop at Michigan Technological University boosts pupil self-esteem
and a sense of belonging by furnishing hair care for all textures.

It’s not seeking like a very good hair day – snow pelts campus with slush blobs and sloppy
flakes, alternating with drizzle. But inside Michigan Tech’s Wood Gym, in the repurposed
room which is been remodeled into a barbershop, the only precipitation is spritz from
the spray bottle expertly wielded by Manny Hernandez of
The Good Lifetime Barber Lounge. The bright lights are on so is the new music. Shoppers, who booked online in advance,
are filing as a result of the pop-up barbershop on the 50 percent-hour like clockwork, a procession
of shaggy befores and freshly styled afters. 

In new a long time, Huskies who could manage the time and price have been traveling
98 miles to Hernandez’s shop in Marquette for a barbershop experience that allows them
seem and experience their greatest. Now Hernandez is coming to them. For him, it is a way to
supply clients far absent from their hometown barber with a acquainted working experience crucial
to their overall very well-staying. For Michigan Tech, it’s a way to help pupils come to feel at
property — an embodiment of the sense of belonging the College wishes for every Husky.

“Barbering is a tradition,” suggests Hernandez. “There’s music, positivity, excellent lights
— a familiarity and comfortability. That is portion of my mission, to make them really feel as
great and comfy as feasible.”

“To know that they can glimpse very good and feel superior — that grooming for self-esteem is
so crucial. I’m glad to be a part of it.”Manny Hernandez

A haircut appears to be like a tiny issue until eventually you really don’t have obtain to a experienced who
is aware of how to work with your hair. Some Huskies would go from August to Thanksgiving
crack, hanging on till they received residence to their common barber. Some others would get with each other
and minimize every other’s hair.

A man gets a haircut in a barber's chair with the barber holding scissors behind him. He wears a cape that says Good Times Barber Lounge.
When he couldn’t journey to a barber, former pupil-athlete Jamie Phillips would go
a extensive time concerning haircuts. The barbershop is a welcome change.

“I would go to Marquette to get a slash from Manny, or go handful of and considerably among,” says Jamie Phillips.  A university student in the doctorate of bodily treatment plan MTU presents in partnership with Central Michigan University, Phillips earned his bachelor’s
diploma in
exercising science in 2016. “When I was an undergrad there was a male on the soccer team that slash hair,”
says Phillips, a former Tech goalie. “I’m quite happy he (Manny) is in this article and ideally
we’ll boost the frequency of visits.” 

Finlandia College learners are also welcome to indication up for appointments, says Chris Sanders, multicultural college student good results coordinator and interim assistant director of the
Michigan Tech Heart for Variety and Inclusion. “It’s a much larger difficulty for the neighborhood, not just URM (underrepresented minority)
learners,” claims Sanders, noting that as Michigan Tech moves ahead with its variety
and inclusion initiatives, desire for providers and alternatives that permit all students
to sense and do their finest in a arduous academic natural environment will raise. “We want
to be ready for that expanding local community,” he adds.

A man with crossed arms smiles with wooden bleachers in a gym behind him.
Chris Sanders claims projects like the pop-up barbershop aid develop community.

A Husky-led Initiative

Assisting college students come across hair care for all textures has been an ongoing require at Michigan
Tech. A student-athlete’s discovery extra than a yr back catalyzed the campus barbershop

“I went two and a 50 % months devoid of a haircut when I arrived right here,” says Justin Davis.
“As a Black male, in our culture, haircuts, the way we look, our fashion is actually vital
… When I really do not have my hair minimize, I dress in a hat.”

A young man wearing a Michigan Tech football shirt stands under studio lights in a wood gym.
Justin Davis assists distribute the word about Michigan Tech’s pop-up barbershop.

The second-12 months MBA college student and broad receiver on the MTU football staff identified Hernandez by means of a pal
in Marquette and attained out early on to request approaches to bring the experience to Tech.
The plan didn’t materialize until lately, when Michigan Tech
Vice President of Variety and Inclusion (VPDI) Wayne Gersie went to Manny for his personal haircut. “He claimed, ‘We seriously want
a little something like this at Tech,’” recalls Hernandez. And so the prepare took condition.

“We experienced talked about it the past couple a long time,” claims Alexandra Marshall, affiliate
director of
residence education. “This time, the timing was just correct. It transpired immediately. Wayne experienced Manny’s card.
We named that day and begun the ball rolling.”

The pop-up barbershop is in particular uplifting immediately after the pressure Huskies have felt through
the pandemic, Marshall states. “I want just about every college student who walks in our doorways to experience
at property listed here.”

“Housing is all about neighborhood and producing connections. This was a single of individuals wins
we desired — to perform on a undertaking that allows us be back again to who we are.”Alexandra Marshall, MTU Residence Schooling and Housing Solutions

Micah Johnson, a initially-yr college student from the Iron Selection of northern Minnesota majoring
mechanical engineering technologies, bought the 1st haircut of his college days in the pop-up barbershop. “It is a variety of self-care,” he states, “but for me, the benefit is half the motive I
did it. If he arrives on a regular basis, that performs for me!”

A young man gets his hair barbered wearing a cape with the stylist behind him.
Micah Johnson, new to the Keweenaw, appreciated the relieve of on-campus hair care.

Sanders states the folks doing the job on the undertaking are committed to earning it a long term
University presenting. 

The barbershop initiative is supported throughout campus and features grant funding for
everlasting machines. In addition to the VPDI’s business office and Home Education and
Housing Solutions, supporters incorporate
Michigan Tech Athletics, the Vice President of Pupil Affairs and Dean of College students Office, and many other MTU staff members and school members who have set care and electricity into
the hard work.

Both equally Hernandez and Davis say the most significant takeaway from the barbershop initiative transcends
pupil hair care — it is displaying Huskies the great importance of making their requires obvious
to the persons who are completely ready to hear.

“Ask and communicate what you want. You can previously convey to Michigan Tech is right here for
their pupils. And that is not just similar to barbering,” Hernandez states. “It’s linked
to your encounter here and your time listed here at Tech.”

For much more data on barbershop dates and moments, look at out the MTU Middle For Diversity and Inclusion’s site and social media.

Michigan Technological University is a public investigate college started in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is property to more than 7,000 pupils from 55 international locations around the world. Continuously ranked among the very best universities in the place for return on investment, the University delivers extra than 125 undergraduate and graduate diploma programs in science and technological innovation, engineering, computing, forestry, organization and economics, well being professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is located just miles from Lake Excellent in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, providing calendar year-spherical chances for outdoor adventure.