As Olivet enters into spring, many students are still walking around with their winter hibernation mops. There are many options for students who want a spring haircut, including some that are right on campus – student barbers. These student barbers operate right out of their dorm or apartment rooms. In most cases, they also offer a cheaper price for haircuts than a barber shop, so that broke college students don’t have to empty their wallets.
Luke Salomone is a student barber in the Stadium apartments. He learned to cut his own hair in high school, and began cutting others’ hair freshman year at Olivet. During haircuts he will play music or put on Netflix for clients who are interested.
Salomone charges $5 for his services, which mostly caters to guys. Salomone is most commonly asked to cut a fade style (short on the side, longer on the top), but he said, “I can change it up a little bit.”
He doesn’t normally offer his services for girls, but he said, “If a girl wants a guy who has barely ever cut a girls hair, they can arrange a time.”
For appointments, Salomone works on a case-by-case basis, working with his client’s schedule, but he is often open at 8-11 p.m. on weeknights. Haircuts take anywhere from 30-45 minutes.
JP Bopp is a student barber that operates out of the Oaks apartments. Bopp learned to cut hair by watching his mother (a hair instructor) and watching YouTube videos.
Bopp can cut both girls and guys hair, but he is only comfortable trimming a girl’s hair. He prices his cuts at $5 for guys and $7 for girls.
Bopp is proficient in many different guys hair styles, he said, “I haven’t found a haircut I haven’t been able to do.” He most commonly cuts the fade, but for other styles all he needs is a picture. Bopp is also familiar with cutting ethnic hair.
Bopp enjoys playing music while cutting hair and has said that he, “Can cater the music needs to what [customers] like.”
Bopp takes appointments and works with the client’s schedule; he also isn’t opposed to later night haircuts. Just recently he did a house call to Nesbitt third floor, cutting the students’ hair on the floor for a couple hours.
Ashley Nagel is a student barber who operates out of Williams. Nagel learned to cut hair through attending cosmetology school for two years in high school, and being guided by her mom who is a trained beautician.
Nagel charges $5 for guys and $5- 10 for girls.
She can do many different kinds of styles for both girls and guys, she said, “I do everything with hair, girls and guys; I can do hair, makeup, and nail.” She offers a wide range of beauty options including hair coloring and perms.
Standard price for coloring is $20, Nagel said, “I work really well with people and usually I take what my supplies are going to cost (for coloring) and add $5-10.” In terms of her other services, she will price it case-by-case.
Nagel mentioned that it is, “A lot easier for a girl to come to me… they aren’t paying anywhere near what it would cost at a salon.”
Nagel takes appointments and works with clients’ schedules, as well. She primarily works out of Williams, where haircuts can take anywhere from 10-45 minutes depending on how extensive it is.
Kyle Johnston is an RA student Barber who operates out of Oaks apartments. He started cutting his sister’s hair in high school. During his sophomore year as an RA in Hills, Johnston cut his residents hair as a way to connect with them.
As an act of service Johnston does all of his cuts for free, he said, “My freshman year I couldn’t afford to get a haircut, and since then I don’t want to charge people if they can’t afford it.” While he offers his services for free, he does appreciate tips, and makes more time for those who do tip him.
Johnston is able to do most kinds of haircuts for guys, but has promised to refer clients to someone else if he doesn’t know the specific style. Johnston also is open to doing trims for girls, but nothing much past that. Johnston is also familiar with cutting ethnic hair.
Johnston takes appointments at his apartment, working with clients’ schedules. He enjoys trying to connect with those he cuts hair for and usually will play music in the background.
This is just a handful of the many student barbers on campus. There are many in every dorm and apartments across campus. For those looking for more familiar options, or interested in seeing a comparison of prices, there are many local barbershops in Bourbonnais: Erik’s Barber Shop charges $15 and up for haircuts, Heavenly Cuts Barber Shop charges between $15 and $25, Status Men charges $15 and up, and Rome’s Hair Care charges $17 and up.
–Jeremy McGrath, contributing writer