A pop-up barbershop at Michigan Technological University boosts student self-esteem
and a perception of belonging by providing hair care for all textures.
It is not seeking like a excellent hair day – snow pelts campus with slush blobs and sloppy
flakes, alternating with drizzle. But within Michigan Tech’s Wood Fitness center, in the repurposed
place which is been reworked into a barbershop, the only precipitation is spritz from
the spray bottle expertly wielded by Manny Hernandez of The Great Lifestyle Barber Lounge. The vibrant lights are on so is the audio. Consumers, who booked on the internet in progress,
are submitting 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 latest decades, Huskies who could afford the time and expense have been touring
98 miles to Hernandez’s store in Marquette for a barbershop expertise that can help them
search and really feel their best. Now Hernandez is coming to them. For him, it is a way to
present purchasers considerably absent from their hometown barber with a common experience crucial
to their all round effectively-remaining. For Michigan Tech, it’s a way to assist learners truly feel at
house — an embodiment of the feeling of belonging the College desires for every single Husky.
“Barbering is a tradition,” claims Hernandez. “There’s tunes, positivity, excellent lights
— a familiarity and comfortability. Which is section of my mission, to make them feel as
fantastic and comfy as attainable.”
“To know that they can glance excellent and sense very good — that grooming for self-esteem is
so vital. I am happy to be a element of it.”
A haircut seems like a modest detail right up until you don’t have entry to a qualified who
understands how to work with your hair. Some Huskies would go from August to Thanksgiving
crack, hanging on until they got residence to their standard barber. Other individuals would get jointly
and minimize just about every other’s hair.
“I would go to Marquette to get a minimize from Manny, or go couple of and much among,” says Jamie Phillips. A pupil in the doctorate of actual physical remedy software MTU gives in partnership with Central Michigan College, Phillips gained his bachelor’s
diploma in workout science in 2016. “When I was an undergrad there was a man on the soccer team that reduce hair,”
claims Phillips, a previous Tech goalie. “I’m extremely glad he (Manny) is in this article and with any luck ,
we’ll increase the frequency of visits.”
Finlandia University students are also welcome to indicator up for appointments, says Chris Sanders, multicultural scholar accomplishment coordinator and interim assistant director of the
Michigan Tech Centre for Variety and Inclusion. “It’s a bigger challenge for the local community, not just URM (underrepresented minority)
college students,” suggests Sanders, noting that as Michigan Tech moves ahead with its variety
and inclusion initiatives, demand for solutions and possibilities that enable all learners
to truly feel and do their greatest in a arduous tutorial surroundings will maximize. “We want
to be all set for that growing community,” he adds.
A Husky-led Initiative
Helping learners find hair care for all textures has been an ongoing need to have at Michigan
Tech. A student-athlete’s discovery a lot more than a yr back catalyzed the campus barbershop
“I went two and a 50 % months without a haircut when I arrived listed here,” states Justin Davis.
“As a Black guy, in our culture, haircuts, the way we look, our fashion is genuinely critical
… When I never have my hair slice, I use a hat.”
The 2nd-year MBA college student and large receiver on the MTU football team found out Hernandez by a good friend
in Marquette and attained out early on to search for strategies to deliver the expertise to Tech.
The plan didn’t materialize until finally not long ago, when Michigan Tech Vice President of Range and Inclusion (VPDI) Wayne Gersie went to Manny for his very own haircut. “He explained, ‘We seriously will need
anything like this at Tech,’” remembers Hernandez. And so the system took shape.
“We experienced talked about it the earlier couple many years,” states Alexandra Marshall, affiliate
director of residence schooling. “This time, the timing was just correct. It happened immediately. Wayne had Manny’s card.
We known as that working day and began the ball rolling.”
The pop-up barbershop is in particular uplifting soon after the pressure Huskies have felt during
the pandemic, Marshall claims. “I want every university student who walks in our doorways to truly feel
at home in this article.”
“Housing is all about community and building connections. This was 1 of all those wins
we desired — to do the job on a project that lets us be back again to who we are.”
Micah Johnson, a very first-calendar year student from the Iron Array of northern Minnesota majoring
in mechanical engineering technological innovation, obtained the initially haircut of his school days in the pop-up barbershop. “It is a type of self-treatment,” he says, “but for me, the benefit is half the cause I
did it. If he comes consistently, that will work for me!”
Sanders states the folks operating on the project are committed to producing it a long-lasting
The barbershop initiative is supported throughout campus and contains grant funding for
lasting equipment. In addition to the VPDI’s business office and Residence Education and learning and
Housing Products and services, supporters include Michigan Tech Athletics, the Vice President of Pupil Affairs and Dean of Pupils Business office, and quite a few other MTU team and school users who have place care and strength into
Equally Hernandez and Davis say the largest takeaway from the barbershop initiative transcends
university student hair treatment — it’s displaying Huskies the worth of earning their requires very clear
to the individuals who are ready to listen.
“Ask and connect what you want. You can now explain to Michigan Tech is in this article for
their pupils. And that is not just linked to barbering,” Hernandez says. “It’s relevant
to your encounter in this article and your time here at Tech.”
For much more details on barbershop dates and situations, test out the MTU Middle For Range and Inclusion’s web page and social media.
Michigan Technological College is a community investigate university established in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is household to more than 7,000 pupils from 55 nations close to the entire world. Continually ranked among the greatest universities in the nation for return on investment, the University offers much more than 125 undergraduate and graduate diploma plans in science and technological innovation, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, overall health professions, humanities, arithmetic, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Exceptional in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, featuring calendar year-spherical options for outdoor journey.