A pop-up barbershop at Michigan Technological University boosts pupil self-esteem
and a feeling of belonging by offering hair treatment for all textures.
It is not searching like a good hair day – snow pelts campus with slush blobs and sloppy
flakes, alternating with drizzle. But inside Michigan Tech’s Wood Fitness center, in the repurposed
place that is been remodeled into a barbershop, the only precipitation is spritz from
the spray bottle expertly wielded by Manny Hernandez of The Fantastic Everyday living Barber Lounge. The brilliant lights are on so is the music. Consumers, who booked on line in progress,
are submitting as a result of the pop-up barbershop on the half-hour like clockwork, a procession
of shaggy befores and freshly styled afters.
In latest a long time, Huskies who could pay for the time and expenditure have been traveling
98 miles to Hernandez’s store in Marquette for a barbershop knowledge that assists them
look and experience their most effective. Now Hernandez is coming to them. For him, it’s a way to
supply clientele far absent from their hometown barber with a common expertise important
to their over-all effectively-being. For Michigan Tech, it’s a way to assist learners feel at
home — an embodiment of the perception of belonging the University would like for each Husky.
“Barbering is a lifestyle,” suggests Hernandez. “There’s songs, positivity, great lighting
— a familiarity and comfortability. That’s portion of my mission, to make them experience as
superior and relaxed as doable.”
“To know that they can glance fantastic and really feel great — that grooming for self-esteem is
so essential. I am happy to be a element of it.”
A haircut appears like a compact thing till you never have accessibility to a professional who
knows how to work with your hair. Some Huskies would go from August to Thanksgiving
break, hanging on until finally they got house to their standard barber. Other folks would get together
and reduce every single other’s hair.
“I would go to Marquette to get a cut from Manny, or go handful of and much in between,” says Jamie Phillips. A university student in the doctorate of physical remedy method MTU gives in partnership with Central Michigan University, Phillips attained his bachelor’s
degree in training science in 2016. “When I was an undergrad there was a dude on the football workforce that cut hair,”
suggests Phillips, a previous Tech goalie. “I’m incredibly glad he (Manny) is in this article and with any luck ,
we’ll maximize the frequency of visits.”
Finlandia College students are also welcome to indication up for appointments, says Chris Sanders, multicultural college student success coordinator and interim assistant director of the
Michigan Tech Center for Range and Inclusion. “It’s a more substantial difficulty for the local community, not just URM (underrepresented minority)
students,” suggests Sanders, noting that as Michigan Tech moves forward with its diversity
and inclusion initiatives, need for expert services and options that make it possible for all pupils
to sense and do their finest in a demanding educational natural environment will improve. “We want
to be ready for that developing neighborhood,” he provides.
A Husky-led Initiative
Serving to college students discover hair treatment for all textures has been an ongoing require at Michigan
Tech. A university student-athlete’s discovery more than a calendar year in the past catalyzed the campus barbershop
“I went two and a half months without having a haircut when I came here,” states Justin Davis.
“As a Black person, in our society, haircuts, the way we appear, our fashion is definitely essential
… When I don’t have my hair minimize, I use a hat.”
The second-12 months MBA scholar and broad receiver on the MTU football crew discovered Hernandez through a mate
in Marquette and achieved out early on to request ways to convey the working experience to Tech.
The plan didn’t materialize until recently, when Michigan Tech Vice President of Range and Inclusion (VPDI) Wayne Gersie went to Manny for his have haircut. “He mentioned, ‘We genuinely will need
a little something like this at Tech,’” recollects Hernandez. And so the program took condition.
“We had talked about it the earlier few yrs,” says Alexandra Marshall, associate
director of residence schooling. “This time, the timing was just appropriate. It took place quickly. Wayne had Manny’s card.
We referred to as that working day and began the ball rolling.”
The pop-up barbershop is primarily uplifting following the strain Huskies have felt all through
the pandemic, Marshall says. “I want every student who walks in our doors to really feel
at dwelling below.”
“Housing is all about group and creating connections. This was a person of those people wins
we desired — to operate on a venture that lets us be again to who we are.”
Micah Johnson, a 1st-year scholar from the Iron Selection of northern Minnesota majoring
in mechanical engineering know-how, acquired the to start with haircut of his faculty days in the pop-up barbershop. “It is a sort of self-treatment,” he says, “but for me, the ease is 50 percent the explanation I
did it. If he will come frequently, that operates for me!”
Sanders says the persons doing work on the challenge are committed to generating it a everlasting
The barbershop initiative is supported across campus and incorporates grant funding for
everlasting products. In addition to the VPDI’s business office and Home Training and
Housing Providers, supporters consist of Michigan Tech Athletics, the Vice President of University student Affairs and Dean of Pupils Office, and quite a few other MTU personnel and college members who have put care and power into
Both equally Hernandez and Davis say the biggest takeaway from the barbershop initiative transcends
college student hair care — it’s displaying Huskies the great importance of making their requirements very clear
to the individuals who are ready to listen.
“Ask and communicate what you want. You can presently convey to Michigan Tech is below for
their pupils. And that is not just linked to barbering,” Hernandez says. “It’s associated
to your encounter right here and your time right here at Tech.”
For much more information on barbershop dates and instances, check out the MTU Center For Diversity and Inclusion’s website and social media.
Michigan Technological University is a general public exploration university established in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is house to extra than 7,000 learners from 55 international locations around the world. Regularly rated between the most effective universities in the state for return on expense, the College presents much more than 125 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and engineering, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, arithmetic, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Top-quality in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, supplying year-round options for outdoor experience.