Jennifer Richmond, 47
Master Stylist at Rock’s Bar and Hair Shop
How did you get into being a hairstylist?
My first husband—it was a dare. It really was. I was in nursing school and I hated it, and he told me to quit. I was an at-home mom, and he got sick of [the kids] looking like Angela Davis. They wore afros every day. He was like, “Why don’t you go to beauty college and do hair?” I said, “I can’t do hair, I don’t want to do that.” And he said, “If anything else, do the kids’ hair.”
What do you feel a good barber or barbershop adds to a community?
I think it’s a place where especially men—we do a lot of women, too—where people can come together and talk and be themselves. I remember growing up, women went to beauty salons and men and went to barbershops. When I was going to barbershops with my brothers and my cousins, it was a way for men to get together and talk about manly stuff. And a lot of that happens here, too. It makes people feel good that we keep it more old-timey hip. Everybody can be themselves.
What is one thing that you love and one thing you wish people knew about your job?
There’s never a dull moment. I don’t care if you do the same haircut every day, all day. Every person in your chair is different. What people need to know is that we work hard. “Oh, you only do hair.” It’s not just mental, this job can be physically draining, too. We have to stand behind a chair for eight to 10 hours, and you just stand there and cut hair. It puts a lot of pressure on my legs and my back.
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