At Everett barber school, it’ll only cost you a hair

A haircut for $1?

No way.

Yes way. That’s what the sign on Everett Mall Way said, with “Go Hawks” above the $1 deal to grab attention, as if it needed more attention.

That’s two haircuts for the price of one gallon of gas. That’s crazy.

What’s up with that?

It’s typical of the deals at Paroba College to drum up business for its barber students.

Sometimes, it’s $3. Or $1.99. Different specials. Different days.

“When it’s slow for the barbers, we just randomly come up with them and post a sign by the road,” said Amber Edwards, receptionist at the beauty career school that also has cosmetology and aesthetics services.

Barber cuts aren’t for men only.

“We get women with long hair in here who want it trimmed. Anybody, no matter how long your hair is, how thick,” Edwards said.

Barber students learn cuts and styles for all scalps as well as braiding, clipping, designing, shaving, shampooing and working with artificial hair.

Barber cuts are normally $5 at the walk-in friendly school.

It gives the students experience, said barber instructor Patience Hoffman, who has a class of 23 students, including two women.

“We do senior centers for free,” Hoffman said. “We need a lot of guys to practice haircuts with.”

The more heads the merrier. Nonprofits can contact the school to arrange free cuts by barber students, said Mary Kay Jurovcik, Paroba marketing director.

“In the last several years there’s been this resurgence of the traditional barbershop,” Jurovcik said. “The hot water shave is really in fashion right now. Men’s grooming has become more popular. We’re seeing a huge uptick in men taking care of their nails, their skin, getting facials. That is universally true in our industry.”

For barbers, it takes 1,000 hours of training to get eligible for the state exam. The cosmetology program is 1,600 hours and a different curriculum.

Everett resident Alexis Abarca, 21, is halfway through the eight-month barber program.

“By May, I should be graduating from here and starting on my new journey,” he said. “I’m going to get my foot in the door somewhere and after that build my own shop, and then from there start an empire.”

Abarca and clippers go way back. “When I was about 12, I grabbed the clippers and did my own hair. I cut my brother’s hair, my dad’s hair,” he said. “When I was little, I was a troubled kid. I changed my life around. I like cutting hair. It’s kind of therapy. It makes people feel good about themselves.”

It was from a $1 “Go Hawks” haircut customer that Abarca got his biggest tip ever: $20. “The guy really liked his haircut,” he said.

Student Roy Buch, 18, commutes from Seattle.

“My mom’s a barber,” Buch said. “I just didn’t know what I wanted to do with myself and I was going to join the military at first. I never really paid attention before, but after I started watching my mom I got more interested.”

It’s harder than it looks.

“Just knowing all the angles you need to know to cut the hair,” he said. “And women’s hair. I get more nervous.”

Everett mom Sarah Martin brings herself and her kids to Paroba for cuts.

“I know they’re just students cutting the hair,” she said, “but they do just as good of a job as a professional salon for less than half the price and they get the experience. I’ve always been satisfied.”

Ditto for her son, Kaiden Jay, 10. “I always get a haircut I like and it gets done really well, too,” he said. “I try different ways.”

That included a big Seahawks logo shaved into the side of his head.

All for an extra $5.

What’s Up With That? takes a look at some of the unique and unexplained wonders of Snohomish County. Send suggestions to Andrea Brown at 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @reporterbrown. Read more What’s Up With That? at www.heraldnet.com/whatsup.

More info

Paroba College is at 607 SE Everett Mall Way, Suite 5, Everett. Barbering services are 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday. For more, call 425-353-8193 or go to paroba.edu.

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