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Luther College provides haircuts for students of color struggling to find barber locally

Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 7:18 PM CDT
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Decorah, IOWA (KTTC) – Luther College in Decorah, Iowa is making sure students of color, who struggle to find a barber locally, are able to get a proper haircut.

The unique opportunity has been available to students for more than a year now, all thanks to a traveling barber.

We all know how good it feels when you walk out of the hair salon with a fresh cut, but for some people in our area, it can be more difficult to find a stylist or barber who is experienced with different hair types.

And that is a challenge some Black students at Luther College have been dealing with in the past.

Luther College sophomore getting a haircut
Luther College sophomore getting a haircut(KTTC)

“There’s not very many different haircut spots available in town,” Luther College Sophomore Dillan Gulley said.

Decorah is a smaller community and to find a barber experienced in cutting Black hair, some students have to drive the hour and a half to Rochester.

“Having a haircut always feels nice when you’re competing. Look good, play good.”

“I just love to see the smiles and the things that I do,” Uncle Gill’s Cutz Owner and Barber Gill Jordan said. “You know, I had a lot of experiences and I just want to give back in any way I can.”

Luther College saw the need for students of color to have a proper haircut and has been working with Jordan, a barber based in Rochester and Winona.

“It’s nice, you get to talk to Uncle Gill,” Gulley said. “When they send us the appointments, we all try to get there as quick as possible. We all text each other and let each other know what days he’s coming.”

Jordan makes the drive to Decorah every other Monday to provide these students free expert haircuts and a sense of community.

“I just think it’s needed,” Jordan said. “I think in communities as well, you know where people can get together, be able to relate and stuff like that. It builds communities and builds people also.”

Gill Jordan cutting Luther College students hair
Gill Jordan cutting Luther College students hair(KTTC)

Jordan says his chair also provides students with someone outside the school to talk to about family issues, school and everything else in between.

“So, that has been my thing; to give back,” Jordan said. “I haven’t had the best life growing up and stuff like that, so I kind of know how it’s needed, and especially to have a male figure to talk to.”

Jordan hopes to keep providing haircuts for Luther students for years to come.

He also makes trips to UW-Stout to give students haircuts and hopes to expand his work to other schools in the future.

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