Favourite local barber or hairstylist
1. Ari Jakobson (Olafur’s)
2. Walter Spooner (Waltz On In)
3. Ashley L’Heureux (Sapphire)
Ari Jakobson got into barbering as a way to help out friends in need.
“I had friends who didn’t want to go get a haircut, and I got booked as the friend-group barber,” Jakobson says. “Then I wanted to give good haircuts, so I went to hair school.”
That was seven years ago. Jakobson has since gained a reputation as a talented barber with a dedicated clientele.
Jakobson reciprocates his clients’ dedication feeling “adjacent” to many of their lives.
“I really feel close and connected to my clients,” he says. “You are around for all the special occasions. You get a haircut for a wedding or a first date or a new job interview ... You get the highlight reel.”
For the past couple years, Jakobson has worked at Waltz On In but recently left, on amicable terms, to pursue a career cutting hair in his home.
Waltz On In “was awesome. I was one of the four original people there. We worked long, long hours setting up the business to what it is,” Jakob - son says. “They are really good friends of mine.”
Jakobson’s pivot to solo work came after a wrist injury that required him to slow his pace down. That pace and work scheduling can be a challenge for many barbers.
“You work when people are available. If someone works a 9-to-5, you have to work 5 to 9,” Jakobson says. “It's a job that can easily slip into burnout and betraying your own boundaries.”
Despite slowing down the pace, Jakobson is happy as a barber and does not seem to be stopping anytime soon.
“You get to be there for people. You get to pump their tires. You get to make them look and feel good,” Jakobson says. “That's why I keep working. It's the relationships and the community I’ve built.”
Published in Volume 77, Number 12 of The Uniter (December 1, 2022)