New Barber Continues In Parents’ Footsteps

By Karee Magee
The Bismarck Tribune, N.D.

A passion for barbering and tradition has brought Bismarck native, Kim Baker, home to start her own business about four months after her parents, Ron and Janet Baker, closed the doors of the Arrowhead Plaza Barbershop after 27 years.

As a former beautician, Baker credits her parents with her talent and love for cutting hair, but she said women’s hairstyles weren’t for her.

“I wanted to still do hair, but I wanted a change,” she said. “I like the barbering and the background of barbering. I like doing the men’s cuts.”

Men’s hair cuts are more varied and complicated than most people believe, according to Baker.

“In beauty school, I learned the basic men’s cut. In barber school, I learned a whole different way to cut men’s hair,” said Baker, adding that the cuts, such as a flat top, can be complicated.

“A flat top is hard because you have to make it flat, and everyone’s got different-shaped heads,” said Baker, who, after five years of doing women’s hair, went to barber school before working for her parents at Arrowhead Plaza for three years.

Most recently, she worked as a barber in Spearfish, S.D., before returning to Bismarck in January.

“It’s home to me,” Baker said. “I’ve missed Bismarck.”

The best aspect of barbering is the tradition behind the profession, according to Baker, who says she is afraid that history will be lost as barbering declines.

“Barbers are hard to find,” she said. “The tradition I think is almost dying off. When all of the barbers retire, then who’s left to keep the tradition up?”

That doesn’t mean that there’s no room to modernize, according to Baker, who said barbers keep up with current styles and trends.

While renting her space, Baker plans to keep the tradition of the old-fashioned barbershops alive.

And she’s well on her way to making it look like a true barbershop with inherited signs, a barber pole and an old-style flat top comb from her parents.

For more information about the Straight Edge Barber Shop, 123 Rosser Ave., call 701-866-9879.

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