By Brad Lucht
It was Emmanuel Thompson’s goal since he started barber school to open his open shop. On October 1st that dream came true when Legacy Cutz opened their door for the first time.
Thompson had been a barber for six years, cutting hair at Freeman’s Plaze north of Gomer’s Square. Two years ago he began looking for a place to start his own shop. He knew he wanted to stay close to the neighborhood.
“I love the area, the diversity, the people. For me it is an ideal place to have a barbershop,” Thompson said.
He frequently went to eat lunch at Price Chopper or Happy Dragon, and saw a spot had opened up in the Watt’s Mill Plaza building that also held the old Applebee’s.
“So the guy that helped me buy my house, I talked to him, and the next thing you know we were negotiating.”
Thompson started cutting hair when he was 16 years old. What started out of necessity grew into a passion.
“We grew up without a lot of money, so when I finally got my hair cut, I had to maintain it, so I started cutting my own hair,” Thompson explained. “That’s what really made me start, by cutting my own hair. Cutting my brother’s hair, all sorts of friends.”
Co-owner Chesere Gayhardt has a similar story, with a slightly different cut.
“Didn’t have a lot of money when I was in college. Getting a haircut for the weekend, go out and hang with the fellas, just didn’t have the money. So my roommates convinced me to do this, shave it all off,” Gayhardt smiled, displaying his gleaming dome.
“I already had the natural knack, the artistic eye. Seeing variations of shades, highs, lows, that came kind of natural,” Gayhardt explained. “Kind of started out on friends, then transitioned from there.”
“It’s funny how life works out,” Gayhardt continued. “I was going to college to be an art teacher. That kind of translated into this instead, and so the same skills that I would take to do a water color painting or oil canvas painting, the same rules apply.
Legacy Cutz is a family friendly, multicultural shop. They want their neighbors to know anybody can get their hair cut there.
“The shop we came from was very culturally diverse,” Thompson said. “We’re trained to cut hair; no type of haircut is off limits.”
All five barbers at Legacy Cutz were trained at the Transformed Barber and Cosmetology Academy.
“They taught us we all got the same type of hair, just the texture is different. You got straight, you got kinky, you got curly. That’s the only thing that makes hair different.”
A Hot Towel Shave
Sometimes a haircut just isn’t enough. Legacy Cutz offers what they refer to as the movie star treatment, starting with old-fashioned hot towel shaves.
Follow that up with a charcoal mask, which is similar to a mud mask.
“It pulls out all the impurities in the face, blackheads, things of that nature,” Gayhardt explained. “It is a deep cleaning cleanse.”
Soon they will also be offering facials as well.
For those that are young and in the know, Legacy Cutz also does design work.
“Most people just Google images and bring them in,” said Thompson. “Or they’ll give us free rein and say, come up with something, make it look good.”
“Ultimately, we want everybody to know they’re welcome here,” concluded Gayhardt. “It’s more than just a barbershop, it’s a legacy.”
Legacy Cutz offers a $5 coupon good for your first visit. They are located at 1038 W 103rd St., and are open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Follow them on Facebook @legacycutzkc.