10976 North Freeway
Houston, TX 77037 (281) 847-1002
November 2010-People sometimes travel to fancy places like the Astrodome or the Galleria in order to enjoy Houston. They believe that the only way to have a good time in Houston is to spend large amounts of money at luxurious restaurants and attractions. Places like the Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park may be very fun and unique locations to visit while in Houston. However, there is a place that can please a person just as much. The only difference is that they will not have to spend a large amount of money there in order to have a good time. In fact, a person will not spend any more than twenty dollars while inside unless you just feel obligated to give a generous donation. Also, you will not need to travel half way around the world in order to visit.
Boomerang Cuts Barbershop is really one of the few places in Houston that a person will enjoy visiting without gaining anything other than a friendly environment and a nice conversation. The barbershop has made multiple appearances in the Houston Chronicle being called “…one of the best barbershops in Houston.” In my opinion it should have been headlined, “The Best Barbershop in Houston” because I believe that it truly is. They “design some of the most stylish haircuts and hairstyles In Houston…” as stated in the Houston Chronicle, but more importantly there is no other establishment in Houston where a person can receive as much generosity as they will while visiting The Boomerang Cuts Barbershop. It is truly the place to visit while in Houston.
Boomerang Cuts Barbershop is one of the few original barbershops in Houston that has survived the arrival of new barbershops that are equipped with high tech clippers, expensive commercials, and flashy billboards that just about blind you. The new barbershops utilize these things in order to advertise their business and increase their clientele. Boomerang Cuts Barbershop does not need these tactics in order to keep clients coming back. Their top-of-the-line haircuts, generosity, and family environment is enough to keep customers returning. All kinds of races, from Latinos and Caucasians to African Americans and Indians, come in and out of the barbershop every day. It is a true representation of what the Houston community is like most. Non-Houstonians might think of Houston as a city full of people that only care about chopped and screwed music and trucks. Though the barbershop might play chopped and screwed music from time to time, that is not the only kind of music we listen to. I found it hilarious when a Californian once asked me if I knew what MTV was until I realized he was not joking. The fact is that Houston is “…one of the most diverse cities when it comes to race and ethnicity…” (www.visithoustontexas.com). More importantly, Houston is also filled with caring, and friendly people like the ones you’ll find at Boomerang Cuts Barbershop.
The Boomerang Cuts Barbershop has been a part of the Houston city since 1982, and the barbershop has not moved from its location in the Greenspoint community. Although the exterior has been recently painted with beige paint, the old octagonal shaped windows in the front of the shop and the original 1980’s red and white striped pillar beside the door hints to just how long the barbershop has been around. It might not be as appealing to the eye as the Pyramids of Egypt, but unlike the Pyramids you feel a sense of homey security as you approach the sidewalk to the barbershop. It’s as if the barbershop is extending its hand to you, beckoning you to come in where it is safe. You might think its safety is due to its location directly behind a recently built elementary school, however, throughout the twenty years the barbershop has been in operation, the police have never had to pay a visit to Boomerang Cuts except for medical emergencies. This is very surprising considering that it is located at the heart of a high crime area. No one really knows why no one has ever tried to rob the barbershop or commit any type of crimes in or near the barbershop. It may be because all of the barbers are very muscular black men or possibly because the local community knows the barbershop is a true family. Whatever the reason may be, it seems to have kept all of the violence of the outside world on the outside of the barbershop.
Inside, the noise of clippers and obvious bellowing of blow dryers greet you. If you are lucky, you might stumble in on the barbers and clients in the middle of a discussion about a controversial topic. The last time I entered two of the barbers, Bernard and Juan, were discussing whether or not President Obama should be considered the first black president since his mother is a white female.
“Maybe he could be named the first half-black president, Bernard, because that’s all he is.” says Juan in a comical but stern manner.
When Lil Wayne was sent to prison last year, everyone was talking about it. “The police is just hatin’ because Wayne is at the top of his game. They can’t help but to bring my boy down when he’s at the top.” said, Richy, another barber. A client of his replied saying, “ Oh shut up Richy. The only reason you say that is because you’re still working here instead of releasing platinum albums like you said you were gonna do for the last five years.”
These are just a couple examples of the many conversations that take place in the barbershop. The topics range from entertainers to politics and usually go on for about two hours, but there is never really any hostility displayed towards each other. That is why many people love going to the Boomerang Cuts Barbershop. You can talk about anything you without being judged or receiving negative comments from the others. It is a place to express your opinions, and questions asked.This open acceptance of clients and ideas makes Boomerang Cuts Barbershop a place to get away from all of the chaos in your life and just relax.
The waiting area for the clients smells like a mixture of the barber’s hair grease and the cleaning products they use to clean their combs and clippers as you enter. As you lean back to get your haircut or hairdo, the first thing you might see is that the ceiling looks as though it were the original ceiling tiles with the many yellow stains from water on the roof. The tile on the floor looks like crystal clear seawater. It is aqua blue engulfed in a wave like pattern. If you stare at it long enough you might even feel as though you’re wading in the fresh waters of the Bahamas. Also, there are two vending machines filled with overpriced snacks and drinks for the waiting clients. The first time I used one of the vending machines I was about seven years old, at the time, and my mom had dropped me off at the barbershop to get a haircut for the first day of school. I had seventy-five cents in my pocket and decided to get a Snickers bar. I put my change in the machine, entered the code, and two minutes later I was still staring at the machine, just realizing there would be no Snickers for me, and that it had stolen my last bit of change. I must have cried for about five hours until it was time for me to get my haircut. I never like those vending machines after that. Now as I sit in the comfy chairs waiting to get my haircut, I ignore it’s pleas for money and focus on the twelve artistic barbers chomping away at their client’s hair, creating and designing a true works of art. All kinds of hair is scattered on the floor around them: curly hair, black hair…even fake hair.
If the barbers themselves aren’t enough to keep your interest, the recreational area might. It is open to anyone and everyone, including children and babies. They have an X-Box 360 for the children, teenagers, and even the more juvenile adults. It can get very loud in this area as the kids really get into the game, and occasionally you can hear a few kids crying after being defeated. They feel as though their world has come to an end. The X-Box 360 is probably the most up to date piece of technology in the barbershop, except for the alarm system. Most of the barbers still use the foldable razor blade that has been used since the early 1900’s instead of the newer electronic clippers. This again reflects just how original the barbershop really is. There is a separate area for the infants to rest without being disturbed by all of the ruckus and loud conversations throughout the barbershop.
As a child growing up in the Greenspoint community, there was always a lot of chaos in the environment that I witnessed firsthand. Drug dealers running from the police, grocery stores getting robbed. There were not too many places I could go and feel as if nothing could harm me. In fact, I can only remember two specific locations allowed me to feel safe which are my home and the Boomerang Cuts Barbershop. It was not only a barbershop, but a safe haven. It has always provided me and the members of my community with the mental protection from the outside world. While sitting in the recreational room of the barbershop or in the chair getting my haircut, I felt like nothing in the world could harm me. It’s no wonder as to why Boomerang Cuts Barbershop,”…keeps all clients coming back.”
Jermaine Thomas grew up in Houston, Texas with his mother and four younger siblings. He is a first year undergraduate student attending the University of Houston-Downtown. He is currently working on his Bachelor’s in Computer Science. Afterwards, he will then move on to attaining a Master’s in Software Engineering. Jermaine plans to use these degrees to pursue a career as a computer software engineer.