Just Kutz owner does more than just cut hair in Reed City

Barnhart: 'It's all about shopping local, and being supportive of our small town'

REED CITY — For some, getting a haircut is a chore. But for one Reed City resident and business owner, it’s become a lifelong passion and career. 

Lori Barnhart has been cutting hair for over 35 years. She began the profession in Grand Rapids before coming to Reed City and working above the old hardware store space in town before opening her own barbershop. 

Just Kutz, at 11 West Upton Ave., in Reed City, opened and allowed Barnhart to take on more clients.

Barnhart said she found experience through her education in hairdressing. 

“Early on, I couldn't afford to go all the way across state for 18 months to go to barber school,” Barnhart said, “I talked to the barber that mentored me. He said, go to cosmetology school, I'll teach everything else. I went to Chic University for 1,500 credit hours and then took my state exams. As soon as I passed, I went to work for Kings Room Inc. Joe Booker was my mentor for 20 years."

Just Kutz caters to many styles and haircuts, but Barnhart specialized in working with men’s haircuts.

Barnhart said there are some different varieties of cuts these days. 

“Flat tops are my ultimate favorite,” Barnhart said. “They're very challenging with every client, the high and tight military styles. Even today's styles are different, and they're challenging in their own way. It's the customer that makes it challenging and different every day.” 

“Some say they'll never go anywhere else,” she added. "They say that they're so appreciative that I'm here. I absolutely love every day and every minute of it.” 

Barnhart is known in the community for attending local fundraisers and said residents are often kind.

“They're great, and it’s a close-knit, friendly community that all comes together," Barnhart said. "It's all about shopping local, and being supportive of our small town.

“If someone comes in and they need help with a benefit for anything, I support that,” she added. “This winter, we just did the ice hockey ice arena (fundraiser), and I donated to that. I give certificates for any benefits that are going on. My family has a ranch in Chase, and we do an annual cancer ride benefit called the Race for a Cure, it benefits the Susan P. Wheatlake Center here in town. I’m real big into that. I try to help out where I can and be as committed to our community as everyone else is.” 

For more information on Just Kutz, visit the shop’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/haircuts07.