OKLAHOMA CITY – A wash, a haircut and a shave make up a typical day at JB’s Barber Shop, but the mission behind the shop is not.
JB Gaines and Anthony Morgan started working together in 2006. Since then, they’ve opened several barber shops across the metro, and even a barber college in south Oklahoma City.
The school serves as a gateway for those who have fallen on hard times and want another chance.
“A lot of inmates need a second chance,” JB Gaines, owner of JB’s Barber Shop, said.
Michael Brown got out of prison about 10 years ago and couldn’t find work.
“After I got out of prison, I was lost for awhile. I tried to get jobs here or there. I was denied because of my tattoos,” Brown said.
Then he heard about JB’s barber college and was able to obtain a grant to go through the $11,000 program for free.
“Started working with him and sky’s the limit from there,” Brown said.
Now, he’s the manager of the barber shop in Moore.
J.J. Martin was also able to attend the college for free, and has been a professional barber for around four years now.
“I wouldn’t be nowhere. I wouldn’t be cutting hair right now. JB saved my life,” Martin said.
Grants made available to low-income students are helping those might otherwise not be able to attend the school.
“They would get out of prison and do some of the same things. When they come in, [they] actually see that someone cares about them and cares about their future,” Gaines said.
“That’s my past. Ever since I started barbering, I don’t even think about that anymore. That’s so far in my past,” Brown said.