It’s three days into Burning Man and you’re ready to abandon that tangled mess that used to be your hair. Great, because Barber Ella Shop wants to give you a mohawk! And they want to do it while wearing silver spandex, white high-heeled boots, and enormous blond Jane Fonda wigs.
Barber Ella Shop brings together two of life’s most meaningful rites of passages: haircutting and watching movies that feature anti-gravity breasts. As both a barber shop camp and a living homage to the 1968 sexploitation sci-fi classic Barbarella, we gift our hair-related services in the name of playa-dos both ridiculous and ridiculously awesome. Decked out like an old-fashioned barber’s with striped poles and styling stations (i.e. chairs in kiddie pools), Barber Ella also comes with the campy appeal of haircutters in B-movie starlet drag. Again and again the film plays in the background, lettings out PG-rated “oohs” and “aahs.” Meanwhile, burners looking to let loose lose their burdensome tresses, turn their hair rainbow for a week of celebration, or make an entirely fresh, scalp-related start (buzz buzz go the clippers). Whatever they’re looking for, we’re at the ready with our imaginative styling skills and our ray guns.
Our mission at Barber Ella Shop, in addition to playing dress-up and making new friends (what better way than to touch someone’s head for half an hour?), is to provide the Burning Man community with a service that’s as valuable as it is simple: haircuts. Whether for a drastic transformation or a subtle one, we provide cutting, shaving, and dying in a variety of colors. Feeling itchy or creative with body hair? We do that too. No, we’re not professionals, but we have a lot of amateur experience, and we want to share what we know — and learn more from each new person. A trip to Barber Ella may be inspired by something as basic as the craving for a fresh shave, or as symbolic as cutting it all off — all at our humble, kitschy cuttery.
The “physical description” we’ve submitted gives an idea of what it will be like to spend time at Barber Ella, with its open storefront and hang-out area set up around the old TV set. A bulletin board of possible do’s positioned out front lets burners browse even when the shop isn’t open. When we are, those who don’t want haircuts are more than welcome to get comfy, watch cuts in progress, take in the movie, or just ogle our hairdressers (both male and female) in all their Jane Fonda glory.
As we will advertise in the What/When/Where, Barber Ella Shop will be open from 2:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday, taking haircut-ees (see: lucky victims) three at a time on a first come, first serve basis. Tuesday and Thursday will be theme days. Potential themes include, for example, “Mohawks and Margaritas,” or “Fauxhawk Frenzy.” Burners who go with the theme cut will be rewarded with special gifts — whether alcohol or blinged-out pins that state proudly, “I got fawked at Barber Ella Shop.”