Autographed sports memorabilia, logos of video game companies, a shrine to “Star Wars” and flat screen TVs along the walls, along with the constant chitchat on cars, movies, food, comics and everything in between. Barber DJ Starks says his Foothills Barbers is one of the most nerd-friendly places in town and he stakes a claim it’s probably Tucson’s nerdiest barbershop.
Kings of classic look, Starks said that all five barbers in-store are excellent at everything from the taper fade to the undercut, flattops and all varieties of “gentleman’s cuts.”
“It usually means something that you would wear at a business meeting,” Starks said. “Something you would wear at a formal dinner. Something simple, that’s an old school cut; something that you would use a razor just to fine-tune. We use a razor on everything, but that is just a necessity.”
A trip to any college campus proves as solid evidence that the classic barbershop look has transcended from hip culture to full mainstream popularity. Despite the saturation of the undercut and shaved parts, Foothills Barbers isn’t riding a trend—the classic cut is part of the Starks’ family history.
Providing clipper cuts alongside DJ is his father Daniel Starks Sr., his uncle Steve Starks, cousin Elijah Starks and cousin in-law Les Hakala.
Starks said that his father and uncle have been in the barber business for more than 40 years each. By 1993, the two men had a shop of their own, 1st Ave. Barbers, where they remained for more than a decade. More than seven years ago, the two men moved the business again and settled in northwest Tucson as Foothills Barbers.
Surrounded by his family—which he jokingly said he should hate but doesn’t—Starks said the business environment is an ever changing space flush with store-wide talks of table top role playing games, newest movie releases (and the classics), sports updates and more, which each barber adding his own nerdy voice to the debate
But what makes Foothills Barbers “Tucson’s nerdiest barber?”
Starks said that comes from the wide variety of interests all under one roof.
“I think that it’s not necessarily what we have up on the walls,” he said. “It’s all about what your passionate about and you can be passionate about food, sports, nerd stuff, “Star Wars,” technology – you can be passionate about it all here and we will have debates about all of it. When you come in here whatever you like, if you Like Game of Thrones or DC movies, western movies, cars – there will be somebody here that you will have a conversation with.”
Starks’ claim to nerd fame isn’t meant as a challenge to any other shops around town. He joked that “it’s us versus Supercuts.”
“The barbershop community and barbers are becoming to scarce for us to be fighting against each other and we all know that, and there isn’t bashing going on,” he said.
The shop is an appointment-based operation, though Starks said that any walk-in customer is welcome and accommodated as quickly as possible.
Foothills Barbers is located at 2912 W. Ina Road #120, on the northwest corner of West Ina Road and North Shannon Road and is open Tuesday through Saturday and opens every day at 8:30 a.m. and closed every day except Saturday at 5:30 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m.
For more information, including booking an appointment, visit www.foothillsbarbers.com or call (520) 887-5242.
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