A group of barbers want to increase diversity in Provo

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Anyone is welcome to come in to Salty Barbers and chat whether they are getting a haircut or not. 

“Davey” Anthony Ruiz II became a licensed barber six years ago, but his passion for barbering started in 1996. Ruiz always wanted his own barbershop. 

“I wanted my own shop to cut and have a nice solid crew. To hang out with and have the same passion we do,” said Ruiz.

Even before he owned his own barbershop, Ruiz traveled to different places in the U.S. and visited other barber shops for inspiration and collected vintage barber chairs. Ruiz and all the other barbers working at the shop have passion for three things: cutting hair, having fun and increasing diversity in Provo.

“Frosti” Jordan McDaniel said that the Salty Barbers encourage people to open their minds and become comfortable with their own skin by engaging in one-on-one communication with the clients. 

“It’s full 45 minutes, so it’s 45 minutes to destress. … Each time they come in, it’s something new to them. Something new to you conversation-wise.”

McDaniel said the barbers like to hear people out and provide an environment where people feel welcomed. He also said the barbers have a big impact on the downtown-Provo community because of this. 

“It definitely helps how much Provo wants to become something new. I think that’s because it just wants to open it up to new people.”

Jorge Gonzalez said the barber shop provides a safe haven for anyone who wants to be heard. “If there’s anywhere, it’s here. We are all very open-minded and we’ll talk about whatever. … Personally, educationally, whatever you like to do. We’ll listen to whatever you’ll have to say,” said Gonzalez.

Salty Barbers will continue to be a gateway for diversity in Provo. If you want a fresh haircut and take a step out of the usual Provo culture for a minute, visit the Salty Barbers on Center Street.

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