The past few months have seen a small outbreak of new hair salons in downtown Arkansas City.
No Image Beauty Salon Too opened in December at 307 N. Summit St. The salon is owned by Treananda Ndale and staffed by Antonio Whitfield of Derby.
Whitfield said that Ndale also owns a shop in Wichita and comes to Ark City only when she has a full day of appointments.
Whitfield has 10 years of experience working on both men’s and women’s hair. He said he is able to provide almost any service, including clipper cuts, shear cuts, color, thermo styling and braiding, along with facials and shaves.
He said he takes all possible COVID-19 precautions, including sanitizing between customers. While serving customers, he wears a mask and gloves and uses disposable capes.
“We like our customers to wear masks if they have them,” he said. “If not, one will be provided.”
Like any business, Whitfield said there were a few struggles while getting started, but he said the overall picture looks promising.
“It’s been a welcoming experience,” he said. “We like the family orientation of the community and we are a family salon.”
Bazooka Cutz, at 115 S. Summit St., opened for business in mid-November. Owner Joshua Prudhomme laughed when asked about the business name.
“I want you to leave with a cut that says ‘boom,’” he said. “That’s kind of corny, but I thought it was kind of catchy. It sticks to you a bit.”
Prudhomme said he has no set business hours. As the only employee of the shop, he is taking customers by appointment because he is not set up to handle a high volume. He said that due to COVID-19, most people don’t feel comfortable being packed into such a small space.
“People can walk in and schedule an appointment or do so online through our Facebook page,” he said.
He said that business has been steady.
With more than five years of experience, Prudhomme said he is able to provide hair services for both men and women. But there are some areas that he prefers not work with.
“As far as long hair, women’s long hair, I don’t specialize in that,” he said.
As a lifelong resident of California, Prudhomme said he wanted to find a better life for his three sons and his wife. He said one of his friends who lived in Ark City asked him to move to the area and join him in a special ministry called Hooked on God, Ministry over Business. After visiting the community, he knew it was where he wanted to be.
“I felt like Ark City, just being out here and seeing the culture, it’s a better atmosphere to raise a family,” he said.
Prudhomme said the move was a bit uncomfortable at first, but he is glad he made that decision.
“My boys love it,” he said, “But my wife is homesick. She is really close to her family, so that’s been rough on her.”
The CourierTraveler featured another new hair care business in downtown Ark City, Sage & Soul, in Saturday’s edition.