The Straight Edge Barbershop celebrates 5 years in Tahlequah

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
10/15/2019 08:30 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Emily Hullinger stands in front of her business near downtown Tahlequah. The Straight Edge Barbershop specializes in men’s and boys’ haircuts. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee barber Emily Hullinger works on a flattop haircut for Larat Teague, of Hulbert, in The Straight Edge Barbershop in Tahlequah. The shop celebrated its fifth anniversary Oct. 1. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The Straight Edge Barbershop on Oct. 1 marked its fifth anniversary of being in business in Tahlequah. Owner Emily Hullinger, right, and three other stylists at the shop, Hanna Eagle, left, Lanae Mike and Kerry Justus, specialize in men’s and boys’ haircuts, but women who want fades or pixie cuts are welcome, too. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The Straight Edge Barbershop at 514 S. Muskogee Ave. in Tahlequah offers men’s beard and hair products along with short haircuts and fades. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – The Straight Edge Barbershop celebrated its fifth anniversary of being in business on Oct. 1.

The shop is owned by Cherokee Nation citizen Emily Hullinger, who has been cutting hair for about 12 years. She said she took a chance five years ago when she opened it.

“It’s a comfortable place for men to get their hair cut, and we use a scheduling app, so it makes it very convenient for customers to schedule their haircuts or they can call and walk in. There’s so many different options to make an appointment to get your hair cut here,” she said.

She and three other stylists work in the shop, and they all, on average, cut 20 heads of hair a day or 100 heads of hair each during a five-day week. Most cuts are short haircuts or fades where the hair is gradually faded on the sides and back of the head. Women who want a fade or a pixie cut or any kind of short haircut are also welcome at the shop located at 514 S. Muskogee Ave.

Hullinger said she was cutting hair in a downtown barber shop before she opened her own shop about a quarter mile down the street. She said before opening The Straight Edge she didn’t think much about running her own shop.

“I never thought I’d have my own business or I could do men’s haircuts. It’s just something that grew over the years after doing hair,” she said. “I just wanted to go out on my own and give it a shot.”

She said when she opened her barber shop there were only three others in town. There are now more, but she feels like hers stands out because of its reputation. The Straight Edge has been voted Best Barber in Tahlequah in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 by the Tahlequah Daily Press.

“We always strive to do our best haircuts and fades. And it’s our customer service, and it’s just a really fun atmosphere here. The customers and children always say they love the atmosphere, that’s it’s pretty cool with a chill vibe,” she said.

During the past five years she’s attended hair shows, but mostly stays busy in her shop. She said she gains experience by constantly cutting hair the way her customers want it. “I learn something new every single day, different techniques and different fades and different ways to cut hair. And all of the girls I have hired, they have their own way of cutting hair too, so with their techniques and my techniques we combine them all and we come up with all kinds of ways to fade and different ways to blend in certain parts of the hair.”

She said the location she chose for her shop has been good because “it’s not completely downtown.”

“There’s a little bit more traffic flow, and it’s not too far off the main roads,” she said.

The location has also “worked out perfectly” because she’s been able to expand her shop, adding more barber chairs, more seating for customers, a vending machine and a gaming table where customers can play chess or checkers. She also added space to carry hair and beard products.

“It was just half of this space when I was here by myself, when I first opened. I guess it was a year and a half after opening I did one remodel and then about two or three years in I did another remodel,” she said. “We’re kind of outgrowing this space, but we’re going to try to make it work for another two or three years, hopefully, or longer.”

Along with haircuts, the shop offers beard care and hot towel, lather straight-razor shaves. Hullinger also does designs on the back of heads, usually for boys. For example, she recently shaved the Batman logo onto the back of a boy’s head after he received a haircut.

“The kids are really into the new hair designs,” she said.

Hullinger also has advice for women thinking about starting a business: Don’t listen to people who say you can’t have a business because you’re a woman. “If you know you have the talent and you have the drive, you should have no problem. It’s all about putting your heart into it.”

To schedule a visit, call 918-207-2098 or visit THE Straight Edge on Facebook.

Services Offered:

Haircut
Any haircut with clippers or scissors
15 minutes and up • $18

Kid’s Haircut
16 and under
Duration varies • $15

Haircut & Beard Trim
Duration varies • $24

Beard Trim
Duration varies • $10

Edge Up & Beard Trim
Duration varies • $12

Edge Up
Duration varies • $5.00

Full Head and Beard Shave Straight Razor
1 hour • $20

Straight Razor Complete Edge Up
30 minutes • $14

Hot Towel, Lather Straight Razor Cut
30 minutes • $10

Burr w/Straight Razor Full Head Shave
30 minutes • $24

Haircut and Beard Trim w/Straight Razor
30 minutes • $34

Haircut w/Straight Razor Neck Shave
30 minutes • $23

Bald Fade & Beard Trim w/Electric Shaver
Andis Foil Shaver fade with a Beard Trim
30 minutes • $26

Bald Fade w/Electric Shaver
Andis Foil Shaver skin fade, low medium, or high fade.
30 minutes • $20

Eye-Brow Wax
Duration varies • $10
About the Author
Will Chavez is a Cherokee/San Felipe Pueblo Indian who has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 25 years. During that time he has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a writer, reporter and photographer for the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers. 

For many years h ...
WILL-CHAVEZ@cherokee.org • 918-207-3961
Will Chavez is a Cherokee/San Felipe Pueblo Indian who has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 25 years. During that time he has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a writer, reporter and photographer for the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers. For many years h ...

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