While UMKC offers many academic resources, lesser-known personal resources like the University Barber Shop often go overlooked.
Run by hair stylist Tracy Knight, the barbershop is located in the basement of the Atterbury Student Success Center.
Knight has owned the barbershop for 12-years and sells an array of products for hair care needs, ranging from Hempz to American Crew to special orders if a customer needs anything specific.
The barbershop itself is actually private from the university. Knight says many of her customers are alumni of the university, but she also has many locals, current students and faculty who pay her visits.
The barbershop itself has been around since 1962 and initially located on the Plaza. It soon relocated to the campus, becoming the first barbershop on any UM System campus.
Knight’s personable and friendly aura makes any visit to the small and quaint shop an inviting atmosphere.
“Sometimes I feel like a rockstar and sometimes I’m a redheaded step-child,” said Knight, referring to the popularity of her shop.
She has a large clientele base but not a lot of exposure. Even so, there are four reserved parking spots at the Atterbury Student Success Center for clients who make an appointment ahead of time. Knight also accepts walk-ins if she doesn’t have a prior appointment.
Knight said she loves to do “total transformations” on people when they come into her shop, like when a long-haired man comes in and she turns him into a fashionable hipster with a short haircut to boot.
However, before doing any kind of hair makeover she will always make sure to ask what the person’s lifestyle is to make sure they can maintain their new ‘do.
Pricing varies depending on what the customer wants done, but Knight says her prices are better than most mainstream salons because she doesn’t upcharge for women.
The University Barbershop is a well-kept secret waiting patiently to get out, so go on out there and visit Knight with the peace of mind that a new look is right around the corner on campus.