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Hair We Go

Getting a toddler to sit still for 10 minutes is nearly impossible. Cutting their hair while getting them to sit still is an even more significant challenge unless you're Kuts 4 Kids.

Article
Lindsay Morris
Photos
Marc Rains
Posted
July 28, 2019

If you’ve raised a child in the Tulsa area in the last 19 years, chances are you’ve heard of Mr. Will and Kuts 4 Kids.

Will Churchwell has cut the hair of thousands of children in Tulsa over the last couple of decades, and he does it all in a sort of kid hair-ninja-type way that leaves parents mesmerized and wondering if he is a cartoon character trapped inside a man’s body.

Getting a toddler to sit still for 10 minutes is nearly impossible. Cutting their hair while getting them to sit still is an even more significant challenge. But Churchwell makes it look as easy as snipping out a coupon from the newspaper. Getting a child’s hair cut can be scary for both the child and the parents, but Kuts for Kids puts the fun into kids’ haircuts.

Unlike most hair shops for kids, it’s a rarity for kids to scream as they get their haircut at Kuts 4 Kids. Kids are happy. Kids sit in an airplane chair while getting a haircut and watch a cartoon. It’s only when it’s time to leave Kuts 4 Kids that you might hear a temper tantrum. (Photo: Marc Rains)
Unlike most hair shops for kids, it’s a rarity for kids to scream as they get their haircut at Kuts 4 Kids. Kids are happy. Kids sit in an airplane chair while getting a haircut and watch a cartoon. It’s only when it’s time to leave Kuts 4 Kids that you might hear a temper tantrum. (Photo: Marc Rains)

Kuts 4 Kids is filled with tons of toys for kids to play with as they wait for their haircut. It’s a playful, colorful environment with cartoon characters and bible verses on the walls and animated movies playing on a big television.

Unlike most hair shops for kids, it’s a rarity for kids to scream as they get their haircut at Kuts 4 Kids. Kids are happy. Kids sit in an airplane chair while getting a haircut and watch a cartoon. It’s only when it’s time to leave Kuts 4 Kids that you might hear a temper tantrum.

“I knew in seventh grade that I was going to work with kids,” says Churchwell. “In high school, my friends thought I was weird because I was taking child development instead of auto body.”

When Churchwell first began cutting hair, he realized that the wiggling of most children was going to be a challenge for him. To become more adept at cutting lively kids’ hair, he volunteered at mental institutions and cut adult patients’ hair. “That was even harder than cutting kids’ hair. I learned to move with the person,” he says.

Before he opened his Kuts 4 Kids, he cut hair for another business. Then he started cutting hair out of his garage. One day, one of his customers asked what it would cost for him to open a place of his own, he answered with an amount, and the customer wrote him a check for that amount to open his own business.

Will and Chasity Churchwell (Photo: Marc Rains)
Will and Chasity Churchwell (Photo: Marc Rains)

In 2000, the original Kuts 4 Kids opened at 81st Street and Harvard Avenue. Since that time, it has moved to 81st Street and Lewis Avenue, and Kuts 4 Kids opened a second location at 71st Street and Garnett Road in 2017, where Churchwell’s daughter, Chasity Churchwell, is the stylist.

While Kuts 4 Kids seems like a Tulsa staple now that it’s almost two decades old, what would someday become a successful business started with rocky beginnings. Churchwell was struggling with a drug and gambling addiction that was affecting his business and family life.

“When I opened it, I wasn’t right with God. We were homeless, and all of my kids were sleeping at a friend’s house,” he says. “I finally gave my life to God, and I made him a deal that I would go to church if he gave me my business back.”

Churchwell’s family was reunited and lived in the back room of the shop for a month. Then a friend invited them to stay at her house for three months until they had enough money to afford an apartment.

“God had me under his hand. I know everything I have is from him,” he says.
The Kuts 4 Kids’ business philosophy is simple. “I want the kids to know they’re loved.”

The Churchwells cut the hair of every kind of kid under the sun, including kids with special needs. When a customer with Down syndrome first started coming for haircuts, the vibrations of the razor used to frighten him. He would lean back in the chair, making it very challenging. “Now he’s started coming every two weeks, and he loves getting his haircut,” says Churchwell.

Another memorable customer is one who is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. “I said a prayer over him that he would not lose his hair, and he has not lost his hair yet. They have so much more to worry about, so I don’t charge them,” he says.

After nearly two decades of owning a business, Churchwell is cutting the hair of some children who are the children of former customers. He also does many dads’ haircuts.

“They figure if I can do a moving target as good as I do, then I can do a still target,” he says. “The kids go off to college, and the dad still comes.”

LOCATOR
Kuts 4 Kids

Plaza Village Shopping Center | 8122 S. Lewis Ave. | Tulsa
918-299-1220
Sunday-Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Friday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

4936 W. Kenosha St. | Broken Arrow
918-994-6888
Sunday-Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Friday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

August 2019 Cover