MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Hair salons on wheels — it’s something that was against the law in Alabama until last month.
A local barber and Vietnam veteran with a passion to help the disabled understood that void and wouldn’t stop until his dream became a reality.
Greg Morris has been cutting hair for decades.
“I started cutting hair when I was 13. That’s 51 years,” he said.
His barbershop, GBM3 Barbershop and Beauty Salon on Duval Street, is what many call an institution. With each trim and shave, you see conversation and camaraderie that many say is unique and endearing in Black barbershops.
“It’s the quality of service and the quality of the work we do. The atmosphere we provide. All those combined make up GBM3,” Morris said.
When COVID hit last year, Morris’ shop, along with many others, shut down.
With people in quarantine and thinking of disabled vets like himself, he decided it was time for an idea he’d been working on for years to become a reality: Opening a mobile hair salon and have the barbershop come to them.
Morris brought the idea to State Representative Barbara Drummond, who said rolling salons not only benefits hairstylists but nail techs as well.
“It’s also going to give this industry another option in by which they can operate even in the midst of an emergency like a pandemic,” Drummond said.
That idea is now the law of the land, the bill passing the senate last month with bipartisan support.
“He can now take his trade directly to the customer’s door, which is going to do with veterans that he is serving now,” Drummond said. “For those that are handicapped, who can’t go into a brick-and-mortar structure. Now this industry can take vehicles to that structure and serve those customers where they are.”
Morris says he’s already preparing to put his barbershop on wheels.
“We’re going to Bonner Brothers in New Orleans this year, in August,” Morris said. “The Bonner Brothers Hair Show. Exhibit Hall Floor, doing our thing, selling our products. Introducing the people to the new mobile salon. And the services that we do, such as makeup, nails, hairstyling, all that good stuff.”
He has a message for entrepreneurs who may be discouraged while on their journey to success.
“Whatever your dream, whatever your vision, whatever your goal. Don’t quit, don’t quit, don’t quit. As long as you don’t quit, you’ll reach your goal,” he said.
The Alabama Board of Cosmetology and Barbering has until Jan. 1, 2022, to officially adopt the rules for mobile salons, and that’s when those salons will officially begin to roll.