Driving with scissors

Mike Foster

“Y go 2 the shop when the shop can come to u?” That’s the tagline for The Barber Mobile, the 30-foot RV that 47-year-old Mike Foster (aka “Mike the Barber,” formerly with In the Cut Hair & Nail Salon) customized into his personal mobile barbershop. The award-winning barber who specializes in precisely cut hair designs—stars, sports-team logos, faces—currently works weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is on call weekends 24/7. He parks at various locations around Chico, Oroville and Corning. Find “The Barber Mobile” on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the day’s location. Call 591-7581 for an appointment.

Why go “mobile”?

I’ve been cutting hair 14 years. Not a lot of people have the luxury of getting around, like seniors, single moms, disabled vets, even harried businessmen. So I thought it would be great to come to them or their event. I’ve also cut the hair of well-known musicians and artists coming through town.

Who were some of your celebrity clients?

I’ve done Snoop Dogg and the entire Dogg Pound—Warren G, Daz and Kurupt. Many have heard of me since I won ninth place for design cuts at the Las Vegas Super Barber Battle.

What do like best about your job?

I get instant satisfaction when the customer likes my work. Plus, I meet really good people. Everyone has tales and a past, and since I’m a good listener, people can get things off their chest to get a release.

What kind of cuts do you give?

I’m a perfectionist, and do everything from standard to fancy color designs. My prices are from $10 to $30. Either way, it only takes about 15 minutes. A little more if you want me to do a face pattern. For designs, you can bring in a photo, drawing or just describe it to me. I talk to you and get a good feel for your personality. The designs stay visible for one-and-a-half to two weeks depending on how fast your hair grows. The color ones last until you shampoo.

Did you design the shop’s cool waiting room?

I revamped it with couches, a flat-screen TV and surround-sound stereo. It’s also got a full bath. But I don’t allow drinking. I want people to relax, but I don’t want it to be a hangout. Plus, detail precision cuts can be appreciated only when you’re sober.

What are your plans for the business?

I’ll soon start a contest where customers post their photos on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sites. The one who gets the most “likes” gets their next cut free. I’d also like to franchise one for women’s hair, nails and waxing.