The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

The Asheville Barber Company serves the Asheville community with a sense of pride and great customer service

Courtesy of the Asheville Barber Company
Nur Shawamreh cutting a customer’s hair.

The Asheville Barber Company offers its clients a great sense of community in addition to giving its customers outstanding haircuts.

The shop is located at 839 Merrimon Avenue in North Asheville in the Walgreens shopping center, and mostly specializes in shorter haircuts.

“All are welcome, and all does mean everyone,” said Tyler LaCosse, barber and owner of the Asheville Barber Company. “We’re not saying you can’t come in with longer hair, but we’re probably going to point you to a safer place to get your haircut since only a few of our barbers know how to work with longer hair.”

LaCosse said haircuts should be to make you feel better, and that you should always walk out of the barber shop feeling and looking better.

“There shouldn’t be any drama, anger nor angst with getting a haircut,” LaCosse said. “We love that feeling of helping people look their best.”

LaCosse said people leaving happy is what drives him everyday, and his goal is to take care of the barbers that take care of his customers.

“I feel like my empathy sets me apart from a lot of other barbers,” said Nur Shawamreh, a barber at the Asheville Barber Company. “Just being a support system because I have that for myself, and I just want to pass it forward and help the next person in line.”

Shawamreh said she became a barber with the goal of finding a queer friendly shop.

“Most of our staff are queer, so it helps for people who want someone that can relate to their problems,” Shawamreh said. “We accept kids of all ages, and it’s a very inclusive community, that’s what I love most about it.”

Shawamreh said the Asheville Barber Company has reached out to the community in a few different ways. They won second place in “Best Of WNC 2023” for small businesses.

“We’ve been getting more involved in events around Asheville,” Shawamreh said. “For example, we were at the pride event downtown this year where we were giving community members glitter hair and glitter beards.”

Nur offers her services by appointment only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 6:10 p.m.

“When I first went into the Asheville Barber Company everyone was very nice, and greeted me right when I walked in,” said D Gonzalez, a behavior technician at Happy Tails Country Club. “No questions about what haircut I wanted, no weird looks when I said I wanted a fade.”

Gonzalez said classic barber shops are usually centered around male style haircuts, and sometimes have a weird stigma against people who are born female. However, the Asheville Barber Company was the first barber shop they went to where this wasn’t the case.

“Everyone is super outgoing. They have that personality where they talk to you, they wanna get to know you and they’re open to any suggestions or new ideas for your hair,” Gonzalez said. “They’re just a super fun group of people to be around.”

Since it looks like a classic barber shop from the outside, Gonzalez said the Asheville Barber Company should advertise more about how queer friendly they are because a lot of people don’t know.

“It’s a pretty big mix of the queer and heterosexual communities,” Gonzalez said. “The community is about getting together and sharing a nice, safe and respectful space.”

Gonzalez said Nur has given them some interesting fade designs, and they’ve also gotten hot lather shaves which they said they hadn’t seen at many other barber shops.

“They’ll never turn you away unless there’s a good reason to,” Gonzalez said. “They’ll take and accept anyone.”

Barber and owner Tyler LaCosse, originally from Phoenix, Arizona, first opened the doors of the Asheville Barber Company in 2020.

After serving in the Navy as a hospital corpsman, graduating from college and becoming a border protection officer, LaCosse decided he’d take up barbering. However, he wanted to be more than just a barber at another person’s shop.

“I wanted to own a business, not a job,” LaCosse said. “Also, I wouldn’t want to get to the end of my life and always wonder, what if I had tried to open my own business.”

Opening up his own business gave him the opportunity to run the shop his way, and inclusivity was, and still is, a focus of the Asheville Barber Company.

“The inclusion stuff is just natural for me. As we’re all unique in our own way, haircuts don’t have a bias,” LaCosse said. “They don’t care what gender you associate with, or what sexual orientation or sexual preference you have.”

LaCosse said the most rewarding part of owning a barber shop is the happiness of his staff and customers.

“The bigger successes are when a barber comes to you, and says for the first time in their life, they actually have enough money to pay their bills, buy a home, pay off their car, and I’ve afforded them the opportunity in a safe space to feel included and part of a team,” LaCosse said.

After a one star review left by a man who didn’t even receive a haircut from the Asheville Barber Company, LaCosse decided to react in a different way than most business owners would.

“Coping with negativity by people that try to affect your business and what you’ve built negatively, I choose to laugh at that,” LaCosse said. “So the picture of the man who left a one star review was a trophy for just laughing at something we didn’t have control over.”

LaCosse said he’d rather focus on this current shop, and doesn’t plan on opening any others for the time being.

“I’d say we’re right where we want to be,” LaCosse said. The future might demand that we expand due to the growth of the shop and the amount of value that we see. Right now though, I’d say it’s perfect.”

The Asheville Barber Company is open for appointments and walk-ins Monday 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Prospective customers can make an appointment through their website at ttps://

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Blue Banner Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *