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Feature Barber: Meet Heavy D

Plan B Headquarters Kelowna Hair Salon and Barbershop Team - Dan Awalt“How long have you been in the industry?”

It will be 2 years in January since I returned to a career in hair. I graduated from cosmetology school at Vancouver Island University in 2001 and did women’s hair for a while, but I just wasn’t feeling it. So when I decided to return, I went to London Barber School in Vancouver to further my barbering skills.

“Why did you choose to become a barber?”

I actually rediscovered barbering. I was a mechanic for years and got tendonitis, which meant I couldn’t work any more. I was retrained through WCB and decided to return to hair but with a focus on classic men’s barbering. But even when I was working as a mechanic I had a barbershop in my house. I lived in a small town so I met a lot of people and built up a loyal clientele. Eventually the time came when I needed a change of scenery and decided to move to Kelowna.

“What techniques do you specialize in?”

It’s whatever you want really; I can create anything. I like doing straight razor shaves and skull shaves. Fades have always been in, and have gotten more extreme in recent years. I like a classic taper with more blending. I just want my clients to be happy, not just about their haircut but about their experience in the chair. It’s about the community, making relationships that last, seeing a regular client pop by for a beer even when they don’t have an appointment.

“Describe your personal style.”

It’s something I can’t describe; I don’t think this is a fair question! Redneck hippie, maybe? I don’t think I’m a hipster, but I like simple and clean looks. I’m not a fan of top knots, so if you want to lose your man bun come and see me.

“Tell us about your worst personal haircut/hair day.”

Well I don’t have any now ha-ha! The day I realised my hair was starting to fall out and I had to shave it was the worst day. But, in a strange way, it was also a good day, because I have a lot of guys who are experiencing the same thing. The best thing you can do is get a decent haircut rather than trying to cover it up. Embrace the change!

“If you could be any Hollywood movie character, who would it be and why?”

Willem Dafoe, no question. He’s my spirit animal.

“If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and could only take 3 albums with you, what would they be?”

Anything by Townes van Zandt. Lemonheads. Barry White.

“If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and could only take 3 movies with you, what would they be?”

I gotta have some comedy. Big Lebowski. Nacho Libre. Zoolander. I can watch these non-stop and not get bored because there are so many subtleties to these movies.

“What’s your most embarrassing moment?”

I used to hate getting my hair cut in high school. I would only do it every 6 weeks or so and it would always be a big deal. Dan got a haircut! Dan got a haircut! It was a joking kind of thing that just bothered me a lot.

“We’re not trying to pick you up…but what’s your astrology sign?”

Scorpio. And Snake for the Chinese Zodiac. I don’t write it off but I don’t focus on it either. It’s really important to some people but not to me.

“Do you have any nicknames?”

Heavy D the Barber. It started when I was a kid; we all had these gangster names even though I wasn’t much of a gangster.

“What’s one product you simply cannot live without?”

Shampoo (*sarcastically*). Redken Clean Brew is a great shampoo, it has brewers yeast and orange zest in it. It’s a really nice clean shampoo that I use on my beard as well as on all my guys at the shop. I am also a huge die hard Layrite fan, their products are the best.

See Dan’s Bio & some of his work