When regular customers no longer felt comfortable getting haircuts at his shop, West Coast Barber Shop owner Kayne Balderas did what he does best: He took matters into his own hands, with some help.
“Basically when I got it, it was bone stock. I had to gut it, insulate it, put in electrical, put in a generator that powers up the front,” Balderas said. “A lot of electricians I had to bug, but it came out just fine.”
At six feet wide and 14 feet long, the West Coast Express is a one-stop barber shop, equipped with even a towel warmer and faucet. Most services are offered except shampooing and dye jobs. Balderas added it’s spacious for social distancing and has air circulation powered by a generator.
“This basically gives me a chance to go house to house instead of cut to cut. So, I can sanitize my whole trailer before I get to your house,” Balderas said. “That way when I pull up, you know I’m professional, clean, I’m sanitary.”
Balderas wanted to capture the spirit of the barber shop experience for customers by adding the original flooring, barber shop chair and painting from his location in Southwest Bakersfield.
“When you get a haircut, you feel good, you do stuff in the community and feel good about yourself. We have a lot of clients that are correction officers [and] police department employees,” Balderas said. “I’m having to do things outside my normal to cater to my clients who are essentially working and have to have an image. You have to present your image.”
Balderas pointed out that he’s not making the same revenue as before. He would see about 20 to 25 clients a day when his main shop was open, and only sees about eight in the trailer, but it’s helping him get by. The express has offered him business mobility that he wouldn’t have had otherwise. The trailer has opened doors to wedding venues, a set up at the fair, and charities, to only name a few events he’s looking into post-pandemic.
“This is the best investment I think I’ve done,” Balderas said.
West Coast Express haircuts are 45 dollars and by appointment only. You can book via Instagram.