|Louis McDowell gives a young customer a high top fade in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1994. Via the Library of Congress.|
You and your boo have a fun date night planned, but he’s in desperate need of a shape up, so he heads to the barber shop. Hours later, your dinner reservations have been canceled, your freak ’em dress is wrinkled, and you don’t even feel like going anymore.
There’s an app for that.
Three Howard University grads have come up with the Uber of men’s grooming: Haus Call. Morgan Winbush, Killian Lewis, and Crystal Allen-Washington came up with the idea after seeing too many fellas spend their Saturdays at the shop.
“It’s homecoming at Howard. Every guy we know is trying to feel and look like Diddy,” Haus Call’s Chief Marketing Officer told VIBE. “If you’re running or coming into town really late, and you had to go to #1000Bottles or whatever party is happening on Friday night, but you didn’t have enough time, you could use HausCall and a barber would come wherever you are to cut your hair and make sure you looked great.”
Chief Technology Officer Crystal J. Allen-Washington left her advertising gig to learn the skills she needed to create the app. For up to 13 hours a day, the Atlanta based wife and mom spent time in a coding bootcamp at The Iron Yard, a coding academy.
“That was one of the challenges that we were facing throughout our first three years: not having a technical founder…It was important for at least one of us to have that experience and that skill,” she says.
After four long years of coding and raising capital, Haus Call was born. The app lets you book a service through their peer evaluated barbers and facilitate pay and tips right from your smartphone’s screen. Track your barber through the app’s GPS, and within 30 minutes, your man (or you!) will have a fresh fade.
Haus Call gives back, too. “I think the first step is hiring men of color to be those barbers. A large portion of the money from each service goes back into their own pockets,” co-founder Morgan Winbush explains. “In the future, we have a lot of plans to work with brands like Bevel [https://getbevel.com/] and to also work with men who were incarcerated and have trouble finding jobs to get them back on their feet.”
Haus Call is slated for a soft launch in June 2017 in D.C. with plans to expand to New York City, Atlanta and Charlotte by 2019.