Dimensions In Hair is more than a barbershop where gentlemen tighten up and a beauty salon where ladies get their cute on. It is a North Minneapolis community fixture and cultural cornerstone. Serving and supported by friends, neighbors and general folk, the business is long a familiar fact of everyday life.
In the same regard as the church, it thrives in a tradition virtually sacrosanct, stabilizing the social fabric, going on a quarter century of highly satisfying customers. Moreover, Dimensions embodies the picture-perfect concept of communal well-being. It’s a family affair.
It’s an intergenerational enterprise owned and operated by the Spicers — dad Michael, mom Doris and daughter Lisa. The website describes Dimensions as “a multicultural establishment.” Michael clarifies, stating that, basically, if you have hair he can cut it.
“We do all kinds of hair for anybody that comes through. It doesn’t matter who. Straight hair, curly.” Even naps? “Yes, we can do that, too. I don’t care what kind of hair, we can [accommodate] the customer.”
The website also notes that the salon side of things is “full service…[providing] perm, relaxer, weave, cut, style, color or eyebrow wax.” There are gift cards and special packages available, including services for couples, bridal and wedding parties, photography, and corporate events. So you don’t have everybody in a group photo looking sharp except that one or two who don’t have their do together.
Patriarch Michael Spicer bears a bright demeanor and forthright disposition, understandably proud. Speaking by phone, he cheerfully relates, “[This is] four generations. My grandmother and mother were beauticians. I’m a barber. My wife and my daughter are beauticians.”
How does he feel about such an accomplishment, having started what now endures as a lasting personal, professional and social legacy? “It’s been fun to see. I used to go in my grandmother’s beauty shop, see how that worked. So, that inspired me to go into the business. I’ve enjoyed it immensely. Still do.”
He does so these days at home, recovering from knee surgery, which finds Doris Spicer dividing time between helping her husband mend and tending to their business. Effortlessly multitasking, she also spoke with the MSR while holding harness on a rambunctious grandson, intermittently conversing on another phone.
Every bit as enthusiastic as Michael, the matriarch brightly states it’s been a proverbial labor of love from the beginning. Hard work, sure. Just the same, a joy being in business with family.
“It is a blessing!” she readily extols. “It’s very special for us. This is the dream!”
Doris worked 20 years as a legal secretary for Dorset & Whitney. She finally followed her heart’s desire and true passion, though, establishing Dimensions In Hair with Michael.
Switching gears, she’d graduated the renowned Aveda beauty college, it happens, while Lisa finished studying cosmetology at Stewart.
Lisa Spicer-Wade manages the shop. You hear from her voice the immense respect for her dad. “He began this. We’re carrying on.”
She’s also happy about working with her mom: “The beautiful thing, when Dimensions started, she and I worked together. There was nothing like having your mother there, working right next to you. There were times when there was a little bumping of heads. But, I’m an obedient daughter.”
She wraps the recollection up with bright laughter and a succinct, “It’s great.”
Lisa reflects on Dimensions In Hair’s success, noting that clients keep coming back. “Women in their 30s and more bring their children. It feels amazing. Supporting our community, being a pillar there. A wonderful thing. We’re showered with blessings.”
Nothing advertises like people telling other people how happy they are about what you did with their hair. Accordingly, word of mouth is such that Dimensions In Hair attracts, among mere mortal clientele, the occasional celebrity. “We’ve had Vikings and Timberwolves come through.”
She signed on ready to make a personal and professional commitment. “I always knew I would be a stylist and work for myself. I knew as a young person, probably nine or 10, being around my great grandmother and her daughter. They had a salon and I would spend summers around them. I loved it, the smells, just being in the atmosphere. That never went away.
“As a teenager, seeing my parents go through layoffs and things like that, I not only wanted to do hair, but I wanted to be self-employed, to have more control over my career.”
She sums up, “All my life I knew what I wanted to do.”
Aside from about three years, from 2007 to 2009 spent working with Catalyst Community Partners (she still puts in part-time hours now and then), it’s all she’s ever done and all she plans to do as a profession. “This is absolutely my first love, my last love.”
It’s fundamental giving back, success fostering the success of others. Dimensions has employed what now is a host of thriving hair care pros in the Twin Cities and suburbs. Dimensions In Hair, a thriving enterprise and community cornerstone.
For more information on Dimensions In Hair, call 612-588-5161 for the barbershop and 612-529-4757 for the beauty salon. They are located at 1417 West Broadway Ave. in North Minneapolis. Or visit www.dimensionsinhairsalon.com.
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.