Campus Hair Design finds new home off campus


The exterior of Campus Hair Design after relocating from the PUB due to the remodel. Owner Dana Johnson – who had operated the business on a month-to-month lease in the PUB since 1988 – said some of his fondest memories on campus involved working with international students | Bailey Montieth for The Easterner

By Sam Jackson, Reporter

Due to the PUB remodel, Campus Hair Design—which had been located at the PUB for 40 years—had to move off campus. Despite that, the shop still exists with the same name and is now located in downtown Cheney.

Dana Johnson owned and operated Campus Hair Design on a month-to-month lease in the PUB since 1988. He was able to survive the first remodel of the PUB in 1995 when they put in Baldy’s, but the current remodel has caused him to relocate permanently. Johnson describes the location as a totally different world compared to campus, even though it’s only a few blocks away.

“Downtown Cheney is interesting, I do a lot more grey hair now,” Johnson said.

Running the shop as a one-man business, Johnson cut and styled hair for many faculty, staff and students over the years.

“I knew when I moved down here I would lose at least a third of my clients, because that is a different world,” said Johnson. “Even with just that short distance.”

Some EWU staff and students still rely on Johnson to cut their hair. Grant Smith, a professor of English and coordinator of Humanities at EWU has been with Johnson since the very beginning.

In fact, he was getting his hair cut at the shop when it first opened about 40 years ago, before Johnson was running it. Smith still gets his haircut by Johnson every month, though he certainly appreciated the convenience of the shop when it was located at the PUB.

“Well just because it was convenient to have it in the PUB—because the PUB was so close by—I always got my hair cut there,” said Smith. “When the other barber quit and moved away, Dana took his clientele over […] There are also a lot of people around town who like the work that Dana does.”

In regards to the different environments that exists in downtown Cheney and the campus area, Johnson has noticed a strong political difference in conversations with his clients.

“I would say it’s more liberal [on campus],” said Johnson. “Cheney is fairly conservative generally […] Down here I have be really careful about how I talk, up there it was a different environment. I could speak my mind, you know, because everybody was kind of on the same page.”

Johnson really appreciated the experience of being located in the PUB for so many years. He recognized that working on a campus is a unique situation in that he had a turnover of clients every year because of the students. Johnson said that some of his fondest memories on campus involved working with international students.

“A neat part about it was you met people from all over the world,” said Johnson. “That was really cool, I liked that part.”

Another perk of working on campus was that the students were really good at paying, according to Johnson.

“I don’t think I was ever stiffed and they would tip better than the professors […] often they did. I think the worse one I had was an older woman actually, I did a perm on her and her check didn’t go through. Otherwise, in 28 years students were great.”

Campus Hair Design will remain in its current location at the corner of 1st Street and Cocolalla, right across from Zip’s. The shop is open Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.