Hat Killers Delivers True Barbershop Experience
Located in Haymarket Square and owned by Theo Burns, Hat Killers opened the beginning of September and aims to create a unique vibe and experience for its customers.
Owner Theo Burns said he picked the Haymarket after seeing a vacancy in Haymarket Square and wanted to create a business that encapsulated the rustic feel of the area.
Theo graduated from the College of Hair Design after training as a barber for a year prior to opening Hat Killers. His goal was to open a place that gave men a true barber, not salon, experience.
“I know a lot of guys who want a real barbershop experience–neck shave and a real straight razor shave,” Theo said.
Theo said the name for Hat Killers came from his experience of watching men finish up from a hair appointment and immediately put a ball cap on afterwards.
“It made me so mad,” Theo said with a laugh. “I just gave you a beautiful haircut and you just put a hat on it. So that’s when it popped in my head: ‘Hat killer.’”
Hat Killers is a family affair. Theo, his father, cousin and sister all played a role in creating the space and continue to support the business in various ways.
Theo’s sister Tiffany, who has a background in marketing and design, helped create the aesthetic and logo idea for Hat Killers. Theo said she wanted to help Hat Killers set itself apart with unique menu names and a classic-looking but stylish interior.
Though only open for less than a month, Theodore Burns, Theo’s father, said they’ve already received positive feedback from customers, especially from those who received a neck shave. Because neck shaves are the cornerstone of Hat Killers’ business, Theo said he knows there’s pressure in giving the customers the best shave possible.
“I can’t afford to nick people, my shave has to be perfect,” he said.
Hat Killers was inspired by coastal barbershops and wants to create the atmosphere and experience customers might find in a large city. To help complete this feel, Theo uses Californian American Pomade products.
“He’s tried a lot of different ones and I think [American Pomade] is tried and true and works with the kind of haircut he does,” said Theo’s cousin, who helps with the front desk at Hat Killers.
As the business is new, Theo is currently the sole barber at Hat Killers but said he hopes to hire more once he finds qualified barbers to join him. Theo said he often sees students who know how to cut hair, but lack in shaving skills.
“That’s going to be what sets us apart, the shaving,” Theodore said. “That’s our specialty. Other barbers can do it, but you don’t see it too often so we want to make that part of our regular treatment.”
Founded in 1967, the Downtown Lincoln Association provides services and champions initiatives for maintaining and enhancing our vibrant downtown. Our vision is to create an energetic downtown environment where we live, learn, work, invest and play. DLA has evolved into a multi-faceted organization supporting a wide range of programs and activities including maintenance, economic development and advocacy.