Ariz. barber adds artistic touch with his unique designs

For people seeking less-than-traditional haircuts, Jeffrey Mayo’s Windy City Barbershop in Arizona is a windfall. Mayo carves a design into Daniel Martin’s hair at his Green Valley shop. Enlarge photo

ZACH JORDAN, Green Valley News/Associated Press

For people seeking less-than-traditional haircuts, Jeffrey Mayo’s Windy City Barbershop in Arizona is a windfall. Mayo carves a design into Daniel Martin’s hair at his Green Valley shop.

GREEN VALLEY (AP) – Windy City Barbershop Owner Jeffrey Mayo cleans his red electric razor after shaving a mohawk into the head of his 14-year-old customer.

He uses the tool to create lines and zigzags in the freshly-buzzed hair of Daniel Martin, a high school student who’s been coming to the Green Valley barbershop for about a year. The design is freestyle and soon looks like a maze.

A poster above Mayo’s station shows his finest work: customers with geometric patterns, stars and flames in their hair. The largest picture is the Chicago Bulls logo that landed him second place in a 2011 barber competition in Las Vegas.

“Give me paper, and I can’t do it,” says Mayo, 35, of his artwork. “Give me clippers, and I can do it any place you want. It sounds weird, but I guess it’s just a gift.”

For people seeking less-than-traditional haircuts in Sahuarita or Green Valley, Mayo’s barbershop is a windfall. About 20 people a week come to him asking for designs and the scalp dye that can color them as well as mohawks, fohawks and other styles, he says.

When Mayo moved to Sahuarita in 2008, many people who wanted shaven shapes or other specialized styles drove to Tucson, he says.

Now, the Chicago native’s name is passed around high schools, given to customers at other barbershops and has made it to sports stars and rap artists.

Windy City Barbershop, tucked in the back of Klassy Kutz at 140 W. Calle De Las Tiendas, got its name because “everyone knows Jeff is from Chicago,” he says.

Mayo wears a polo shirt, the team colors of the Chicago Cubs under his barbershop button-up and the laptop sitting on his workstation features the Chicago Bulls mascot as its background.

Mayo is mostly self-taught, he says, and began by cutting his brothers’ hair when he was 7 years old. He received his first barber’s license at age 15 and returned to barber college upon moving to Arizona.

Older customers are surprised when Mayo knows how to cut flattops and tapers, he says, but he thinks his greatest strength is versatility.

Green Valley resident Sharie Williams says she comes to Windy City Barbershop because Mayo does an “excellent job” cutting her 7-year-old son’s hair.

“I’m just glad you’re here,” she tells him.

Mayo says he’s become more practiced in shaving shapes since moving to Arizona and has had a variety of requests. People have asked him to shave everything from geckos to phone numbers into their hair, he says.

Martin looks in the mirror and nods his head as he looks at Mayo’s completed design. Martin, who once had his girlfriend’s name shaved into the back of his head, said a friend recommended Mayo.

“I like trying something new,” he says. “I do it to be different.”

The two joke about what Martin’s mother will think as Mayo brushes off the hair clippings and says goodbye.

“I’m a people’s person,” Mayo says. “I like to have fun with my customers.”