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Jayson Dallman Is the Keeper of Low-Price Haircuts and Booming Laughs

Jayson Dallman and his dog Lola

Jayson Dallman and his dog Lola

One of the fascinating Twin Cities community members featured in City Pages' People 2015 issue. Check out our entire People 2015 issue.

Every year, more stacks of Legos obstruct the skyline near Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street in south Minneapolis. Rents rise as a version of progress devours meeker businesses.

But the $15 haircut lives on.

"Lyn-Lake has always had a history of long-standing businesses," says Lyn-Lake Barbershop proprietor Jayson Dallman. "The tailor shop, the groomer, the shoe repair shop, the bike shop.... We've been here for years."

The three-chair shop opened in 1961. Dallman wouldn't arrive until 2000, after the neighborhood had gentrified plenty.

But affordable haircuts didn't go the way of the soul patch or the Caesar. Dallman's fingers pass over some 20 heads a day, most of whom are regulars.

The mood inside is welcoming. A tiny chihuahua roams the floor as conversations bounce off the shop's narrow interior. Couples, families, and artists from all walks of life call it home. Part of the draw is the rosy-cheeked barber himself, who blends engrossing stories and a booming laugh without losing his focus on your scalp.

A drawing of rapper Brother Ali hangs on the wall. It's a nod to Dallman's deep musical knowledge. He keeps up with local arts and culture not just for personal fulfillment, but because he believes being a trusted resource is part of the job.

"I didn't make it just a man's shop," he says. "I made it comfortable for everyone, even transgender. That's part of the new world now. They need a place to feel comfortable and not worry that they're going to be ridiculed."

Dallman may be 50, but he looks a decade younger due to eight years of Pilates. That cut 75 pounds from his frame. "When you stand for hours and hours and hours, you just have to do something," he says. "I plan to be here 15 more years... until I'm ready to retire. Retire or dead. One of the two."

Lyn-Lake Barbershop's prices haven't risen in years, but they might jump in 2015. His rent's been raised, but he believes it's a fair hike. Either way, Dallman knows he can't price himself out of the neighborhood. "You've got to be careful," he argues. "If it's a slow week, I drink a cheaper bottle of wine. Oh well. It's more important to me that our clientele get a good haircut at an affordable price. I'm okay with drinking cheap wine."