$10 haircuts help an Echo Park barbershop stand out in a gentrifying neighborhood

ECHO PARKL.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez pays a visit to what is probably the neighborhood’s smallest barbershop, a one-chair affair tucked behind a stairway painted in red, white and blue stripes. Here, owner Cecilia Rios, who took over the Echo Barber Shop after her father retired, is competing against newer and flashier newcomers that have opened up as the neighborhood has gentrified.

The Echo Park Avenue shop’s base of Latino working class customers has shrunk over the years, and  many of her competitors offer a wider variety of cuts, services and grooming products.

But Rios appears to be holding her own thanks in part to bargain prices — $10 haircuts — and a welcoming vibe.

One of Rios’ customers, banker Joseph Kim, told Lopez:

“I like Cecilia. I know her and I’ve gotten to know her family, and it’s all about comfort, isn’t it? When you come here, it feels comfortable.”

Screenshot 2015-12-10 at 3.10.51 PM

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  1. I try to support Cecilia often, but the quality of the cut just isn’t great. She’s a great lady and very kind, (she goes to Mexico every Sunday to cut hair for free) but unless you’re getting a buzz it’s too risky. I’d gladly pay more if I could count on the quality.

    If she cleaned up the shop and removed all that clutter, she could create a really special environment.

    I know she has a loyal customer base and I hope to see her continued success.

    • Bummer…would love to get a good haircut for $10.

    • This posting isn’t supporting Cecilia. You basically bashed her at every turn. but if it makes you feel better to say you support her, then good on you.

      I have been going to her for years and her dad before that on Sunset and I have never had a bad haircut. She has also given me the best shave I have ever had.

  2. Her Pops cut my hair all time a few years ago. It was cute to see him walk with his granddaughter, hand-in-hand. GLAD to see it’s still in the family. Other new flashier hair stylists still have to compete with “Uni-sex” cuts and Casanova hair styles, where each offer $7/$8 hair cuts in weekdays, there are plenty of hairs and quality stylists. Otherwise, hit up Echo Park Barber is there is a wait. I (heart) EP

  3. I love this place. I hope it can stay in EP offering affordable hair cuts from a familiar face for a very long time:)

  4. Cecilia is the best. She just recently raised her prices from $8 to $10. Her landlord raised the rent on her, I told her to agree to pay it if the landlord would give her a 5 year lease. Unfortunately the landlord wouldn’t give her more than a year, but she was able to negotiate the rent increase down a bit. But yes I gladly pay her $10 plus tip as she does a great job every time. Go support her. She will give you a bottle of water and a good story to be sure.

  5. It’s all over priced or poor unqualified barbershops, nothing makes sense except area is staying poor. To think millionaires are gunna live in this area lol

    • The stylists in EP are all very qualified. Not so “lol” if you paid for it, you’d be satisfied for sure.

  6. I love Cecilia and her family!
    She is an excellent barber. I lived in Boston , NYC and now LA and I’m used to paying $20 for a haircut but honestly I get consistently better cuts from Cecilia. Indeed the place is not glamorous by any stretch but I like it. I get my excellent haircut, my bottle of water and a good chat. She identify me as “the Egyptian dude with cute daughters”. I wish her success for the excellent value I get but also to support and a strong and good natured business woman.

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