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Marques Sutton cuts the hair of one of his clients in his new location that overlooks the Arkansas River just after sundown on November 26, 2019.| Photography by Christopher Elie Watson
Published 02/10/2020 | Reading Time 2 min 11 sec
By BWSTimes Staff
TULSA, Okla. — Marques Sutton, 42, was born and raised in north Tulsa and remembers the time when his mother bought him his first pair of barber clippers; he was a junior in high school.
“She said, ‘Won’t you learn how to cut your own hair,’ and I was like ‘huh?’” Sutton explained as the clippers buzzed over the top of one of his client’s head.
He recounted how clippers came with a VCR tape during the ’90s. Hence, he initially learned to cut his own hair from watching the video that came with his first pair of clippers. After becoming decent at cutting his own hair, he gained confidence and began cutting the hair of his classmates during lunch hour at high school.
Sutton grew up without knowing his biological father. His mom eventually showed him pictures of his dad in prison, cutting the hair of wardens and inmates. Thus, it was through the shared profession of barbering, perhaps one genetically passed down from his father, that Sutton and his dad formed their bond.
“He was cuttin’ wardens; he was cuttin’ guards, prisoners — everybody,” he excitedly stated. “I never knew that until my aunt and my uncle on my real father’s side told me that. So, I look at it as if my mom and my real dad gave me my gift, and what I love to do.” Sutton explained how he and his father would write one another, back and forth, until his father passed.
Today, Sutton is a licensed master barber and cosmetology instructor who owns a full upscale barbering service, which offers sensational views for his clients, overlooking the Arkansas River in an eleven-story highrise, an untraditional barbering location, that sets an ambiance of high-class men’s grooming.
Debonair Barber Den offers one of the most luxurious barber experiences in the city. Besides the fantastic view, it provides skin and scalp care, facials, ingrown hair removal and traditional barbering, which also includes a hair wash and beard groom. Moreover, there’s a free alcohol bar for clients over 21, as well as a pampering bar for freshening up, offering colognes, perfumes and oral mints.
Sutton explained that in larger cities, he visited, barbershops were offering more luxurious services for their male and female clients.
“And I said, huh? Tulsa is not there yet. I don’t see it. There’s some good places, but I didn’t see the grooming part of just grooming for great service — not just a haircut, but excellence of service,” he said. “So, what I wanted to do — I wanted to gear my business towards serving people great. When they come in, they get everything,” adding, “I have all of the amenities.”
Debonair is also private and secured. There are only two barber chairs.
Sutton said that about 60% of his clients are Black, 35% White and 5% making up various racial demographics besides the majority. He’s learned to master all hair textures and plans to franchise his business someday.
“My goal is to open up doors for others. So, they can learn to understand the business of barbering,” he said.
For more information about Debonair Barber Den, call 918-438-4663 or 918-270-3592
Marques Sutton’s social media pages:
- Twitter @bamdabarber
- Instagram @bamdabarber
- Facebook @debonairbarberden
- Snapchat @bamda_barber