A Cut Above
KC Royals master barber puts his mark on the boys in blue.
DeJuan Bonds, 41, has been snipping away as the Kansas City Royals barber since 2004. Before that, the 1995 graduate of the Ea La Mar's Cosmetology & Barber College and 12th Street and Brooklyn Avenue was the barber for the Kansas City Chiefs for about 10 years. A perfectionist, Bonds considers himself an artist. The married father of three is also busy with customers at his Purple Label Barbershop in Overland Park. Although appointments are preferred, walk-ins are welcome.
- His most famous and popular cut is “The Hos,” named after first baseman Eric Hosmer. It’s his signature Mohawk with a long tail in back. A myriad of little boys have requested the look since the Royals back-to-back appearances in the 2014 and 2015 World Series. Bonds’ business has increased tenfold since these contests.
- Bonds has five barbers he has trained to do “The Hos.”
- When the team was struggling recently, outfielder Jarrod Dyson requested a “heartbeat” haircut to let fans know the team still had a pulse.
- “They feel they have to look good all the time,” Bonds says of the players. “Since their recent World Series success, a lot of the guys are faces in the MLB now. They’re getting a lot of TV time. They’re getting a lot interviews and poster shots and things like that. So they want to make sure that any time that camera is shoved in their faces, that they are looking their best.”
- Many of the players are superstitious. They like a haircut when they get back in town for home games and right before they leave town for away games.
- “I take pride in my work, and the biggest thing is for me is to do the best job I can do in the fastest time that I can because I don’t have a lot of time. The cuts that you guys see on TV are actually rushed haircuts,” Bonds says.
- His goal is to have Purple Label continue to grow and provide quality service. “I’m only as good as my last haircut,” Bonds says.
- He has become good friends with several of the players. “It’s more than a haircut,” he says. “It’s beyond the chair.”
What inspires you?
I’m inspired to give my all to whatever task is before me. I’m inspired to do great things, and great things will usually happen.
Last good movie or book?
The Race movie about Jesse Owen’s life and the boundaries and barriers broken.
What makes you cry?
Chopping onions makes me cry, but on a serious note, I am a momma’s boy! Tears from her eyes at any given point will bring tears to mine.
Every week, two to three times, I'm in the mall. “Checking the mall,” as my mom says. I hate missing out on the newest, latest fashion in shoes and clothes.