montana photograph Billings Best Barbers
Montana isn’t exactly a melting pot. About 90 percent of the population identifies as white, according to the 2014 census. If you’re a Montanan of another race, finding a someone who will do a good job cutting your hair can be a problem.
That’s why people drive 100 miles and more to Billings to have their hair cut at Billings Best Barbers, owned by Rafael Rivera and his older brother Eric Rosas.
“We’re super multi-cultural,” says Rivera. “We cut all types of hair.”
The brothers grew up in Puerto Rico, but Rosas was stationed in Great Falls during his stint in the Air Force. He married a Billings woman and moved there when he was discharged. Rivera came to visit and never left.
“We grew up in a barber shop environment,” Rosas says. “We knew there was a need for something like this.”
The brothers say a barber shop should provide an experience, develop relationships with clientele. A barber shop should not only provide a good haircut, but also be a place to get up to speed on sports, talk music, parenting, everyday life.
“Any topic of conversation is open for discussion here, ” says Rosas. “Nobody ever gets out of hand. Everybody understands we’re just talking.”
The shop specializes in short hair. Fades are a specialty. They take pride in clean lines, cool designs, razor work, and uniform, consistent blending.