THE ACE OF FADES
FD native Habben opens barbershop along Corridor of Commerce
Jericho Habben was in seventh grade the first time he picked up some clippers and cut someone else’s hair.
“My friends needed a haircut,” Habben, of Fort Dodge, said from his barbershop, Ace of Fades, recently. “I tried my best, but I think it was the best a seventh-grader could do.”
He got the clippers from his mother, who also cut hair at one time, he said.
“Cutting hair runs in my family,” Habben said. “My mom did it, I have cousins that do it, my grandpa used to do it.”
After the middle school experience, it took a few years before Habben tried to snip someone’s hair again.
“I put them down after that and probably picked them up again in 10th grade,” he said. “One of my buddies was cutting hair and I thought I could do better.”
Habben added, “I knew I could do better and prove everyone wrong.”
With practice, he eventually became the barber for his group of friends.
“I cut my own hair throughout school,” Habben said.
The results varied.
“Sometimes I would mess up on myself or my own hair and my mom would fix my mistakes,” Habben said. “I stuck with it though.”
At first it was just a hobby.
Habben graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High in 2012.
Then while attending Iowa State University, he heard some advice that he took to heart.
“My freshman year, a guest speaker came and he said be good enough at something where people want to pay you for it,” Habben said. “It kind of stuck with me.”
As a result, he pursued a career as a barber.
Eventually, Habben worked with one of his cousins at Fade Designz in downtown Fort Dodge.
He worked there for about a year-and-a-half.
In November of 2018, Habben opened his own barbershop, located at427 S 18th St.
The shop sits on the north side of Fifth Avenue South, the city’s Corridor of Commerce.
He’s worked to build his reputation with people in the area.
“Being in Fort Dodge, there has always been a couple barbers around,” Habben said. “But I’ve been in Fort Dodge all my life and have known a lot of people. When everyone found out I was cutting hair based off the people I knew — once I get them in my chair one time and put out my best effort most of the time they come back.”
Jerris Duncan, 16, of Fort Dodge, was one of Habben’s recent customers.
“He’s been cutting my hair five years,” Duncan said. “I don’t trust anyone else.”
Duncan was getting a taper fade haircut.
“It’s a good look if you have longer hair,” Habben said. “It makes longer hair look presentable.”
Habben will work with a variety of different styles.
“I do all hair types,” he said. “Curly, straight, I do ball fades, shadow fades, comb overs, side parts. I mess around with designs a little bit too. Taper fades, afros, sometimes a simple lineup. Clean up the edges.”
Habben cuts hair like he plays his favorite sport.
“I have always been a sports guy,” he said. “I wanted to be the best at basketball. I think of cutting hair like playing basketball. You need to keep practicing and get better. A lot of self-criticism. I just look for different ways to improve my skills.”
Five questions for Jericho Habben
1 What was the last song or artist you listened to? J. Cole
2 Who is your dream dinner guest? LeBron James
3 What is your favorite movie? Forrest Gump
4 A place you want to visit? Africa
5 Nickname? Waterbugg