FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Carlos Morgan, 32, is a barber who has been cutting hair for 14 years and started out cutting his own hair before he learned professionally.

Born in Tennessee, Morgan grew up in California before he found his home in Northwest Arkansas. A barber makes a modest salary. He said after filing his taxes for 2017, he made about $26,000, and estimated that he was making about $10 an hour at his job. He takes one day off a week and usually works from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Morgan said he shares the custody of his children, one of whom is a basketball player at Fayetteville High School, graduating this year.

Morgan’s most expensive bill is rent, more than $1,000 a month for a three-bedroom apartment, a cost he pays alone. Morgan said most of his money goes to bills and that he doesn’t buy frivolous things. Next year, Morgan said he wants to buy a house, and one day, a barbershop of his own.

Morgan described his childhood as “pretty rough,” and even,  “cliche,” of a black man growing up. “Pretty much cliche, mother did what she did, father was in jail, things like that,” he said. He said he has three siblings, two of whom are incarcerated, and he doesn’t keep in touch with the other.

As Morgan spoke, he was cutting the hair of Stanley Chukwuanu, 24, who agreed there is a special bond between a barber and customer. Chukwuanu said he takes advice from Morgan, talks to him about his relationship, and that they always joke around with each other. Chukwuanu said he plans to move to Oklahoma City soon but doesn’t know where he can find a barber he can trust in the new city. Morgan said he works with different people everyday from an array of ethnicities. Several of Morgan’s clients have been coming to him for many years, and two more young gentlemen in the shop said they have been coming to Morgan for haircuts since they were kids.

Morgan takes pride in his work, “a haircut is more than just a haircut,” he said, because it changes a person’s self-image.