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Georgetown man clipping along in new barbershop on wheels

The entrepreneur believes the elderly, those pressed for time or anyone who wants to be pampered will benefit from his mobile business
Dan Lane has kitted out his van as a barbershop.

Give Georgetown resident Dan Lane a shout and he’ll come to you with scissors and shampoo in tow. 

Today (May 14) is the first official day of his new business called Manchanger, a mobile barbershop located inside a van.

The semi-retired tradesman and former soldier promises to make his customers “not only look awesome, but feel awesome,” in the most convenient way.

“Fades, shear cuts and pompadours can make you look good. It’s that added convenience that really wins people over, having a barber shop at their door,” Lane said. 

He promises his cuts will take 15 minutes per person, which he believes will be useful for anyone who's pressed for time but has an unwanted mop top.

“You could be sitting outside of a factory and I could say, ‘Hey guys, I’m here for the day. If you want to come out, I can take $5 off,’” Lane said.

He sees his services benefiting people in long-term care homes, or anyone with mobility issues, the most. 

Dan Lane's mobile barbershop, Manchanger, contains a wash station alongside a swivel chair for cuts. Mansoor Tanweer/HaltonHillsToday

Stepping inside the van, one finds everything a barber needs to do his job: A swivel chair, an array of tools, a light-up mirror and a hair wash station. Lane has hooked up two water tanks - one for clean water and another for grey water - to a pump, a battery and a thermostat to keep his wash station flowing, warm and clean. 

The business will mostly cater to boys and men, however, he's willing to perform some simple trims for women. He hopes to first grow his skills before expanding his services to the other half.

“If they (women) come to me and say, ‘I want a half-inch off just to get rid of the split ends,' I can do that.”

In the meantime, men can get pampered the way only an old-fashioned barbershop can do. They can ask for a hair wash using barber-strength shampoos and conditioners, beard styling and straight razor shaves.

To appeal to the diverse tastes of his customers, Lane has adorned the interior with Star Wars decorations. The front half of the business will resemble, Lane says, a penalty box to appeal to hockey lovers once completed.

“Scissors can bother children,” Lane said in speaking about why he picked the Star Wars decals. He recalls taking his van to buy groceries one day when he caught the eye of a curious child.

“He loved the idea of [a Star Wars-themed barber], but he had it in his head that he didn’t like haircuts. He said, ‘If I was going to get a haircut, I would love to get it in this.’”

The consummate tradesman has kitted out the van with his own two hands and will be serving residents in Georgetown.

The business is open seven days a week between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. Appointment are encouraged and can be booked by calling 416-705-4738.

Lane will be taking customers at his home to start (39 Chelvin Dr.) for a few days, but will venture out into the rest of Georgetown once his clientele builds.

He also plans to park his shop at local events like the farmers' market.

Lane's haircutting experience goes back to his high school years, where he was the “go-to guy” for many of his friends. He continued this tradition in the military, where soldiers often help each other maintain hair regulations. After sustaining injuries while serving in Bosnia, he was medically released from the army in 2005. 

But cutting hair was still in the cards. He qualified as a barber in Alberta - where he was stationed in the army - and got to work.

He eventually made his way to Ontario to serve as an HVAC technician before harnessing his entrepreneurial spirit and launching Manchanger.