Barber expo photo 2

Mansfield continues to bring in creativity to the city. On Sunday, August 25, another kind of art will be showcased at the Ohio State Reformatory: the barbering and cosmetology industry. 

The Mansfield Barber Expo will feature local barbers and cosmetologists in their element, battling on stage in competitions such as the Student Competition, Best Fade & Beard, Fastest Fade, Freestyle, Traditional (gentleman’s cut) and Tag Team Fade & Design.

The event will open for barbers and cosmetologists at 9:00 a.m., and classes will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run until 1:30 p.m. This will be a continuing education three-credit-hour class for the competitors. Doors will open to the public at 12:30 p.m. to tour the reformatory, eat at the many food trucks on site, and to see six hip hop performers, all from Ohio, beginning at 5 p.m.

Performers include: Yung Eli from Marion, Koda Allen from Youngstown, Zuc from Mansfield, Ron E. Polo from Columbus, who will be flown in from L.A., Taj Torrence from Mansfield, and Chip the Ripper, who will also be flown in from L.A. and is originally from Cleveland.

The competition itself will begin at 3:30 p.m. Ten barbers will be on the stage at once, and the different competitions will take place one at a time until a winner is chosen.

Barber expo pic

“The guys coming in this year are at the top in the industry,” Sarah Leonhardt, one of the event’s founders, said. “There are so many barbers and cosmetologists in our area.”

This was the main reason Leonhardt and Damien Beauford started this event.

“I wanted to start this for education,” she said. “Before this expo, I had to travel to Cleveland or Columbus take a class, even though there are so many people in this industry in the Mansfield area. Now, I am happy to offer this class for continuing education credit for those in our area, and I’m proud to share this art with everyone through the competition aspect.”

Leonhardt stressed that this event really is for everyone.

“Anyone can come and check out the art aspect of the hair and listen to good music,” she said. “By doing that, people are supporting Mansfield by allowing us to bring something here that we can continue to grow over the years.”

About 500 people attended the event last year, and Leonhardt and Beauford hope to grow the attendance even more this year.

A ticket will include the tour of the Reformatory, attendance at the event itself, and music. Tickets for the general public are $35, and tickets for the competitors are $75, which covers the cost of the continuing education credit hours.

Tickets are for sale at and can be purchased up until the day of the event. Student discounts are available upon request.

“Mansfield as a community keeps pushing forward and bringing something different for the community,” Leonhardt said. “This is another way of expressing creativity and creating art.”

Attend the Mansfield Barber Expo on August 25 to experience this art, watch barbers go head-to-head, and listen to great local music all at the Ohio State Reformatory. 

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