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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 27 2016 at 10:35am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

A couple weeks ago I went to the only barbershop in town that ain't a "stylist boo-teek" for a long overdue haircut. You know the place. Got whitetail mounts on the walls. A big bass or two mounted too. Got the sportsman channel on the TV. Place is run and operated by men. It's just a shade past noon and one barber is there working on a fella and I sit down as the only other person in the place. The barber says I'll have to come back on Tuesday, as he's booked solid until then. It was Friday. I smiled and said adios. Something about having to wait two and a half working days to get a haircut in a little one horse town really galled me. So ya'll know me, I said the hell with it and just aint gonna get a haircut no more.

Then last week in Walmart looking for .22 ammo (like looking for an honest politician) I spied a haircut place there nestled in amongst the little bank, customer service, and the eyeglass place on the front of the building on my way out. I peek inside and see nuthin' but womenfolk. But being a bold, and old Ranger, I pressed ahead, prepared to meet any adversarial encounter head-on.

I was greeted by a woman in her mid to late 50's that appeared harmless enough. I smiled and said I was in need of some barber-like attention. She countered with saying she's got it covered. I agreed to be led to the chair. She said there was enough hair on my noggin to make a ponytail. She asked what I wanted done with my hair and how it should look when done. I turned slightly and asked if she knew who Steve McQueen was. Her eyes lit up and said he is one of her favorites right behind John Wayne. I knew this was going to go well.

When the clippers shut down and the sissors were laid on the shelf, I was dusted off and had the stray hair blown free by a hair dryer. One look in the mirror made me wanna get a mare'sleg and go be a bounty hunter! I smiled just like Steve would and said it was perfect. I asked what I owed. Sixteen dollars. Same as the barbershop that was too busy to take care of me. I told her to keep the change and thanked her for a very professional bit of work and for having to put up with that mess of gray and brown hair on the floor.

So what if I was surrounded by bottles and tubes of fancy hair products. Who cares if the walls were mostly mirrors and didn't have heads of dead deer or large mouth bass nailed up. And this gal that lowered my ears carries a S&W M36, and knows about single action revolvers to boot! So I recon when I need another haircut I'll go to Wally World and get this pistol packin' lass to get 'er done. Who knows, I might even get lucky and find a box or two of .22's as well!

Edited by Old Ranger on January 27 2016 at 10:38am


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Paul5388
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Posted: January 27 2016 at 11:49am | IP Logged Quote Paul5388

I'm in bad need of a haircut! The last store bought one was in August, after which my barberess broke her leg. It seems like she's riding that break a long time, or she decided to retire.

My wife has picked back up on my haircuts, but her hands don't work too good anymore, so I try to get it done else where.

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STCM(SW)
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Posted: January 27 2016 at 12:46pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

I've been cutting my own hair for 7 or 8 years now.
Always looks good to me and my wife and is just what I want.
Must have saved hundreds of dollars.

BTW, the fancy places can't use a razor on your neck!
It's the law!

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richhodg66
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Posted: January 27 2016 at 6:45pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

One advantage to living near or in a GI town, lots of barber shops. Hate to make an ethnic generalization, but I've found the best barbers to be Korean women in GO towns like Junction City or Lawton, they cut hair batter, faster and cheaper than anybody else.

I didn't know old school barber shops like what you first described even existed anymore.

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Bearjw#1
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Posted: January 28 2016 at 7:43am | IP Logged Quote Bearjw#1

I miss the old barber shop back home. There were two brothers that
ran the place. The paneling behind where you'd sit to wait your turn
was tan colored with pictures of old barns, deer, and pheasants. In front
of you was an ancient mirror that stretched far enough across the wall
for the two barbers. The barber chairs were the old type that had the
leather covered padded seats porcelain armrests, and nickel plated
footrests. The whole place smelled like alcohol, hot lather, and lucky
tiger hair tonic. There was a checkerboard set up that was in perpetual
use by a couple of old timers. I never saw a woman in the place, and
jokes were told that you'd be tarred and feathered if you repeated them
today. When your turn came up, you'd sit in the chair, have the sheet
put over you, get your hair cut, and then the best part was the hot lather
on your neck and around the ears where they'd shave you with a
straight razor. Mostly I miss it cause that was something I always did
with my dad. He's been gone now for 23 years.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 28 2016 at 8:37am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

I recall 50 haircuts on post. Off post was four bits more. I too miss getting a shave around the ears and the neck. Thanks "alternative life styles" for ruining more of our lives. Today I still have a shave with a straight razor and hot lathered up soap with a brush. But its me doing the shaving. Sometimes a double edged Gillette safety razor if I'm in a hurry. Never had anyone shave me but me.

Yes, the old barber shops are just about gone. Like most things syndicated shops and stylist types have taken over and the older ones are disappearing. In my father's time the barber could, if skilled, perform minor dentistry and even remove tonsils! Treat minor cuts and wounds. Even a few were known back in the mid to late 19th century in remote locations to probe and remove bullets from folks and stitch 'em back up! Times have changed.... And got a lot more expensive!

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The_Shadow
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Posted: January 28 2016 at 9:21am | IP Logged Quote The_Shadow

I put off going get my hair cut for a while, it was
getting unruly, so I went seen my guy the other day.
Yes he does shave the neck and around the ears with a
straight razor and he actually got a new hot lather
machine.

He only charges $10 & usually give him $12, but I gave
him a $5 tip to start the new year off right.

I use to go there when his dad had the shop...

So many people I have used to cut my hair over the
years, have come and gone. Some have passed on, some
were too greedy, some moved to further locations and
some just plain gave up.

Edited by The_Shadow on January 28 2016 at 9:22am


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Rex
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Posted: January 28 2016 at 9:30am | IP Logged Quote Rex

I recall .25 cent hair cuts in Hill City, Kansas when I was a kid. Your eyes would water from the tonic fumes and people could smell you a block away. When cuts went from 2 bits to 4 bits all at once Dad swore he'd never get another hair cut....but he did.
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: January 28 2016 at 10:06am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

There are still a few of the old style barber shops around my area mostly in the smaller communities. I know of a few up in the larger city of Springfield. They have been there for a long time and the barbers are mostly older guys.

These old shops appear to be slowly shuttng down as the owners retire, and it looks like they are being replaced by the more modern shops where they give style cuts and such. More and more guys seem to be going to the shops that handle both women and men type hair care.

Back home in the little town I grew up near, there was always a kid hanging around on Saturdays to shine shoes while you got your hair cut if you so desired. Of course, most kids had crew cuts or flat tops and occasionally there would be a grease head that had the long hair and lots of Breal Cream. That was before the Beatles came over of course.

Well, now days I still can get my hair cut in a semi-old style shop and some of the barbers do still use straight razors to shave around the ears and neck. I certainly enjoy the vibrating back and shoulder massage that they give you for about 30 seconds after they take off the sheet. That alone is worth the tip that I give them.

Edited by Ham Gunner on January 28 2016 at 10:08am


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twillis
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Posted: January 29 2016 at 8:43am | IP Logged Quote twillis

I recently had a chat with a stylist and separately with a barber. As STCM indicated both said that stylists did not have the training to use straight razors and shave folks while barbers did. The barber mentioned that stylist get more training in things like perms and coloring while barbers get a lot more experience with fades, flattops and things like "high and tights". That said, one stylist I had once mentioned that 3 of her ex-husbands were Marines so she was pretty good doing the high and tight.

I'd guess in most cases either could deliver a perfectly acceptable haircut for most folks. Given my haircut of choice is a #1 clipper all over either will suffice or I could just do it myself..I do like the razor shave on the back of my neck though!

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Old Ranger
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Posted: January 29 2016 at 9:20am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

I do my own neck shave with my old safety razor, mug & brush, and holding a mirror in front watching my work in the mirror behind me. Even the old barber shop won't have a thing to do with a razor. Said state health laws won't allow it. I joked with 'em about slicin' off too many ears because of terett syndrome! Ha! But the old chairs they got still have strops attached to the back. "Atmosphere" is what they call that now. Ya see, anytime ya got somethin' old yet still fully functional hangin' round ya call that atmosphere. Kinda like me and my sixgun. We're old but still fully functional.

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twillis
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Posted: February 01 2016 at 8:05am | IP Logged Quote twillis

Quote:
Said state health laws won't allow it.


That's interesting. It's not a problem here and the barbers still use straight razors and do full shaves to include your whole if so desired.

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LAH
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Posted: February 21 2016 at 7:37am | IP Logged Quote LAH

No problems with barbers here. I've cut my own hair since about the time I met Terry.

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twillis
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Posted: February 22 2016 at 8:32am | IP Logged Quote twillis

Now that's been awhile. I believe the last time we met you had just moved into Beckley.

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Rex
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Posted: February 22 2016 at 2:16pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

Terry, about how much hair did he have to cut at that time? It's been a while since I've seen him.
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LAH
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Posted: February 22 2016 at 8:21pm | IP Logged Quote LAH

My head is better covered than Terry's but not by much.

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twillis
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Posted: February 23 2016 at 12:43pm | IP Logged Quote twillis

Let's just say he has little to cut and I have less!

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Rigmarol
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Posted: February 29 2016 at 5:50pm | IP Logged Quote Rigmarol

I probably have sat in a barber's chair maybe 10 times in my whole life.

My dad cut our hair as kids, then off to college and I had to pay for my own. Didn't like wasting the money so I let it grow for a few years.

Met a few ladies that like to cut my hair then I married one of them. Once while I've been married I went to a barber only to have him teach me to use a straight razor around my beard properly. Hate paying for disposable blades so I went with the straight razor and love it.


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twillis
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Posted: March 01 2016 at 7:52am | IP Logged Quote twillis

Rig, real trust is when you let Miss S. run that straight razor around your neck!

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Old Ranger
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Posted: December 15 2017 at 10:55am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Here's an update on the dwindling barbers in my neck of
the woods.

My lady at Wal-Mart has left. Moved to Dallas, a coworker
stated. Hair was flipping up and out all over the place.
I look like Prof. Erwin Corey now! Common ballcap
couldn't contain it. Desperation set it.
The search began... Again!

Everybody's a stylist. I stand a better chance of seeing
a polar bear drinking a Coke from a bottle than finding a
genuine barber today. The "too busy to cut my hair"
barber shop last year is now a short term loan agency.

Today, I'm going to cut my own with dog clippers and a
couple mirrors. Why not? I load my own ammo. Mow my own
grass. Trim my own trees (often with a 20ga.) Do my own
laundry. So why not? I mean I gave a perfect G.I. haircut
in the barracks before inspection and collected 4 times
the going rate at pay call. Was a good deal until the 1st
Sgt shut me down saying I had no barbers license. I
suspect the post barbershop had a lot to do with it
though. My "clip joint" was none the less shut down. So
I'll just cut my own from now on. At the very worst, I'll
look ne different than most guys today with a "buzz-cut"
if I mess up right?

P.S. And the beard I started a few weeks ago has got to
go. I look like a reject from the Grizzly Adams stuntman
crew on a bad day!

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