More Than a Cut

From a  simple traditional cut, to a fade or even a mohawk the barbers does their best to give the customer what they want. 

"Basically any haircut they want I can give it to them you know, I love when they walk out the door and they have that smile on they face I love that," says Billy "Ray" Van of JayWadesCutz Barbershop. 

Black barbers have played a important role in American history since the 19th century. Many shops during that time were mainly operated by slaves, freedman or waiting men.

After the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, blacks owned barbershops were opened to serve black clientele and became a booming business for black men. Today shops have become mainstream in cities, movies and on social media. Even though todays  barbershop has taken on a different look  van says the mission is still to make the customer feel at home. 

"You wanna make them feel comfortable while sitting in your chair its a good friendly environment," said Van. 

"If im looking for a job or something like that you know, hes gonna fix me up real nice. What churches this and that or what places are good, what places are bad areas to avoid, the barber knows everything," said Ricco Riggins who is a customer at Creative Touch Barbershop. 

"A lot of men don't talk  about mental health and everything but when they come to the barbershop this where a lot of men vent. You know where they might say a lot of things at the house you know we have cousin, uncle, everyone that comes here so we talk and everything so its a good vibe its a good place," said Wiggins. 

Being around a barbershop is what Jeffrey Dennis told me inspired him to become a barber. 

"I never took it serious but i always played around a little bit and my barber that taught me said that if you can draw you can cut hair," said Dennis. 

He and his wife Theodora own creative touch barbershop in Ozark, Alabama. The shop serve as a social hub for people in the community and a positive and safe business for younger generations. The shop is known to gives free haircuts for students before school starts as a way to give back to the community. 

"We do as far as sometime when we own the catering business we started to  actually give ten percent back to the schools. Whoever is playing whether its football basketball or whatever we try to give 10 percent back or whatever kids going around they come to get they get haircuts free food so we try to give back as much as possible that is acceptable to the community," said Dennis. 

The barbershop continues to have  a impact on communities by bringing people young and old together, but it also serves as a place of where diversity can thrive. 

"Back in the day would I go into a all white barbershop  no I wouldn't, would a white person go into a all black barbershop no they wouldn't for the simple fact as they felt like we couldn't cut our hair so I wanna break that bond i wanna break that chain and say hey your just as much welcomed in here as anyone else so that basically what i would say is a diversified barbershop," said Dennis. 


 


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