Saturday, September 12, 2020

At the Barber Shop

white, red, and blue barber spiraling bar

My barber told me this morning that he only gave two haircuts yesterday.

His shop has long been one of the most successful barber shops in town.

He makes house calls for those who are uncomfortable or unable to come to the shop. He has had a large clientele, many of whom are quite successful, so price doesn't seem to be a barrier.

Furthermore, his shop takes reasonable precautions to promote safety. Everyone is masked, chairs are cleaned, equipment is cleaned. The waiting area has social distancing. I feel safer there than in a grocery store.

And yet many customers are afraid to show up. Some may have special health concerns. That reluctance would be understandable but it's doubtful if that description applies to most of the no-shows.

I hope the shop is still around when they eventually emerge.

[Photo by Tim Mossholder at Unsplash]


Steve said...

My regular barber did a thriving business pre-coronavirus, in part because he had his shop less than a block from a busy suburban a train station serving New York City and opened very early on weekdays, giving customers the opportunity to get a haircut on their way to work. In NJ barbers were allowed to re-open in July. When I visited in July, business was booming, since everyone needed a haircut. When I visited again in August, I was sorry to hear him report that in August business was way down from usual; with "work from home" fewer people are taking the train and men are getting haircuts less often.

Michael Wade said...


It's a tough business to be in now. Perhaps many of the people who were inclined to get frequent haircuts are in the older age ranges and thus more wary of infection. I don't know. My barber has not had the advantage of being near a train station but his shop had a solid business and it's shocking to see the decline.

I imagine that the work at home/casual dress shift has also hurt dry cleaners.