Shop Talk


Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program.

Many have seen the movie “Barbershop,” but is that really what goes on inside barber shops? I decided to engage in some shop talk with barbers and beauticians. More and more people are spending cash dollars on hair and nails. Why is this a priority for many people? I interviewed Rick Davis, owner of R&B Platinum barber shop on Chicago Avenue and Lockwood.

I wanted to know if being a barber was a lways his career goal. “Yes, because I love being around people and helping people,” Davis said. He has been a barber for 21 years. I asked if he believes the shop is a place to “kick it.” “No, not really, it’s a place where people unite and get caught up on the latest news,” he said. “Plus they walk out with a new look.”

I asked what he wants to accomplish in the next five years. He said he wants to open a ‘His and Hers’ barber shop and beauty salon. I asked if the job gets hard. “Yes, after your first eight hours of standing,” he said. But he doesn’t think about having a different kind of nine-to-five job.

“I did that for four years and didn’t like it,” he said.

Shops are the place to get the latest gossip; I asked if men gossip more than ladies.

“No,” he said, “Guys are more laid back and relaxed.”

I learned that it’s not only about your hair but about your head-to-toe impression. You are dressed to impress walking in to get the new look and walking out with it, and looking good costs money. Hair, facials, hands and feet are all done in the shops. You walk in feeling like Shrek, and walk out feeling like Will Smith or Denzel Washington.

Categories: UYIJP