Weaverville – “As early as 6,000 years ago, barbering services were performed by Egyptian nobility. The crude instruments were usually formed from sharpened flint or oyster shells,” according to the National Barber Museum.
One of the oldest professions in the world, barbering has taken on a number of forms, with today’s clientele looking for stylists and beauticians to meet their haircare needs. Still, some men prefer getting their haircuts at a traditional barbershop – the smell, the conversation, the chair and the unique character. So there’s yet a need for a traditional barber, but is the younger generation looking to do that kind of barbering?
At least two recent North Buncombe High graduates are interested and have taken up the profession in one of the oldest barbershops in the area – Tri-City Barber Shop in Weaverville.
Caden Higgins and Heath Fox, both 20, have just joined the ranks of traditional barbering after graduating from Crown Cut Barber School in Johnson City, Tennessee. May of this year marked the anniversary of Tri-City Barber Shop’s opening in 1965. Current owner Mitchell Willis remarked Higgins and Fox is just what he needed for the shop. “I need help,” explained Willis saying his current help was getting older and looking to retire. “I reached out to them [Higgins and Fox] and said, ‘If you all every plan on coming back to Weaverville, I may have something to help both of us out.’ They just worked out.”
Asked what got him interested in barbering, Higgins told the Tribune, “It was really just a go for it thing. I went to school and I really liked it and it just took off from there.” This after Higgins started in the CNA field and found that was not for him. Higgins and Fox are best friends who played sports together since they were about four years old. They decided to enter the same career field.
“We got together and went to the AB Tech Barber School, but it never worked out for us there,” said Higgins. They later completed their schooling at Crown Cut.
Fox says he’d been interested in barbering since high school. “It’s been something I’d been thinking about since high school. I’ve always liked to style my hair,” explained Fox.
Both explained they like the traditional barbershop environment.
“I’ve been to a beauty shop before. I used to go all the time when I was little, but there’s a different atmosphere in a barbershop, especially with a barbershop with this much history,” said Higgins. He explained it’s about meeting new people and being part of the community. Fox echoed Higgin’s sentiments.