Visiting a newly reopened business


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This article was published 13/07/2020 (811 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The red, white and blue pole is flashing and Modern Man Barber Shop in Garden City Shopping Centre is open for business.

All rules and regulations and distancing between clients will be observed, said Eric Castor, who is part-owner, along with Kim Ordonez and Cordelle Delacruz, of the Ora Hair Group.

“Our first week opening up was stressful,” Castor said.

Photo by Freda Glow Modern Man Barber Shop at Garden City Shopping Centre has reopened with physical distancing and masking protocols in place.

Within a very short time the barbers had to organize physical distancing, get enough personal protective equipment, arrange sanitation and gauge how it would play out with the public.

“Everyone co-operated,” he added. “We are like brothers.”

Mall administration has been very understanding, he said. “We are covered for two months rent.”

Although the two-year-old shop is not operating at full capacity, “business feels almost normal.”

The staff at Modern Man Barber Shop work as a team. There are 10 chairs and 14 barbers who rotate, so each can work their total weekly hours.

Fronted by tinted glass, which affords a bit of customer privacy, the premises are brightly lit inside.

“I designed the decor myself,” said Castor, 34. Although this is his first business venture, he has been cutting hair for six years.

Sitting in one of the sturdy, upholstered leather chairs, I plied him with question: “Do women drop in?”

“A few,” Castor said, “if they want short cuts.”

He said the new trend for men over the last five years has been what he calls the “grungy look” that you see in the movies. He also keeps busy trimming beards and mustaches, and when he provides shaves, he uses an old-fashioned straight razor with disposable blades. The skilled barber achieves some of the most popular and creative hair styles men are wearing today, with his cordless clippers.

“Young guys are wearing shorter sides and more hair on top,” he said, adding that some still like to wear their hair long.

“There are more options now.”

Castor said one popular style is similar to the hairstyle worn by actor Brad Pitt. Other assorted cuts are “slicked back,” “side part,” “tapered fade” and various kinds of “hair tattoos” which are shaped with scissors or clippers.

He said today’s clients are knowledgeable about what they want but don’t realize that their hair texture dictates the style. A cut may also depend on where you work. “Way-out” styles are not welcome in certain workplaces. The youthful entrepreneur added that sometimes a client wants what he can’t have.

“Conversation is the key,” said the barber. “Some ask for the impossible.”

Because he likes to display his scissor work, Castor said he prefers to work with mid-length hair. He added that his clients come from many cultures and range in age from a year-old to those in their 90s. 

When it comes to cutting hair, he said that “old stuff” has become “new again.”

Castor, who is engaged to be married, said he sometimes feels like a therapist. People like to talk about their lives and problems and in turn, he tries to give the best advice he can.

“Working at Modern Man Barber Shop is fun — not just a job,” he concluded.

He said he tells everyone to “leave your problems at the door — this place should be your sanctuary.”

Freda Glow is a community correspondent for the North End.

Freda Glow

Freda Glow
North End community correspondent

Freda Glow is a community correspondent for the North End.

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