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Tue, June 18

Business: Q & A Old-fashioned barbershop gives new style to hair cutting

The Daily Courier/Jo. L. Keener 
Debby Waugh of Prescott Valley Barber Shop poses outside her shop where she has cut hair for over 19 years.

The Daily Courier/Jo. L. Keener Debby Waugh of Prescott Valley Barber Shop poses outside her shop where she has cut hair for over 19 years.

Q and A with Debby Waugh, owner of the Prescott Valley Barbershop.

Address: 7840 E. Highway 69 in the Safeway shopping center.

Hours: The barbershop is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Phone number: 775-4399

How many employees do you have? " I have four barbers and myself."

What service do you provide in the community: "We're basically an old-fashioned barbershop. I tell people we're a barbershop and not a salon. We're strictly walk-in."

How many years have you worked as a barber? "I've been cutting hair for 37 years and 19 years at the same location and same owner. Barber Don Nance has been with me since I opened the doors. Ticia Borta has been with me 12 years. James Smith has been with me for 10 years and Sara DeChristina for almost a year."

Do you have a bond with some of your clients? "Some of my customers that I started with I'm now doing their children's hair. When I start doing their grandchildren's (hair), I'm out of here."

What is your key to business longevity? "Having great employees and providing, in my humble opinion, excellent customer service."

How do you successfully compete with franchises and salons? "I think the fact that we are barbers and know how to cut flat-tops and other short haircuts makes a difference. We make a big deal over kids for their first haircuts. We take their pictures and they get a certificate commemorating their first haircut and we give them a T-shirt."

How did you become a barber? "In all honesty, I didn't know what I wanted to do after I graduated high school and my father said I'd better figure it out. I thought that barbering would be a great way to work my way through college. One day I realized that I was doing exactly what I wanted to do."

What is the most challenging part of your business? "Good help. Barbering is a dying art because there are not (medical or dental) benefits in the barbering business. Most other barbershops have independent contractors and my barbers are employees. I match their medical, I match their Social Security and I pay their worker's compensation. If I could afford to pay for health insurance for all of them, I would."

How has cutting hair changed over the years? "I started when long hair was popular and I didn't know how to do a flat-top. Now I do 10 to 12 flat-tops a week. Long hair is starting to come back. It all comes around."

Do you have a slogan you live by? "My motto in life has always been a woman with a straight razor has all the power."

Are clients still chatting up popular topics while getting a haircut? "My barbers know to avoid conflict when discussing sex, politics and religion because you're not going to change anybody's mind about any of those. My barbers are instructed to listen. They (customers) don't pay us for our opinion."

Contact the reporter at jsoifer@prescottaz.com

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