Walking into Woodrow's Barber Shop is a trip back in time, complete with a barber's pole at the door and a vintage barber shop chair inside. Milton Woodrow Horner opened his shop about a week ago inside the Rockin' R Ranch Supply across from Chile's. And he isn't sorry to admit Woodrow's is the place to get a haircut as long as you don’t want your nails done or don’t want a perm (assuming you even know what a perm is).
It's a place where you can go back in time—nary a Ladies Housekeeping or Marie Claire magazine in sight. An “Andy Griffith” episode is playing on the television in the corner in lieu of any pop style music piped through a sound system.
Aside from the expected haircut, Horner is quite deft at the art of straight razor shaving. One look at the razor is a bit harrowing at first, but Horner has had his training.
Question: With the frequent changes in hairstyles, salons have taken over the haircut industry, and barbering is becoming a bit of a lost craft. What drove you to open this business and will you describe the training you had to become a barber?
Answer: “I liked the atmosphere of the barber shop where men are talking about life. We can talk about all kind of things from jokes to marriage to business. It’s basically a place where you learn things.
“I went to East Texas Barber College. You have to have 1500 hours of schooling?which is nine months if you never miss a day.
“I decided on barber school instead of the traditional cosmetology school because I wanted to do the shaves. Cosmetologists aren’t allowed to have a barber pole or a razor. They can have a razor to cut hair, but they can't have a razor to shave.”
Question: That pretty much brings us to the next question. That straight razor is pretty intimidating. What training did you have to make yourself proficient?and safe?in wielding that thing?
Answer: “First you start with balloons. Then you begin with shaving barbershop students. Next you start shaving regular people.
“No one needs to worry about the spreading of infection. I only use disposable straight razors to guard against the spread of blood pathogens. I remove the blade each time and put in a new blade for each person.”
Question: Your place would be more appealing to Clint Eastwood than uber “metro male,” Ryan Seacrest. How do you see your business as fostering a "manliness movement"?
Answer: “A barbershop is a place where men can be themselves. I have a deal where you can bring a picture of yourself doing something ‘manly,’ which is what I am trying to promote. I feel it is fading away in society. I want the gruff man to come back. So if you have a photo of yourself holding a cat fish or you’re wearing your military uniform or you’re in a first responder’s uniform, bring it, and you get $2 off the price of an $11 haircut or shave.”