A sign posted on one of the wall-to-wall mirrors inside Fulton Barber Shop on Gaither Street, taped next to the one that reads “No profanity,” details the shop’s prices.
A cut costs $9. A hot-towel shave runs the same. Want both? That’s $15.
Those are throwback prices. Then again, the very notion of a barber shop is a bit of a throwback in and of itself.
“It’s a dying trend,” said Danny Stovall, 36, the shop’s owner and lone barber, of standalone barber shops. Over the decades, businesses like Fulton Barber Shop, which has been open for at least 85 years, have been clipped away by shopping mall haircut chains and beauty salons.
But Stovall’s business is still very much what it was when it was in the hands of its previous owner, the late Elwood Shumpert, and the long-gone owners before him.
It’s a place for a guy to get an inexpensive cut and shave. Conversation is on the house.
“You get a lot of different people and personalities in here,” Stovall said, snipping away a bit of hair from a customer’s head as he talked. People come in, talk shop or guns or cars while Stovall cuts their hair. They trade a few items then leave and return in a week or two. Each one brings with him a good story or two. That’s the part Stovall loves.
Although he comes from a family full of musicians, Stovall said the notion of being a barber came to him in his childhood days back in Red Bay, Ala.