Active Barbers

Active Barbers, Santa Monica. April 2014

In one of my first posts, I mentioned Steven the Barber. I met him at Lincoln Barbers in 2012. He gave a great haircut, and when I wanted to splurge a little, an old-fashioned hot towel shave. A month after Jake’s passing, with the conclusion of the shloshim, the 30 day mourning period, I went to see Steven. During that 30 days it is customary not to shave or cut your hair, so by that time, I had a full beard. While we were talking he asked about Jake, who he knew and whose hair he had cut on a few occasions. When I told him what had happened and that Jake was 24 years old, he got very quiet and murmured, “that’s how old I am.” We spent the rest of the time in near silence other than him mumbling, “We’re gonna make Ed Colman look like a million bucks.” He took great care while shaving me, and when I went to pay him, he refused to take any money. “This one’s on me”, he said. It was a small kindness that had a great impact at the time.

A few months later, Steven left Lincoln and with a partner, opened his own shop on Wilshire, Active Barbers. As soon as he opened, I went for a haircut to support him. I guess I could be called a charter customer. I wouldn’t get my hair cut any where else. We always talk about his business, his progress, how he is doing. He has an interesting history, not the most sterling from what I can surmise, and he has made a successful life for himself in spite of a difficult beginning. If you look closely, you can see him in the mirror. The shop rarely looks like this now, it is always busy.