My neighborhood barbershop in 1960s Boston, Massachusetts was a gathering spot for watching Red Sox games, exchanging news and gossip, and for getting a haircut from Mr. Louis, as he was known to us kids, “Heavy”, as he was known to our fathers. Mr. Louis gave one and all the same haircut regardless of the current style of the day. Heavy’s was a place where the men in our small Black community could relax for an hour or two six days a week.
As another new arrival to late 1980s San Francisco with a suitcase and dreams, I needed a haircut and soon discovered the barbershops of the Western Addition or Fillmore as locals called the neighborhood. Each barbershop had the same community vibe as my old and long-gone Boston neighborhood shop but were more evolved and inclusive with women barbers a part of everyday life in the shops. I spent a couple of months in 1993 getting to know the folks and photographing daily life in the shops.
Sadly, as of 2021, these barbershops are now long-gone; morphed into antique shops, mailbox centers, and empty storefronts for the newly arrived of the 21st Century.