Local barber offers unique experience

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2006

Dillards Classic Cuts is not your granddaddy’s barbershop.

From the moment you walk through the door, you can tell that there is a little something different from the traditional shops such as Floyd’s on the Andy Griffith Show.

Maybe it’s the comfy couch, television and DVD player in the waiting area or the R&B music blaring from a stereo with speakers that stretch from the floor halfway up the wall.

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Or, maybe its the owner of the shop, Aaron Dillard, who seems to be always smiling and is decked out in a Harlem Globetrotters jersey emblazoned with the number and name of basketball great Meadowlark Lemon.

The uniqueness is exactly what draws customers to the recently opened shop at 1724 S. Third St., 35-year-old Dillard said.

“A lot of people, including many of the younger people, want their hair cut a little different. They want it cut a way that some barbers don’t cut it,” said Dillard, who lives in Huntington.

He has a lot of respect for other barbers, he said, but just wants his shop to offer an alternative to those looking for a break from tradition. He said ongoing training and continued study of other barbers help to keep his trims on the cutting edge, so to speak.

Dillard came to Ironton from Uppercuts, an established, popular barbershop in his hometown. Before that, he worked with the mentally challenged.

At Uppercuts, Dillard said he learned to snip a diverse group of heads — all shapes and sizes, all lengths and textures. He said many of his clients there were from the Lawrence County area, so moving out on his own to Ironton made good business sense.

After about a month, Dillard said his business has more than doubled — something he is thrilled with, especially since becoming a business owner was something that was a little scary for him.

Dillard said his customer base has grown because of the quality cuts he gives and the word of mouth that follows. Because of his newfound success, Dillard said he is planning to expand and bring another barber on board with him in the next month or two.

“I’ve been blessed. The people here have been just great. I have people stop and tell me ‘Welcome to the neighborhood,’” he said. “I’ve gotten great community support and that has meant a lot to me.”

Although he is reluctant to bring it up, Dillard said he is aware that his business is unique in more ways than atmosphere and trendy cuts and facial hair trimmings.

“I’ve been told that I’m the first black barber in the area for 50 years. I think that might be true,” Dillard said. “But, to me, that’s not what it’s all about. I like to be diverse and work with all kinds of people.”

Dillard specializes in all services related to men’s styles. He said his favorite thing to do is children’s cuts. He is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.