Alexandria, VA

For the first time, Antoine Barksdale is now taking appointments.

The owner of the Heads Up Barbershop (300 N. Fayette Street ) just celebrated his tenth anniversary in business in Old Town, and all of his customers used to walk in for their haircuts. No calls. The pandemic changed all that, though, and forced Barksdale to start making scheduled appointments.

“It’s great,” Barksdale told ALXnow. “We don’t have to come in and be here all day anymore. We have to wear the work gloves, the face masks, we’re using sanitizer. So, we moved the price up, from $25 to $34.”

Barksdale, a lifelong city resident and a T.C. Williams High School graduate, has been cutting hair in the area for 25 years. Collectively, he and his two barbers — Carlton “Hollywood” Tyson and Calvin Jones — have been in the business for nearly 90 years.

Barksdale said that Heads Up received a U.S. Small Business Administration loan that helped his team weather the spring.

“I’m not gonna say business is doing better than it was before all this,” he said. “We missed back-to-school week, where we get this rush of all types of little kids getting their haircut, but nobody’s going to school.”

Barksdale said that he still hopes to expand the business with more locations throughout the region, and thanked his loyal customers for making appointments.

“I just want to thank you to all my customers for supporting me as a barbershop all those years,” he said. “Ten years. I never thought we would be doing as good as we’re doing and getting support from the community like we are.”

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