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75 years of hair cutting

One of the oldest businesses in Birmingham, The Barber Pole, 164 S. Old Woodward, is celebrating its 75th anniversary – all in the same location. Owner Stephen Trachsel said the barbers are very excited about the anniversary. They call The Barber Pole “The best little barber shop in Birmingham,” while noting they stay on the cutting edge of the industry. The barber shop was first opened in 1949 by Max and Marie Ege, who owned and operated it until their son Keith later joined them. Max retired in 1959; Keith worked at The Barber Pole until he passed in 1997. His wife Helen, and daughter Sue, took over and ran the shop until Trachsel, who started as a barber at the shop in 2001, bought it in 2007. “I started as a barber in 2001, the same week I got married to my bride,” Trachsel reminisced. “I was 23.” Now, his oldest son will be leaving for college. He notes The Barber Pole still has a classic, retro, old-school barber shop feel, with the ‘50s barber chairs, but they have given the shop a facelift. “We painted, put in new lighting, and gave it a modern update, including adding a big flat screen TV, with a nostalgic, classic feel.” He said they have felt all the economic ups-and-downs as any other business, “but we’ve stuck with it. I have a huge passion for barbering. I’m an owner-operator. We went through COVID, when a lot of our barbers went to customers’ homes.” The biggest change, he noted, since they reopened was they have gone from a primarily walk-in operation to an appointment-based system. “I like to have enough barbers on staff to still accommodate walk-ins, too,” he said. The Barber Pole continues to cater to boys and men of all ages. “We do babies’ first hair cut,”Trachsel said. “I say, ‘from cradle to grave.’”


Business Matters for the Birmingham - Bloomfield area are reported by Lisa Brody. Send items for consideration to LisaBrody@downtownpublications.com. Items should be received three weeks prior to publication.

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