- October 16, 2021
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The family-run business was established in 1971 and are celebrating fifty years in the business.
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A tucked-away barbershop in Bretonside has not only been providing fresh cuts for over fifty years, it is also helping tackle the stigma of mental health issues in men.
Roger's Barber Shop first opened in 1971 and has a proud collection of over two hundred old-fashioned shaving mugs on display.
Roger Barnes, who put down the scissors at the age of 60, handed his business to his son Damian, who has been running the shop for over ten years.
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Overall the barbershop has had three different locations, but opened on How Street in 1977 and it has stayed in the same location for forty-four years.
Roger’s Barber Shop has a unique vibe and specialises in grooming for men, including traditional methods that have been used in the family business since day one.
How have your hairstyles changed over the years? Tell us in the comments.
At the beginning of September, Damian held a party outside the shop and invited his father along to reconnect and catch up with familiar faces who knew him.
Damian told PlymouthLive how Roger's Barbershop's conversations are impacting mental health.
"Some men really confide in their barbers especially a regular," he said.
"If you have known them for a while you can sense when they're down just like you would with friends and if you can, of course, you will try to lift their mood and maybe offer some advice if you think it will help."
The loyal customers that return for their traditional trim and shave have bought much joy to Damian and his father.
Damian said his most memorable conversation was with a customer who was a little boy during the Plymouth Blitz, and he explained how he dropped his pie, to which his mum was not happy.
Damian said: "Even in my 25 years in barbering, you can see men's expectations of what they want is a lot more.
"So many men now pull the phones out and say 'I would like it like this please', which is great if they have the right hair to achieve that style or at least close. If not you must be honest.
"It points us in the right direction as sometimes a barbers terminology compared to the clients can be interpreted quite differently. So photos can make it a lot easier.
"Technology has moved on. Our scissors are far superior in sharpness and different types of scissors. Clippers are mostly cordless now the old clippers were more cumbersome and had a cord and you never had to detail clippers."
He continued: "In the last fifty years, the styles have changed. Men's hair is almost like an extension of their designer clothes now, the cut has to be on point.
"Skin fades and modern bullets, they take real precision cutting. Beard shaping used to be a single grade all around and clean up the edges now they can be huge, square pointed faded it goes on and on."
At first glance, you might assume the display in the windows is some random teapots and mugs, but they are in fact vintage shaving mugs that are still being used for a conventional hot shave for men.
Loyal customers and widowed wives have been gifting their vintage shaving mugs over the past fifty years, and today, Roger’s Barbers has counted over two hundred- and Damian says they are starting to run out of space.
“Most people think they are just random mugs, milk jugs and teapots in the window but they are old-style shaving mugs," he said.
"Back in the day before soap and a can this is what you would use. Also, you also wouldn’t always have hot water, so they are very handy to have around.”
“I love it. The more and more I do the job The more I love it and it's great to keep my dad's name going.
“My mum always wanted one of the two sons to take it on and keep it going. So yeah, my older brother didn't want it I've taken on."
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