Daniels making the cut with barber shop

Published 7:50 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The printed rug covers a wide expanse of spotless floor, its pattern a scaled-down reproduction of a football field with an easily recognizable purple-and-gold mascot on the 50-yard line.

Jason Daniels, owner of Jason’s Barber Shop, takes a break in one of his barber chairs. The shop is celebrating its first year anniversary in April. (WDN Photo/Vail Stewart Rumley)

Though the shop may be decorated with certain sports memorabilia, customers don’t have to share the same taste in teams to get haircuts.

“Oh, yeah, I’m an ECU fan,” said Jason Daniels. “But I like my Tar Heels too, now.”

Daniels is owner of Jason’s Barber Shop, tucked behind Paul Funeral Home in a small shopping center on Brown Street in Washington. It’s a clean, comfortable place where cuts are $13, and any wait includes a big-screen TV playing a recent action-adventure movie.

With seven years of hair cutting under his belt, Daniels opened his store last April. A five-year stint at Western Barber Shop, just a mile from the front gate of Camp Lejeune, preceded the Greenville native’s move to open a shop in Washington.

Now, he’s geographically closer to his son, Lucas, and his father, George Daniels, a preacher at West End Baptist Church.

“That’s a good question,” Daniels answered, when asked how he became interested in a career in cuts. “I really thought about doing it even when I was a kid. I remember asking my mom whether this was a good job to have.”

Daniels attended the Winston-Salem Barber School seven years ago and hasn’t put down a pair of scissors since. The store is open Mondays through Saturdays; on Sundays, Daniels drives to Jacksonville and his old barber chair at Western Barber Shop, where the cutting’s good because Marines from the nearby base line up for their weekly haircuts.

“Marines have to have a fresh haircut on Monday mornings, so they pile in there on Sundays,” said Daniels. “Sometimes there’s 20 or 30 of them lined up.”

The lines are much shorter at Jason’s Barber Shop, but if there is a wait, patrons can check out Will Smith in “Hancock,” Daniels’ movie choice for Tuesday, sit back with a sports magazine or play a game of Ms. Pac Man while a reproduction Coca-Cola icebox hums along with a radio set to a low volume.

Daniels may have decorated his shop with the teams and things he likes, but what he likes even more is working for himself.

“At the end of the day, it’s rewarding,” he said.

Jason’s Barber Shop, 252-402-2223, is located at 1003 Brown St., Washington, and is open Mondays through noon on Saturdays each week.