Friday, January 13, 2012


It’s audience participation day here at Sean’s Ramblings. I have a true scenario and want your opinion on what to do.

I’ve mentioned several times that I get my haircuts at Hair Cuttery. The haircuts cost $16 (before tip) and the barbers/stylists are generally fine. However, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them to others and would certainly be willing to try somewhere else particularly since I don’t have much hair and cutting my hair shouldn’t be very difficult or time-consuming.

A month or two ago, a barber shop located in a house on a street near me opened. It seems a little sketchy or at least in an odd location, but they have a website and advertise $10 haircuts. They also have two positive reviews on Yelp.

(This is not the place near my house. I just liked this ad.)

Curious about this place, I contacted the barber shop by e-mail to make sure they are licensed. Since they haven't responded, I contacted Virginia’s Board for Barbers and Cosmetology, a division of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation ("DPOR") about this barber shop. The government agency quickly replied (typing those five words together doesn’t seem to make sense) stating:

We cannot locate a barber shop or cosmetology salon in our records under the name you have provided. If you believe that the barber shop or salon is operating without a license, you may submit a complaint to the Department’s Complaint Analysis section.

So here's my situation. Do I file a complaint with the DPOR? Do I try to get a haircut first and see how it goes even though they may be unlicensed? Do I do nothing besides ask a series of questions?

Update 1/17: So, I got a $10 haircut. Although it wasn't a good haircut, I'm not going to contact DPOR and will return to Hair Cuttery for my next haircut.


Captain Easychord said...

just go get the haircut... here's matt yglesias writing about this exact question... in short, there's no rational reason why barbers should need to be licensed (they aren't in the UK!) and all it does is drive up the cost of getting a haircut (as you can attest from experience)...

lacochran's evil twin said...

Hm. You could try it. If things go bad, you'd have no recourse but that's probably pretty much true at Hair Cuttery, too.

I wouldn't rat them out/file a complaint.

Unknown said...

Does DPOR offer a reward? Do they have a SWAT-style team that travels around VA busting unlicensed barbers? If so, then definitely report them and make sure you video the ensuing hair-cutting ring shutdown.

On a side note, I once went to a guy in Crafton like that. Ran his place out of his garage. Great haircut for $10, but people also would stop in and ask if he could change their oil. Kinda odd