The Stylistic features conversations about fashion, art and lifestyle with a variety of interesting gents. Today we meet Court Ketron of Springfield, Missouri. We talk to Court about starting an old school barber shop, rockabilly style, and shaving with a straight razor (at your own risk). Read more below.
How did you become a barber?
By accident. I used to run juvenile treatment centers, and I worked for the state of Texas. I was kind of burned out, but a buddy of mine – his Father in law was a barber and had a shop, and he kind of convinced me to go to school. I knew how to cut hair from my time in the juvenile facilities, but it wasn’t something I’d thought of before. When he mentioned it, it just kind of made sense. It was the best decision I ever made.
I love your shop – you don’t find a lot of barber shops that have this kind of feel. Not every guy wants to go to a hair salon, because stylists there don’t always get it.
There was a long stretch in there – the SuperCuts generation – when guys stopped going to the barber with their Dads, and they’d end up going to whatever place was convenient. I meet a lot of guys who haven’t had that barbershop experience – they just know the chains and that’s all they’ve ever known.
How would you describe your personal style?
I pick and choose – I take a lot of things that work for me – some of it classic – some of it rockabilly, but I look at what works for me as far as comfort, style and ease. I don’t want to work to hard for it, you know? My style has become more refined as time has gone by.
What kind of old school hairstyles do you do most often?
What I probably do the most is The Regular - you know, with the side part. You tailor it differently for every person. It’s changed a bit over time, but it’s still basically the same as it was 100 years ago.
We’re getting a lot of readers who are interested in using straight razors. They like the idea of the old school shave. Do you have any tips for guys who want to do that?
Sadly, my recommendation would be don’t do it. If you’re looking for more of a ritualistic shave, I’d say go with wet shaving or the old safety razors. Straight razors are great if you’re working on other people, but they’re a pain if you’re working on yourself. Most of the time, when you’re shaving, it’s first thing in the morning, or you’re doing it in a rush – all things you can’t do when you use a straight razor. You can’t rush when you use one.
You’re a music aficionado – give us a few of your favorite albums:
I’m kind of all over – one of my favorites is Cash Live at San Quentin, because it’s him at his best. You’ve still got the old Memphis sound, but he’s wised up. You hear more maturity in his sound, so I dig that. I’m also a big Jimmy Buffett fan – just the classic, drunken, mellow sound. Living & Dying in ¾ Time is one of his best, as far as the classic Jimmy Buffett. Really any of the Social Distortion catalog. I’ve been a fan since 1990 – back when I was in high school. Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell is probably my favorite album. It’s a good mix of the punk and rockabilly. It toned down some of the punk. I used to love it, but I’m kind of old to still listen to punk, you know? I need my music a little smoother these days.
Also, kind of along those lines is the Joe Strummer stuff. The things he did toward the end of his life with The Mescaleros is definitely some of my favorite music.
Pick one or answer them all – Hobbies, Vices, or Heroes?
I guess it’d be a hobby and a vice – I love to smoke! I can’t help it. I smoke a pipe a lot. I’ve kicked myself off the Camel non-filters and switched to the pipe. I’ve always enjoyed smoking a pipe – you get more of a pleasure smoke as opposed to a habit smoke.
Favorite piece of clothing you own?
My favorite thing is actually my shades. Everything looks a little bit better with some shades.
What would you say is your greatest style tip?
Whatever you’re doing – whether it’s how you’re grooming your hair, or putting together a look – make it easy. Don’t make getting yourself ready a chore. Find what works for you and make it easy.
Shaving cream: The Art of Shaving jar of cream. I use it for face shaves in the shop and it works really well.
Best pomade: I like Crew. It’s a good producted and it’s easy for people to find. They also have a full line of products. It smells good and it washes out clean. I use it here in the shop.
Aftershave: Lucky Tiger Bay Rum. It’s hard to find. I have to order it here by the gallon! It’s worth it though, because it’s the best smell. My wife loves it, and it’s just one of those smells that can stay with you.
Beard Oil: Just 100% jojoba. Get it from the organic store. You don’t want something strong on your beard because you’ll be smelling it all day. Go straight natural – it’s good for your skin, it’s good for your beard – you’ll love it.