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Snip your budget: Barber shop blends past with present

Keith Gordin cuts the hair of John Langley at Gordin’s shop Budget Cuts on Carter Street in Vidalia. Gordin, who opened the shop earlier in the week, services men and women of all ages.  (Sam Gause/The Natchez Democrat)

Keith Gordin cuts the hair of John Langley at Gordin’s shop Budget Cuts on Carter Street in Vidalia. Gordin, who opened the shop earlier in the week, services men and women of all ages. (Sam Gause/The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA — When Keith Gordin cut the ribbon at his business last week, even though the scissors were oversized the action probably felt more reflexive for him than most.

Gordin has been a licensed barber for 35 years, and he recently brought his business — scissors and clippers in hand — to Vidalia.

Gordin opened Budget Cuts at 1620 Carter St. in January.

The goal of the business is to blend the contemporary experience with a classic barbershop feel for the entire family, Gordin said.

A key component of that is affordability, he said, in a time when a stop for a haircut for everyone can take a bite out of a family’s budget.

“Our goal is the entire family can come in and get a cut or color, and they can walk out without it being too expensive,” he said.

The shop offers what Gordin calls classic barber haircuts — flat tops, crew cuts, fades, military cuts and a “standard business cut.”

But it also offers shampoo cuts and styles, natural highlights, soft perms and full color service for men and women and children’s cuts.

He also aims to appeal to those who can’t schedule a haircut during the workday.

“I want to cater to the working man, and that is why I am open late on weekdays, until 7 p.m.,” he said.

The coloring section of the shop is located in a back area, which Gordin said will be accessed through saloon-style swinging doors once they are installed.

The coloring area has windows to the front of the shop in it, but those walking in would never know.

“If you look through those windows (from the back), they’re a two-way mirror,” Gordin said. “That way the people who are in the coloring area can see out to the front, but they aren’t visible to those who come in the front door.”

In the front of the shop is where Gordin’s vision of making the traditional barbershop visit come back to life is most obvious.

While the chairs and hair cutting equipment are modern, Gordin has also purchased some of the furniture and tools from the old McGlothin barbershop in Ferriday to complete its old-time look.

“Some of that furniture is 50 or 60 years old,” Gordin said.

“A lot of the granddaddies who have come in say, ‘I remember sitting in these chairs when I was a kid or when I was taking my family in.’”

Another old-style service the shop offers is a hot-towel treatment at the end of men’s haircuts.

“Nobody is doing that anymore except the old timers, and the gentlemen really appreciate it,” Gordin said.

Hair color specialist Shannon Elizabeth, who has 13 years experience, joins Gordin in the shop.

Gordin got his start in barbering at 19, when some friends of his owned a shop and offered him an opportunity to work with them.

Gordin went on to own a salon in the Natchez Mall — the Hairquarters — from 1986 until 1998.

In 1998, he went to school at Johnson-Wales University in Charleston, S.C., to study the culinary arts.

After school, Gordin went to work on an offshore boat as the chief steward, managing the kitchen for an oceaneering boat.

But Gordin said after doing that for a number years he wanted to return to land and the career that first called to him.

“I love people, and (barbering) turned out to be a positive thing in that all of your customers become life-long friends,” he said.

Budget Cuts can be reached by phone at 318-336-4405 or by email at budgetcuts71@yahoo.com.

It is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Prices for cuts are $6 for children 5 and younger; $8 for children to 12; $10 for teens 13 to 17; $12 for men; $14 for women; and $35 and up for highlights, colors and perms.