For someone who just celebrated his 29th birthday, Sean Dulaney, aka Sean the Barber, is an old-fashioned guy and it’s that sense of bygone days he wants to bring to his newly opened business, the Carlsborg Barbershop — a place of community where men can gather and shoot the breeze while waiting to be shorn.
“The field of barbering has been waning the past 20 years and it’s good to be part of a new generation coming up,” Dulaney said.
“It’s a good business to be in because there’s a barbering resurgence — men are going back to barbers because chains are no longer giving the haircuts men want. They want someone on the chair who can do short cuts and beards, so they can relate to the barber. That’s the kind of market I’m going for.”
After moving to Washington in 2006 from Louisiana post-Katrina, Dulaney got laid off from his job and told his Tacoma barber his troubles. The veteran barber told him he should go to barbering school and so he did, graduating as a classically trained barber from Bates Technical College in 2009, while apprenticing under his own master barber for a year.
He recently moved his shop from Port Angeles to Carlsborg and said he hopes to service both his Sequim and Port Angeles clients by meeting them in the middle.
Dulaney specializes in taper cuts, fades, flat-tops and shaving and trimming beards, noting that barbers are the only professionals in Washington permitted to use a straight razor. He does all this exacting work from a 1950s-era Koken chrome and leather barber chair.
Watching Dulaney work on a new customer, it was plain to see he enjoys talking and listening, all the while using an ambidextrous and meticulous technique to get every hair trimmed to perfection.
In his easy-going style, Dulaney said, “I like the personal interaction and the feeling of a job well done.”
He compared men and their barbers to a sports team in the sense of loyalty they build with each other.
“This is a no-nonsense kind of barbershop and I want to try to make it a community shop where men can relax and have community discussions. It’s a classic shop for guys to have a barber where they feel like they belong, especially for older clients because they grew up with a barber,” Dulaney said.
“If a guy gets comfortable with his barber, he’ll talk about his troubles.”