PHOTO ABOVE: Chris Akers plays his mandolin while waiting for customers to stop by.
With the closing of Cox’s Barber Shop, Main Street has been lacking in barbers specializing in men’s hair. But as of July 11, not anymore. Main Street Salon has welcomed longtime-barber Chris Akers into their team and will be cutting hair Tuesday through Saturday at the salon.
Akers is an experienced barber and has almost 30 years of experience in the trade. He owned and operated Akers’ Barbershop on Highway 24 in Madison, before taking a factory job at Brasch Manufacturing for three and a half years. When circumstances changed again, Akers made the decision to go back to his roots…literally.
“You best change, or get the [heck] out, so I’m here,” said Akers.
He still has found memories of his old business. It could be described as a supplement of Akers’ personality: half instrument-repair store, half rock-n-roll themed barbershop.
A Rural Missouri article by Bob McEowen, displayed next to Akers’ current barber chair, describes the barbershop in Madison with detail: “Old 45-rpm records hug the ceiling. Fishing tackle, railroad artifacts, record album covers, historic photos and sports banners share wall space with antique barbershop items, old tools and pot metal model marquees pried from automobiles.”
Akers is already decorating his new space – one historic photograph at a time.
PHOTO ABOVE: Another article written about Akers hangs on the wall next to his barber chair at Main Street Salon. The article shows several photos of his shop in Madison, where he worked previously.
He shares the shop with Sarah Bates, longtime hairdresser of Paris. Since much of his customer base has always been male, Akers has found the number of women in the space amusing.
“It was really neat. All these old guys of mine flooding in and the women going, ‘Who is that?’” said Akers.
Akers grew up in Holliday and graduated from Paris High School in 1979. His wife, Lloyann, works for the aforementioned school district as a S/L Implementer. They live together on their small farm, living a modest life.
“We raise our own vegetables. We use goat milk. We make our own homemade soap, and stuff like that,” said Akers. When not cutting hair, you can find both performing at local joints with their band “Yes, Dear.”
Amid the interview, Akers left his barber chair and strode across a room to an instrument case lined with vintage buttons and a “Paris” decal. He pulled out a mandolin, the choice instrument of the day, and began to play a few bluegrass tunes. He said he welcomes anyone to bring in their instrument into the shop for a quick jam session in-between haircuts. Routine is nonexistent for the barber, as Akers alternates instruments daily.
PHOTO ABOVE: Akers sits in his barber chair, strumming his mandolin. To the side of him lies all of his various hair products to use on clients.
Akers hasn’t been barbering at the Main Street Salon for long, but said that he has kept busy with a stream of customers – both old and new. His hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. He cuts hair for both men and woman, and all haircuts are $10.00. No debit or credit cards will be accepted.