Navy blazers, khaki’s and freshly cut hair.
It’s pledge season in Oxford, MS, and that means business is booming for local beauty shop, The Parlor.
At The Parlor, male clientele helps drive the business. Especially during the fall football season. New fraternity pledges must keep their hair above their eyebrows, collars and ears until they become active members, making them routine customers.
Kaylee Walker-Gore is a hairdresser at The Parlor and refers to fall as “pledge season”.
“This time of year we get all the new freshmen in,” said Walker-Gore. “We have pledge cuts, its what we call them. We clean them up and get them all ready.”
“I like to keep my hair short, and it grows way to fast,” said Fred Johns.
Johns works at Rafters Bar and Grill, and all the other men he works with get their hair cut at The Parlor.
“It’s just a good place to get your hair cut,” said Fred Johns.
Walker-Gore also sees a lot of male athletes come to The Parlor for a trim. She said that mostly baseball players come in to get rid of their long, shaggy hair.
“Occasionally one will come in, and be like ‘I’m tired of it, I’m hot all the time, I’m sweating and I just want to cut it off,’” said Walker-Gore.
The Parlor sees a lot of the athletic program come through their doors, including the athlete’s dietitian. A men’s haircut is $20.
“I worked at another place before this,” said Walker-Gore. “I never expected to have this many guys here.”
A majority of The Parlor’s clients are Ole Miss male students, but female students and local residents help the business stay in full swing. Walker-Gore says women come in mostly for haircuts and highlights. Like pledge season, young women come in droves too.
“We do see a lot of them during the times like date parties and formals and pageants,” said Walker-Gore. “Especially around prom time with high school girls.”
The Parlor also offers full spa services and spray tans. The salon uses the fake bake brand to give an even faux tan. The spray tan usually lasts customers seven to 10 days. Walker-Gore says the busiest time for spray tans is during Panhellenic recruitment.
“We have a lot of those that come in and we try to get them ready,” said Walker-Gore. “We try to make them look a little better in their dresses.”
When the students aren’t in town, the residents of Oxford keep the business thriving. Throughout the year residents will come in and get their hair done, but the older clientele keeps the business busy in the summer.
“A lot of our older people come in really early in the mornings,” said Walker-Gore. “Our younger people come in later in the afternoons.”
The salon was voted Best Salon in the Oxford Eagle’s “Best of Oxford 2015.” The Parlor services include hair care and coloring, spa services, men’s hair and face care and airbrush tanning and makeup.
While the residents of Oxford are loyal customers, The Parlor’s majority of clients are students. Walker-Gore says she doesn’t mind it, especially during the school breaks.
“We get to spend time with our families, without feeling like we’re taking away from the shop and not giving out clients 100% all the time,” said Walker-Gore. “It actually works out pretty good.”