Aaron Honeycutt has been a barber in Polkton for almost 50 years.
He moved his shop there from Wadesboro in 1962 but was cutting hair even then. He finished barber school in Winston-Salem in 1949 but didn’t start cutting hair for several years.
At 82, he is still open four days per week, Tuesday through Friday, at the Cutt Hutt, located off U.S. 74 West. He has been at this location since 1977.
He’s been working alone since 2000, when Harold Thomas died. But he said he would still love to have some help around the shop.
Honeycutt said he’s seen change in his time cutting hair. He believes that the Beatles made long hair more fashionable in the ’60s and this caused a lot of barbershops to go out of business or cut back on barbers.
“It’s changed so gradually, you don’t notice,” he said of Polkton. When he started cutting hair in town, he charged $1 for a haircut and $0.75 for children. Now, he charges $8. Still a good deal.
“A lot of the men have started going to beauty shops,” he said. He joked that he believes men want a pretty woman to run their hands through their hair.
Honeycutt has loyal customers that make up most of his clientele. In fact, he serves generations of families, up to five of them in the case of two local families. Many of them don’t have to tell him what they want — he already knows.
His shop is a focal point for locals to gather before the post office opens in the mornings.
On a recent Thursday, the shop had two people waiting for a haircut. In the chair was Patrick Jarman who, although a local, was getting only his second haircut from Honeycutt, due to a job that takes him out of town. But Jarman’s brother is a regular.
Jarman praised his good conversation and steady hand.
“I don’t like to see blood,” Honeycutt said. In fact, he still has a tool from barber school in case of a cut that has hardly seen use.
On wet days like Thursday, there are more customers. Sunny days send people elsewhere like the fishing hole.
Honeycutt doesn’t see retirement in the near future.
“I hate thoughts of retiring,” he said. He added, with a dry sense of humor that he exhibited several times, “If I retire, my wife will work me to death.”
His wife, who is retired, is a medical specialist. He also has children and grandchildren in the area.
Although he has spent the majority of his life as a barber, in World War II he tried to enlist in the Navy at 16 but was unable to get in. He finally served from 1946-1948.
He told of one adventure where he and his brother went down to Cuba on a boat but missed the last one back. That earned him two weeks of extra duty. He and his brother spent time riding horses.
As a seaman, he said he “did whatever the lieutenant told me to do.”
When he has to get his own haircut, he turns to his wife. Although he has almost always combed his hair back, he said she cuts it however she wants.
“That’s the reason I sit in the back pew at church,” he joked again.
He and his wife keep five horses but he doesn’t ride as much as he used to. There is too much traffic and he said many people lease their land to hunters and don’t want others riding on it.
Another customer comes in past the old-fashioned barber pole outside and once again he has two men waiting for a haircut.