The Oxford Eagle
Navy blazers, khaki’s and freshly cut hair. It’s pledge season in Oxford. At The Parlor, male clientele helps drive the business, especially during football season.
New fraternity pledges must keep their hair above their eyebrows, off their collars and off their 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. It’s what we call them. We clean them up and get them all ready.”
Pledge season typically lasts from the beginning of October through the end of December. However, the boys still keep coming in.
Fred Johns is an Ole Miss student. He gets his hair cut at least once a month by Walker-Gore.
“I like to keep my hair short, and it grows way to fast,” said Johns, who works at Rafters Bar and Grill. He said the other men he works with get their hair cut at The Parlor.
Walker-Gore sees a lot of male athletes come to The Parlor for a trim. She said baseball players mostly 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.
Many athletes visit The Parlor, where 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 also keep The Parlor busy. Walker-Gore says women come in mostly for haircuts and highlights.
“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 said the busiest time for spray tans is during Panhellenic recruitment.
“We have a lot of those who 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, Oxford residents help the business.
“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, airbrush tanning and makeup.
While the residents of Oxford are loyal customers, most of The Parlor’s clients are students. Walker-Gore said she doesn’t mind it, especially during school breaks.
“We get to spend time with our families, without feeling like we’re taking away from the shop, and not giving our clients 100 percent all the time,” said Walker-Gore. “It actually works out pretty good.”