For the past 50 years, Harold Aderholt has cut hair for a living.
On Dec. 20, Aderholt cut his last head of hair, closed the door on his shop and closed that particular chapter of his life.
The 74-year-old Odenville native started when he was 25 years old.
While working at a machine shop in Ensley years and years ago, Aderholt decided he did not want to do that his entire life. So he went to Decatur to barber school in 1963 for a year.
He began cutting hair in Huntsville, then went to Mountain Brook before settling in Trussville for 36 years. He came back to Odenville 12 years ago.
Aderholt had a shop built behind his home off Alabama 174. As he cuts one man’s hair, there is room for others to sit, talk and wait their turn.
Aderholt admits the men always had plenty to talk about.
“From hunting, to fishing, to football, to politics, we’ve covered it all,” Aderholt said. “We have heard a lot of tales here in the barber shop.”
Aderholt said he would be “scared to even guess” how many heads of hair he has cut through the years. He did “maybe a couple” of cuts for women customers when he was in Trussville.
“I went to school to cut men’s hair, so I cut men’s hair through the years,” Aderholt said.
The large majority of his customers ranged between the ages of 40 and 75.
Three generations have sat in Aderholt’s chair, he said. Through the years, little boys had a hard time sitting still during a haircut, and one of the worst was his grandson.
“The most heads of hair I cut in one day was 66 when I was in Trussville,” Aderholt said. “One time I was closed from Thursday to Monday, and when I opened back up on Tuesday, I think everyone in Trussville wanted a haircut.”
Aderholt said the most hair he has ever cut in one day at his shop in Odenville was 32.
Aderholt has developed a following. For the past 30 years, Aderholt has cut T. G. Lann’s hair. Lann is from Clay, started seeing Aderholt in Trussville, and now drives 15-20 miles to get his hair cut.
“Harold has been a good barber,” Lann said. “If he were not, I wouldn’t drive this far for a haircut.”
Aderholt, 74, said now is the time to retire.
“I’m still in good health, and I thank God for that,” he said.
Fifty years ago, Aderholt charged 50 cents for a haircut. Today’s price when he retired was $10.
“The Lord has been good to me,” Aderholt said. “I’ve established some great friendships through the years.”
Aderholt is a deacon at New Life Baptist Church on Simpson Road in Odenville. His wife, Mary, died in 2009, and they had three daughters. He has nine grandchildren as each daughter has three children.
“When my daughters were young, I did cut their hair some,” Aderholt said. “Three of the grandchildren are boys.
“When I built this shop, I built it with the intention of having a second chair in case the grandsons wanted to learn how to cut hair one day. It didn’t happen, and I never forced it.”
On Dec. 20, Aderholt closed the door at 6 p.m. He didn’t shed a tear, but he did take his barber pole down, and then walked home.
“That will be it,” he said. “Again, I just want to thank God for being so good to me. I don’t know what else He could do.”