Photos and audio by Isaac Smith
After high school, David “Purp” Lavender took a chance on barber school and has been cutting hair ever since.
After a period in the Army, including two tours in Vietnam, Lavender came back to work at Gibbs Barber Shop, one of 18 barbershops in Murphysboro at the time. Now, Lavender said, Gibbs is the only barbershop in town and has served several generations of Murphysboro families. Along with a quality haircut, Lavender said the people who come into Gibbs are as much friends as they are customers.
Audio by Nadia Samie, photo by Julia Rendleman
The Beautiful Hair Salon is almost 33 years old and has moved to various locations in Murphysboro over the years, taking it’s clients along with it.
What’s unique about this salon is it’s character. It has armchairs and couches instead of cold steel and plastic chairs, and clients are made comfortable with blankets on their knees and heaters nearby, giving the impression that they’re sitting in someone’s living room. The women who do their hair at the Beautiful Hair Salon say Marian is more of a friend than a stylist, and many will be sad to see her go. Marian, who was born in Murphysboro and raised in the town by her grandmother, said she intends to retire in 2012, giving her 35 years of service.