Allan Jones cuts the hair of patron Dagen Spaw at his barber shop Brothers Barber & Beard in Marble Falls. Jones has made it his mission to pass on his beard knowledge to his clients. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey
Across the Highland Lakes, men are putting down their razors, letting their beards go bushy and their mustaches grow massive for No-Shave November. Coming on the heels of a pink October, No-Shave November is a hairier cancer awareness month.
“The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free,” reads “The Concept” on the no-shave.org website. The idea is to take the money typically spent on shaving and grooming and donate it in support of those battling the disease. Groups and individuals can set up their own fundraising page or give to another campaign on the website.
Participants in the shave-free season don’t need to go all Grizzly Adams though, not with the variety of local barbers who have the expertise — and the beer — for maintaining manes. From the tried-and-true traditional trim to a hip new-school cut, the Highland Lakes has options.
Caleb Carrasco moved his bustling barbershop business from Georgetown to Burnet in March 2021, looking for a slower-paced atmosphere and a place to raise his family. Located at 113 E. Jackson St., Mad Hatters Provisions has a one-chair setup in a storefront that also includes a beer bar and men’s apparel boutique.
“I truly feel like we designed this to be like a big living room,” Carrasco said.
He hustled for nearly two years in Georgetown to get his barber training while simultaneously working long and late hours as a restaurant manager in downtown Austin. He was also selling hats out of a co-op salon space. After 19 months of 20-hour days, Carrasco opened the original Mad Hatters in Georgetown but quickly became overwhelmed with business.
“When I got into barbering, I wanted a very simple life and career,” he explained. “The shop in Georgetown was too busy. It became my whole entire life, which is great from a financial standpoint, but it just got to be too much.”
Carrasco works by appointment only and provides an array of services, including styled haircuts, head shaves, and beard trims. He also offers beers from behind the bar and a selection of quality menswear that mirrors his own style.
Styling hair is a personal endeavor, especially among men, he said.
“There’s not many times in your day that another guy is going to put his hands on you,” Carrasco said. “Your doctor, your dentist, and your barber. For me, it’s this serving and humbling of yourself.”
Another Highland Lakes barber echoed Carrasco’s sentiments.
“It’s a service industry,” said Allan Jones, who runs Brothers Barber & Beard at 708 Second St. in Marble Falls. “As a man, you have to be somewhat humble to cut the hair out of some guy’s ears. We’re here to serve people and help them feel good about themselves and figure out their hair or beard and be the best they can be.”
Jones opened BBB in 2017. He has been living in Marble Falls since 2001. He picked up a pair of scissors and a razor after he realized he couldn’t afford to take all five of his sons to the barber.
Beards are a specialty for Jones, who sports a chest-length growth himself. His purpose is to take care of his client’s beards so their wives, girlfriends, and mothers won’t talk them into shaving them off, he joked.
“When you leave here, you feel better. Not just because you’re cleaned up, but you’ve also had an experience with a human who cares about you, and that’s hard to find nowadays,” Jones said.
At the other end of the styling spectrum, DeSpain Barbershop Studio on Wheels and Hullum’s Barber Shop in Burnet have decades of Highland Lakes history wrapped around their respective barber shop poles.
“It’s always been family run,” said Brandi Hawkins, owner of DeSpain, which was a mainstay on Main Street in Marble Falls for over 50 years. It is now a mobile barber shop based out of Burnet.
Billy Joe DeSpain opened the original shop in 1958. Hawkins’ father, Len Wickson, was a friend and hair-cutting colleague. In the early 1990s, he purchased the business and Hawkins joined him, learning to cut hair by his side. In 2013, she took over. Daughter Deniese Hawkins has since joined the family profession.
“We’ve always kept it community based and family operated,” Hawkins said.
In 2021, Hawkins closed the old storefront and moved into a mobile shop, citing increased parking issues and the busy nature of modern-day downtown Marble Falls. DeSpain’s Barber Shop became DeSpain Barbershop Studio on Wheels and can be found at 235 Hilltop Drive in Burnet. A full-service shop, DeSpain offers classic cuts and modern looks while keeping a family tradition alive.
Just down the road at 210 S. Main St. on the courthouse square, Tom Hullum has been cutting hair for over 70 years.
Hullum’s Barber Shop is more than a place for a shape-up, shave, or trim. It is a meeting place where generations of Burnet locals catch up on the latest community news.
Whether you’re maintaining a mustache year-round or trying one out for No-Shave November, keep your local hair cutting heroes in mind.
KBEY No-Shave November Beard Contest
Gentlemen, put away those clippers and let it grow! You can get a righteous trim after you win a free haircut and shave from Mad Hatters Provisions in the KBEY 103.9 FM No-Shave November Beard Contest. To participate, send photos of your beard to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Nov. 30.