Bayview barber keeps retro alive, one cut at a time

At a tiny storefront off Highway 525 in Bayview, a barber pole spins only three days a week.

At a tiny storefront off Highway 525 in Bayview, a barber pole spins only three days a week. Inside the small shop stands a single barber chair tended to by a single hair stylist — owner Jeffrey Wood.

Wood has been running Island Headquarters, located at 5824 Kramer Road for 10 years. As barber shops grow more expensive, chic or trendy, Wood says his shop is bucking the modern for a retro and small-town feel. Hair cuts at Island Headquarters are less than $20, with buzz cuts costing only $10. It’s a barbershop of old, and that’s what Wood is going for.

“I cater to the older guys who used to go to men’s barber shops to talk about what’s going on in town,” Wood said. “I keep the prices low for the old timers who don’t need a $30 hair cut. Some guys come in with three hairs that they want trimmed, so why charge them $30?”

Wood says old-school barber shops are dying out, and numerous details in his shop signal he’s fighting to keep the retro atmosphere alive. Pictures of his customers’ fishing catches are tacked to the wall. Car and outdoor magazines and newspapers are spread across the waiting table. Blues plays in the background. This is definitely not a salon, it’s a men’s barber shop.

“I consider it like a man cave,” Clinton resident Jim O’Brien said. “There are all these cool magazines and the retro chair is also cool. It’s relaxing, low key and where the guys can come to hang out.”

A stack of books also lies on the tables in Island Headquarters — Beneath This Crown of Thorns, Wood’s autobiography. The book is the reason behind his shop’s irregular hours, as Wood cut them down from seven days a week to Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday to focus on writing his book, which he published in June. The book explains a lot about Wood and why he enjoys what he does. It’s all about working with people, making them feel better on their way out the door and leaving a positive impact on their lives.

Wood was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 20 after developing a messiah complex, a state of mind where one thinks they are bound to become a savior. His struggles with mental health have largely crafted who he is today and are the reason behind his passion for helping other men who have gone through their own struggles with mental health and substance abuse. His autobiography details how he overcame his condition and built a healthy and happy life through a holistic approach, rather than guzzling down prescription pills given to him by doctors and pharmacists.

“Realizing you can take responsibility of your life and develop a lifestyle that is enjoyable and healthy is a big first step in overcoming mental health issues,” Wood said.

Wood’s struggles with mental health are now a thing of the past. As he nears retirement, he plans to open up a holistic retreat center with his family, many of whom also work within the psychology and mental health fields. Until then, he’ll continue cutting hair and making his customers feel confident about themselves.

“I like people in general,” Wood said. “I like that somebody can come in with whatever kind of a mood and leave in a better mood. I like having a positive impact on people’s state of mind.”

More in News

Glaiza Price, who owns and operates Cosmic Ice Cream with her husband Patrick, peeks out the van’s window. The space-themed van has started popping up at events this year to serve 24 flavors of soft serve ice cream. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times
‘Out of this world’ ice cream rolls onto island

An encounter with an ice cream van in New York, a conversation… Continue reading

County finishing Freeland zone code

Staff from Island County Planning and Community Development will hold a community… Continue reading

Left to right: Eva Wirth, Emma Callahan, Chloe Goethel, Macie Vande Werfhorst, Naomi Atwood, Gabe Gandarias, Maddox Smith-Heacox & Max Rodriguez. Not pictured: Emmett Layman, Zander Kuschnerei and coach Clyde Monma.
SW Middle School Math Teams Capture 5 Medals

South Whidbey Middle School entered five teams in the Washington State Math… Continue reading

WhidbeyHealth nurses trained to assess victims of sexual assault are left to right: Jackie Blankenship, Rebecca Pina, program manager Jackie Bassett, Jacqueline Moore and Sherry Phay. Cynde Robinson, director of Coalition against Domestic Violence, is in the back row. Team member nurses Krista Burckhardt, Gayle Wallen and Tonya DeYoung were unavailable for the photo.
Sexual assault victims can be assessed locally

WhidbeyHealth trains specialty nurse team

Aurora Coffey
South Whidbey High School student wins AAUW prize

South Whidbey High School student, Aurora Coffey, won First Place and a… Continue reading

Town talk pinpoints people and paths

Langley takes step in mapping trails

Langley Police Chief David Marks
Prosecutor declines to charge chief

The Island County prosecutor declined to charge Langley Police Chief David Marks… Continue reading

Island County looks at building air park road

Island County will apply for a grant to study the potential of… Continue reading

Photo provided 
                                Left to right: Grace Callahan, Carli Newman, Oliana Stang, Sean Miles, Magnus Nyberg, Max Rodriguez, Aidan O’Brien, Annika Hustad (Not pictured: Coach Clyde Monma)
SW High School math teams place 1st in state

Three South Whidbey High School math teams earned a trip to the… Continue reading

Most Read