Hair We Go offers haircuts, football history

August 6, 2014
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Rick Shrum / Observer-Reporter
Terrible Towels mix with customers’ towels at Hair We Go Barbershop, which opened Friday with a Steelers theme. Order a Print
Image description
Rick Shrum / Observer-Reporter
Russell Porter admires the quick trim he gave to his cousin, Rich Porter, at Russell’s newly opened barbershop on North Main Street in Washington. Order a Print

The interior of a new business specializing in a cut above the ears was inspired by a team that often is a cut above.

Hair We Go Barber Shop has kicked off in downtown Washington with a distinctively Steelers theme. Terrible Towels are almost as common as customers’ towels inside 15 N. Main St., where Russell Porter is merging his professional and athletic passions.

“I love cutting hair, and all my life I’ve been a Steelers fan. We even convert fans of other teams,” said Porter, a Wash High graduate, Washington resident and collector of volumes of Steelers memorabilia, much of which is displayed is his spiffy, brightly lit shop.

It is the latest initiative in what may be shaping up as a long-awaited, much-needed revival of North Main.

Although a grand opening is planned for Aug. 26, Hair We Go welcomed its first customer Friday. “The state inspected us Thursday, and we took our first customer the next day,” Porter said.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Monday. It is closed Sunday – usually Steelers day in the fall – but that could change. “Sunday is not out of the question,” Porter said.

Hair We Go deals in haircuts and does not sell products. Walk-ins are welcome, and appointments can be made on the Hair We Go Barbershop Facebook page.

This is Porter’s third shop, starting with one in Canonsburg about a decade ago, followed by Russell’s Barber Shop a little up North Main from 2011 to 2013.

“I’ve been doing this for so long,” he said. “You have failures, but you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and someday you will succeed.”

He hopes to do that in a building he largely restored himself, one that had been a barbershop before and was once a pawn shop. It most recently housed Home Hydroponics of Pittsburgh.

Now it is Hair We Go, an appropriate spinoff of the venerable black-and-gold cheer, “Here we go, Steelers, here we go.”

Porter and fellow barber Omeer Sellers, who just moved to Washington, are the sole employees. Their workplace includes six hair stations, lots of mirrors and lights, a couple of TVs, and a waiting area replete with magazines and more: chess, backgammon, dominoes. A colorful barber’s pole sits in a corner near the front.

The neatly appointed exterior has two large display windows, one bearing the shop name, and an old-fashioned rectangular “Barber Shop” sign.

“It’s an antique barber sign – not a replica,” Porter said.

Then there is the Steelers stuff. Pennants, clocks, jerseys, bobbleheads, drawings and beer cans adorn the place. There are autographed footballs, too, including one signed by legendary Pittsburgh native Johnny Unitas.

Though open less than a week, Porter said business has been decent. With school and the National Football League season imminent, he expects it to pick up.

“Once word gets out, I think it’s going to do great,” Porter said. “In fact, I know it will.”

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won seven individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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