Independence barber Doug Fields retired Wednesday after a nearly half-century career in haircutting. Fields, 66, opens up about his retirement plans, his dislike of flat top ‘dos and how to succeed in the business.

Independence barber Doug Fields retired Wednesday after a nearly half-century career in haircutting. Fields, 66, opens up about his retirement plans, his dislike of flat top ‘dos and how to succeed in the business.

1 What are your post-retirement plans?
I think we’re going to try to go to Texas. I’ve always heard of The Valley and Padre Island. We’re going to try that probably in February or quicker. (Laughs) I enjoy hunting, and I enjoy Colorado. We like to travel.

2 What are some of your favorite and least favorite hairstyles through the years?
My least favorite hairstyle is the flat top with fenders. You gotta cut two haircuts and not very many people can wear one. They always want one, but they can’t wear one. My favorite is just the regular, basic man’s haircut – medium sidebars and a tapered back.

3 Symbolically, what do you think hair represents to different people?
Some people are pretty vain about their hair, especially the color of it and the hair loss that men get a lot of times. Other people, it’s sort of a nuisance. They just want it off.

4 How is the world different now compared to when your barber involvement began nearly 50 years ago?
Communication. I was barbering when (President John F.) Kennedy was killed ... and then the Twin Towers (collapsing). When you can sit and watch a war ... when you can sit there and see a war overseas start...

5 What advice would you offer those who aspire to a career in the haircutting industry?
One of the tricks to barbering is to get somewhere and stay. Take the good with the bad, but you’ve got to stay. You can’t cut hair here for a year-and-a-half and then move somewhere else for a year-and-a-half. You lose customers every time you move. If you stay then you build a trade, and they know where you are – good, bad or otherwise. 

 – Adrianne DeWeese