By Patrice Smith
Quintin Washington opened 1 On 1 Barbershop three years ago and along with innovative haircuts he provides a comforting atmosphere. “That’s what sets my shop apart. I want my clients, of all ethnic groups, to feel like they are at home. I communicate with my clients on a personal level and try to provide my customer with a positive seed. It’s a ministry,” Washington says.
At age 11 young Washington was cutting hair at his house giving his friends back to school trims. “No one taught me how to cut hair. I just picked it up. It’s a God given gift!” When he was 14 Washington caught the attention of a barber who noticed that he picked out the right clippers.
“He asked me if I knew what I was looking for and when I said yea he recruited me. I went straight into the barber shop and received on the job training from this master barber. I learned how to perfect my craft there.”
Washington received a barber’s license at 17 and served as the unofficial barber of his high school. “I started taking my clippers to school (Garrett Academy) and cutting hair in the locker room. I would run spring break specials. I charged $8.00.” He worked under a barber for 13 years and decided to open his own shop after seeing his clientele expand.
1 On 1 opened in 2015 at 6585 Dorchester Road. “I’m the only barber in Charleston that uses the gold razor blade,” Washington says. “1 On 1 is the home of the gold razor blade. When I put the razor on you, you’ll never go to anyone else,” he bragged.
1 On 1 specializes in fades, Mohawks, black outs and unique designs. “I freestyle designs that will fit the customer’s look or personality. I create each design with its own characteristics that can become a part of the client’s identity. I also use all natural products.” There are plans to open more 1 On 1 locations and Washington is currently looking at two places. He hopes to have a staff of about 16.
“When I search for talent I look for someone with personality traits that match their cutting skills. I’m also looking for all races. I want my shops to be multicultural,” he says.
“I always put God first because without him I wouldn’t have the gift. I also welcome constant feedback from customers. I’m a people person and am all about giving respect.”
1 On 1 Barbershop is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome for 4 hours each Saturday. Washington works by appointment only Monday through Saturday. For more information or to book an appointment call (843) 200-5914.
This article originally appeared in the Charleston Chronicle.