Fred’s providing hair cuts, close shaves

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Fred Pertuit, owner of Fred’s Barber Shop, prepares for a shaving with a handful of shaving cream.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

Fred Pertuit, owner of Fred’s Barber Shop, prepares for a shaving with a handful of shaving cream.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

On his 20th birthday, Aug. 10, 1963, Fred’s Barber Shop owner, Fred Pertuit, graduated from Hinds Junior College’s barber school in Raymond, Mississippi and he’s been a licensed barber ever since.
Pertuit, a Poplarville native, decided to become a barber when he was in the ninth grade.
“I had three older brothers and my dad had gone through the ‘hadn’t made my mind up’ thing with them,” Pertuit said. “He told me I wasn’t doing well academically and offered me some trade options. The barber school only accepted ten students at a time, so I applied in the ninth grade and got put on the waiting list.”
After graduating from Hinds, Pertuit was required to apprentice for a registered barber for a year and then take another state board test.
“My uncle in Wiggins had a barber shop and he knew my first haircut wouldn’t be magnificent,” he said. “But I worked for him for about eight weeks and came to Picayune to work for Richard Cowart, who had a shop on E. Canal Street. It was a four chair shop and we had a shine boy who shined shoes.”
When Pertuit first started, a hair cut cost $1 and $.25 of that sum went to rent, he said.
Pertuit cut hair at the East Canal shop until the Beatles came to America in 1967 and the long hair trend started, he said.
Being that he wasn’t a well-established barber at the time, Pertuit worked as an investigator for a retail credit company and later in 1971, he formed the first bail bonding company in Pearl River County, Pertuit said. In 1984, he worked for an amusement company repairing video games, pool tables and jukeboxes.
However, in 1988, Pertuit picked up the shears again to cut hair with Howard and Lonnie Lizana at their barber shop on West Canal.
In 1997, Cowart passed away and Pertuit took over his shop on Anchor Lake Road in Carriere until Hurricane Katrina damaged the building in 2005.
In April 2006, Pertuit formed a partnership with Doug Lee, who owned the shop Pertuit currently inhabits.
“I brought my regular customers with me and I’ve been here ever since,” Pertuit said. “About three or four years ago, Lee sold it to me.”
Pertuit specializes in cutting hair for male clients, while hairstylist, Virginia Raby, specializes in women’s hair.
Pertuit also offers straight razor facial shaves, which include hot lather, facial massage and hot towels, he said.
Pertuit said a key to longevity in the barber business is putting the customer’s needs above all else.
“This business is a personal thing,” he said. “It’s hard to be break into. There are nice people I’ve known for years and some I’ve been cutting their hair since I started. Everyone that comes in gets greeted. People like to be acknowledged. I know their names and announce them. I like the public and the camaraderie. I love to talk to people and talk about what they want to talk about.”
Fred’s Barber Shop is located at 6477 Highway 11 North, across from Mickey’s #2 and Hide-A-Way Lake.
The shop is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Contact Pertuit by phone at 601-273-9147.
“Everything is walk-in here,” Pertuit said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox