Jabaar Carmack, owner of Faded Barbershop in Sumter, South Carolina, gives a customer a shave.  Photo Credit: Deric J. Rush

COVID-19 left some businesses, like barbershops, struggling to stay afloat after the state required them to shut down in March. For Jabaar Carmack, who had opened Faded Barbershop in Sumter, South Carolina,  a few months prior to the shutdown, it lit a fire inside of him.

“My mindset went into hustle mode, grind mode,” Carmack said. “What do I have to do in order to keep my brand up and running so when the smoke clears and everything opens back up I’m still in operation.”

As barbershops and beauty salons began to reopen after the lockdown lifted, Carmack followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines. But Carmack felt the need to go the extra mile by taking two additional hours of sanitation training.

Barbers and other cosmetologists are required to take 1,500 hours of sanitation training when in cosmetology school and must get their licensed renewed every three years in the state of South Carolina.

Carmack believes his efforts are greatly appreciated by his customers.

“[It’s great to have] that person that you can come in and speak with that’s going to be nonjudgmental; at the same time you walk out feeling better because you look better,” said Pedro Washington, a customer of Carmack’s.

Carmack says that the barbershop may not be essential in the eyes of the law, but to those who come for a stress reliever from life, it is essential.

Clippers inside Faded Barbershop are fully sanitized before use. Photo Credit: Deric J. Rush

Carmack decided to take an additional two-hour training course in sanitation during the pandemic. He earned a certificate for the barbicide course. Photo Credit: Deric J. Rush

Carmack gives a customer a haircut. Photo Credit: Deric J. Rush