The Brightside: Lady Barber
DELMAR, Del. – The Delmar community, known to be close and tight-knit has a gem right in the heart of town, the Delmar barber shop. While the shop has been around since the 1940s, it’s the current owner that makes it so unique.
Delmar’s First National Bank, turned barber shop has become a true staple in the community for over 80 years, and the current owner is keeping it alive. “The statistics here are the older gentlemen that have been coming here to this barber shop since they were four years old and now they’re in their 80’s, so to be able to carry that on for them is pretty cool to me,” says the barber shop owner, Diana McGettigan
McGettigan has been a barber for over 20 years and in the beauty world for about 35 years. However, it’s her journey to becoming a barber in a male-dominated industry that sets her apart. McGettigan tells us, that in her eyes it’s an equal playing field. “I can stand for eight hours as a man can, I can hold a straight razor just as good if not better because I’m more agile with it. She adds, “The men will say here they prefer a woman to give him a face shave over a man for that reason.”
A few years after McGettigan obtained her beautician license, she wanted to step out of her comfort zone, and into the barber world, even becoming the only woman in her barber class. She tells 47 ABC, that it came with quite a few challenges. “It was a little rough but I’m a little mouthy so I wasn’t going to let the men not give me haircuts and things like that. There was one time when I was sitting in a line-up, the first person gets one then you get one and I was getting skipped for like a day or two and I was like wait a minute, what’s that all about?” questioned McGettigan.
47 ABC’s Jordie Clark went on to ask if she felt like she had to step up and earn her place. Which McGettigan replied, “I had to speak up because for a while there I just sat back and watched it happen, but then I realized if I’m paying the same amount of money to go here as they are? Then I’m not going to let that happen.” McGettigan’s teacher eventually stepped in and gave her a chance, and although it took some trial and error she proved herself. “But I learned not to be scared to do it and so after that, the boys gave me haircuts,” says McGettigan.
Years later, McGettigan found a chair at the Delmar Barber Shop, put in the work, and recently purchased it, even adding a mini speak-easy to spice things up.
She eventually became Delmar’s unique, ‘Lady Barber.’ “I’ve had people come in and say, Oh you’re the barber? And I’m like yup I’m the barber, 35 years in the beauty world, I know what I’m doing. And then I get them in the chair and they keep coming back and coming back,” says McGettigan.
Whether it’s a skin fade, bald fade, temper fade, or even a kid’s hair cut, McGettigan does it all. A one-woman show that she says couldn’t be possible without the Delmar community willing to support her. “We’ve got from the police officers to the VFW, the coaches, the football team, I mean every coach probably comes here to get their hair cut.” She adds, “I’ve even had them say thank you for keeping it open so it’s their barber shop, I’m just working it.”
McGettigan leaves women who are looking up to her with a little advice, “Master something, get one thing that you’re good at and stay with it, you can do it you can be a beautician, you can be a barber you can be a beautician and a barber you can have both license and pick and choose your world and what you want to do.”
McGettigan also tells 47 ABC, that the barber shop has grown its cliental since she has taken over and hopes to continue that trend and continue cutting hair for as long as she’s able.
The barber shop is open six days a week Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. McGettigan says she is looking to hire another barber to help out, you can call her at 302-846-2162 for more information.