Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

The man behind one of our neighborhood’s last old-school barbershops is passing the torch after five decades of cutting hair.

Bob Colombe, owner of Preston Forest Barbers, is celebrating more than 52 years of running his Preston Hollow barbershop with a retirement party this Sunday, Nov. 9, from 2-5 p.m. The whole community is invited, and there will be wine, snacks and live music to boot.

Lance Nail, a former colleague of Colombe, will be taking over the barbershop moving forward. He says that he thinks it will be hard for Colombe to quit right away after so many years.

“Bob will probably still work at the barbershop for a few days or weeks,” he says.

Nail worked at Preston Forest Barbers from 1978-1985. After that, he left to open his own barbershop, Summertree Barber stylists on Inwood. Recently Colombe called Nail to ask him if he wanted to take over Preston Forest Barbers for him.

“I never dreamed that I’d be back here after all of these years, but Bob and I did work well together,” Nail says.

He says Colombe was like a mentor to him.

“Years ago, I told him I wanted to make more money. He told me to work harder,” Nail recalls.

Colombe grew up on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. He began his career in 1958 at age 18, attending American Barber College in Downtown Dallas through a government program that aimed to get young American Indians off reservations and into the workforce. Over the years, Colombe has perfected his trade, attracting generations of Preston Hollow clients, including the Perot family. Nail says he has modeled his own business after Colombe’s honesty with clients.

With Nail as the new owner of Preston Forest Barbers, there are some changes in store. The shop has received a fresh coat of paint, new equipment, and new chairs — all of which will be unveiled at this weekend’s party.

Beyond that? Don’t expect anything radically different.

“The traditional barbershop is a dying thing, and I want to keep it alive,” Nail says. “You just don’t see too many barbers being able to cut third, fourth generations of hair. I’m cutting the hair of my original clients’ grandkids.”

“This barbershop has been around more than 50 years, and I want to continue Bob’s legacy for another 50 years,” he says.

Read more about Bob Colombe’s story in Advocate’s February 2012 cover story.

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