Meet The Oldest Licensed Barber in Florida

Many of you have a favorite barber or hair stylist. Someone you've gone to for years.

Imagine going to the same man for your entire life and watching as your kids, grand kids, and great grand kids get their hair cut by him. In Tallahassee, there's only one man that can stake that claim.

Delmar Smith isn't a famous man by any means, but he is well known around Tallahassee. If he hasn't cut your hair, chances are, you may know someone hair he has cut. He's been working the shears for 74 years and at the age of 95, he's the oldest licensed barber in the state of Florida. Truly, a cut above the rest.

"I just love people," said Smith, "To work with them, being able to cut their hair. To make them look better. That's the motto. To make a man look better than when he sat down in your chair."

He began snipping away in 1935, and while Delmar hasn't kept track of how many heads of hair he's cut, chances are, it's well over 100,000. For 18 years, Delmar owned his own shop in the shadows of Godby High School, but sold it in 1972. He's bounced from shop to shop ever since, and his loyal customers have followed right along with him.

"It's habit that he cuts my hair. He's the only man that knows how," said one loyal customer.

You want to talk about loyalty? One local family has sent five generations of men to see Delmar. It doesn't matter that at the age of 95, he works only on Tuesday's. That just means his customers know that if they don't take advantage of Delmar's schedule, they'll have to wait another week.

"Delmar is probably the best barber I've ever known," said another loyal customer.

And for many, he's the only barber they've ever known. Doak Campbell used to get his ears lowered by Delmar Smith, so have thousands of other men in Tallahassee. And after seven decades of what he calls barbering, his attention to detail is still the same.

"I don't turn a man loose until I'm satisfied with it."

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  • by Niece Location: Thomasville Georgia on Apr 8, 2010 at 05:40 PM
    Uncle Delmar is as great as they come. I see him very little now but I remember when he visited us in Ochlocknee when I was a little girl, he was so sweet and kind to me and my brothers and sisters. He is a great person and his brother (my dad) would be very proud of him like I am. I Love You Always
  • by Ed Neu Location: Tallahassee on Apr 8, 2010 at 01:36 PM
    He is a Chesters, in the Lake Ella Publix shopping center on Monroe and Tharpe.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 8, 2010 at 09:58 AM
    Wow! That's great! What shop is he at now?
  • by Chris Location: Tally on Apr 8, 2010 at 07:32 AM
    GO DELMAR! Great feel good story!
  • by Kaylee Location: Tally on Apr 8, 2010 at 04:34 AM
    That is wonderful, God bless him!!!!
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