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Son cutting in on father’s Amherst barber shop business

Tim Fahey shares a laugh with his son Zach and customer Bill Peterson at Tim’s Barber Shop in Amherst. Zach will soon start an apprenticeship as a barber under the watchful eye of his father.
Tim Fahey shares a laugh with his son Zach and customer Bill Peterson at Tim’s Barber Shop in Amherst. Zach will soon start an apprenticeship as a barber under the watchful eye of his father. - Dave Mathieson

AMHERST, N.S. – The barber shop is a social hub of society, and it’s also the social hub of the Fahey family.

“A lot of fathers and sons, unfortunately, don’t get along and don’t work well together,” said 18-year-old Zach Fahey. “But I get along with dad really well.”

Once the paperwork is complete, Zach will start a barber apprenticeship under his father Tim Fahey, who owns and operates Tim’s Barber Shop in Amherst.

“My father runs Ed’s Barber Shop in Springhill and my mother was a hairdresser,” said Tim, who is 44-years-old. “So, I guess it runs in the family.”

Zach grew up in Amherst, and for the past two years he often thought about becoming a barber, but it wasn’t until his dad recently suggested he become his apprentice that the idea took hold.

“I found the idea appealing because I’m more of a one-on-one kind of a learner, so I find it works in my favour to have my father teach me how to cut hair. I’m more attentive that way, and less distracted.”

To pass his apprenticeship Zach will need to cut thousands of heads of hair for free for the next two years under the watchful eye of his dad.

“I’ve been observing dad a lot to see how he cuts hair, and I’ve been studying how they cut different styles on Youtube,” said Zach. “I find some men like to keep it simple but I find with my generation they like to go out and do something experimental. That’s the type of thing I’m excited to do.”

He says he also likes the lifestyle of a barber.

“It’s a classy way to live, and I’ve always liked style,” said Zach. “And I like the smells and the sounds of the barber shop.”

“Yeah, he’s always primping in the mirror and making sure he’s got his game on,” adds his dad with a laugh.

Zach says his friends think it’s ‘amazing’ he’s becoming a barber.

“I was kind of confused about what I wanted to do with my life and this is a real eye-opening opportunity, so they’re looking forward to me doing this and they’re looking forward to getting their hair cut for free.”

His dad is proud of him.

“It shows me he has interest and he’s going to be doing something with his life that will provide a comfortable life and something that he is interested in,” said Tim. “I’m more than honoured to teach him.”

Zach says his relationship with his dad has had its ups and downs but adds that those experiences have led them to where they are today.

And what does Tim believe is the secret to a good relationship with his son?

“The secret to being close to your son is that there are no secrets,” said Tim. “You have to be open and honest with each other.”

And that means sometimes being tough.

“When the time is there to show him the ropes and lead him down the right road, you have to steer him in the right direction in life.”

Zach says his dad will continue to be tough and he doesn’t expect special treatment during his apprenticeship.

“Even though I have that bond with dad I’m sure he’ll still crack down on me.”

Going into the future, Zach hopes the father-and-son team can create a great atmosphere at Tim’s Barber Shop.

“I plan on being here a long time, and I hope dad and I can expand the shop as much as we can and show people what barbering is meant to be,” said Zach. “We want to create a warm, inviting atmosphere that everybody can enjoy, and I want to get to know everybody that comes in here.”

Zach will soon be offering free haircuts at Tim’s Barber Shop. For updates on when those free haircuts are available go to the Tim’s Barber Shop facebook page.

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