Barber Jake Bame takes an old-school approach to cutting hair.

Barber Jake Bame takes an old-school approach to cutting hair.

"It's fueled by my love of keeping the old style alive," Bame said.

Bame has opened the Noble Baron Gentleman Barbers at 21 N. High St. The barbershop has a classic feel enhanced by the dark wood floors to the old photos of vintage barbershops on the walls.

Appearance isn't the only retro feature. In addition to traditional haircuts, Bame offers an old-fashioned barber's shave using warm shaving cream, hot towels and a straight razor.

He also uses the straight razor on the back of the neck beneath the hairline and performs scalp massages.

"There's less of that today," Bame said. "We've lost numbers."

Bame operated a shop called "Crew Cuts" on the Ohio State University campus for about seven years before deciding to bring some of the history back to his profession.

"It's kind of like a fast-food hair industry now," he said. "Service stations used to do more than pump gas. They used to check oil and tire pressure."

Bame said the Noble Baron would be more like those old service stations, eventually having an esthetician to do facials and sun-damage repairs and offering a shoe-shine service, through which men can drop off their shoes and pick them up the next day.

Bame even chose his location because of its history. The building at 21 N. High St. once housed a dentist. In the Middle Ages, barbers often doubled as surgeons and dentists.

While working on the Ohio State campus, Bame met people from all over the world. But, he said, he wasn't able to build a local clientele who kept returning because of the transient nature of college students.

He has been encouraged by the small-town feel in New Albany. He hopes to have youngsters start coming to the barbershop with their fathers and mothers and keep coming back as they grow into adults.

"I wanted something more long-term to get to know our clients," he said.

His location in the historic part of New Albany also fits his plans to add a putting green in the side yard where customers can practice while waiting.

Though his focus is on haircuts for men, Bame said, he will not exclude women from services at the shop. He specializes in men's short hair, but he said he would be happy to cut short hairstyles for women, as well.

As he builds his customer base, Bame said, he plans to provide more services and more specialized cuts as his clientele demands. He also has room for two more barbers in the shop and already has two barber friends who share his love of historic barbering who are ready to come on.

"We can change to fit the community's needs and we can add more barbers," he said.

Keeping with the small-town mindset, Bame is working with his next-door neighbors at Dreamshine to offer a line of gentlemen's candles to be sold in his barbershop. Dreamshine founder Mark Minard said the candles will be made of soy wax and will have classic barbershop scents, like "classic barber talc" and aftershave.

Dreamshine, at 31 N. High St., offers jobs and social activities for adults who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, are autistic or have other special needs. The employees help make products that are sold online and available for pickup at the Dreamshine store.

The Noble Baron is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.