Oct 25, 2018

A Cut Above The Rest: How The World’s Oldest Barber Is Doing His Thing At 107

A lot was going on in 1922. Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered, the BBC was formed and Britain and France experienced the wonder of radio.

Oh, and Anthony Mancinelli started cutting hair professionally at 11 years of age. Now in 2018 he’s still doing exactly that, cutting hair to perfection, albeit at the slightly older age of 107. And you know what else? He’s showing no signs of slowing down.

It begins at first snip

Mancinelli was born in Naples, Italy in 1911 and emigrated to America with his family when he was 8. He started working at the local barbershop when he was 11 and then left school to work full time at 12.

Way back when it would set you back 25 cents to get a haircut from Mr. Mancinelli but it certainly hasn’t stayed that way. It is unlikely that any of us will have the pleasure of seeing such an increase in what we charge but after a steep incline of 7500%, a haircut from the centenarian will now cost you $19.

A good hair day

A part from being an incredible inspiration to people worldwide, his perseverance and work ethic is pleasantly giving the younger generation a run for their youth.

A stylist who works next to Mr. Mancinelli in the NY salon, at the tremendous age of 20, had this to say, ““It’s just amazing that he still works full time. Weekends here can get crazy — even I get tired of being on my feet — but he just keeps going.”

The shop’s owner, Jane Dinezza speaks of his impressive diligence and commitment to work. “He never calls in sick. I have young people with knee and back problems, but he just keeps going.

He can do more haircuts than a 20-year-old kid. They’re sitting there looking at their phones, texting or whatever, and he’s working.”

Making our hair curl

In a world where the contribution and value of our seniors is at a distressing low, Mr. Mancinelli is quietly, steadily and unapologetically displaying what our elderly are, and can do.

He is passionate about his work, has picked up every new trend and wishes to contribute. In answer to being asked (for the millionth time) about his longevity, Mancinelli could only offer that he has always put in a satisfying day’s work and has avoided heavy drinking and smoking.

Yet his continued work was almost not to be. Mancinelli found that as he aged his hours were being steadily cut by the salons he was working for. He was even knocked back by an employee of his current salon because of his age.

But Mancinelli would not be deterred, he applied again and has time and time again impressed his boss with his prowess with all matters hair.

Not a hair out of place

Customers come from far and wide have come to get their hair cut by Mr. Mancinelli. Grandfathers, sons and grandchildren from the same family regularly visited his chair.

He’s had celebrities visit, making the journey from the big apple to place their updo’s in his steady hands. He has customers that have been coming to him for over 50 years and he has cut their hair, swept up the trimmings and completed his work on his own, every step of the way.

His son says that at 107, his dad still cuts his own hair. Sometimes, if you want things done, you have to do them yourself!

While he may no longer have use for the skills he was taught in 1922, that of the wart burning, heated glass placing and leech using, Mr. Mancinelli is more than a wonder to behold.

He is a senior, with skills, stamina, value and worth. He reminds us all that value never becomes obsolete or goes out of style.

Image: The New York Times.

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