April 29, 2013
A long, cold day working in his father’s Ashley greenhouse led Wayne Nolting to an even longer career.
Nolting went to get a hair cut following the day’s work, and found a profession that has now spanned five decades.
“It just looked like the thing to do,” he said of becoming a barber. “It was warm and clean.”
The owner of Shear Style, Nolting, 69, has been working as a barber for the past 50 years, a profession he calls “a perfect old man’s job.”
Nolting’s career began with the help of his father, who paid for his 10 months of training as a barber. To pay him back, he promised to cut his father’s hair for free from then on, which he still does.
“He says he’s gotten well paid back for his initial investment,” Nolting said.
Upon graduation, he moved back to Delaware County and soon purchased his first barber shop, located on Troy Road. By 1981, he moved to his current location at 21 New Market Drive.
But he never stopped cutting hair in between. He estimates he has cut enough hair to fill Ohio Stadium three times over.
He’s now cutting the hair of third generation customers.
Randy Dilley has been getting his hair cut by Nolting for at least 35 years. His sons get their hair cut by Dilley, along with their children.
“When you’ve been in business that long you’ve been doing something right,” Dilley said. “You are more than a customer. They treat you like a friend.”
The “they” Dilley is referring to is Nolting and his wife, Glenda, who is also a barber. They have worked together and been married for the past 31 years.
“He’s the one that got me into this business,” Glenda Nolting said.
During his 50 years in the industry, Nolting, who now lives in Ostrander, has seen many changes. When he first started, the profession was mostly male. Today, it is the other way around.
He has also seen hair styles change over the years, from close cropped cuts for men in the 1960s to long locks in the 1970s and back to the close cropped look today.
But the most unusual request he has ever had was when he gave 13 Delaware Hayes High School football players mohawks before a game. One of the recipients is now his dentist.
“I had a few mothers very unhappy with me,” he said.
Nolting has no plans to hand his scissors up any time soon.
“If I didn’t have this, I would go crazy,” he said, adding he will continue to cut hair “until they tell me it’s time for me to quit or, like my wife says, until I get it right.”