is a historic site in Dallas that isn’t
noted on Google, and I couldn’t find any mention of the man who built from scratch
what became an iconic and copied men’s barber shop.
you pass judgment, please hear me out.
was Jack Pitts and his fancy men’s hair salon was named Jack’s of Dallas.
It was on Preston Road near Northwest Highway.
unmarked historic site of the famous Jack
to Jack's of Dallas, for years and years, white men’s hairdos were reduced to
about five styles: white walls, tapered, DAs, crew, and butch cuts.
like Bill Haley of Bill Haley and the Comets had slight adaptations – Haley had
a hair squiggle that hung down on his forehead – but in the main, you went into
the barber shop and picked white wall, tapered, DA, crew or butch.
you hoped the barber hadn't made too big of a mess before he massaged Wild Root
Cream Oil (Charlie) on the top to plaster it down with the hopes of hiding his
mistakes from you.
As far as parts go, the barber never remembered where
it went. He picked a place he liked the best.
course every haircut was finished with brushing your neck with Jeris talc so that
small pieces of the cut hair would go down the backside of your shirt collar and
would cause you to itch for the remainder of the day.
My hair was both
course and thick – I had lots of it.
And nothing much made the top ever
When I was in the 7th grade, I became sure it wasn’t because
I was 5’5” and weighed 120 lbs. that kept me from being a strong competitor against
the football players for the pretty girls’ attention.
It was definitely
the unruly hair.
|So I went to a crew
cut, held standing straight up and level across the top with a product heretofore
used by black men called Royal Crown Hair Dressing. There were two more: Murray's
Pomade and Peach Hair Dressing.|
All of the stuff smelled, so I tried covering
it up with extra blasts of Old Spice cologne.
I noticed no one got too
close to me. But what was I to do?
Then a hair miracle happened in 1964!
of Dallas appeared on the scene, and with it came the razor cut and the finished
product styled and held in place with a new product called Dep.
hair would dare move after a dose of Dep jell, cooked in place with a hot bonnet
hair dryer, and then that hold further guaranteed afterwards by five long spray
can spritzes of lacquer.
Jack Pitts became my hero. I was able to have
a regular haircut, and it would stay in place, and I could look like a grown man.
Bill Cherry with Jack's of
Dallas "doo" in 1967 |
Never mind it cost
$7 plus tip a week when regular barbers were getting $1.50. He transformed me
into the man I had dreamed I could be --- if only I could wear a regular hair
Boys and men by the droves fought for appointments with Jack. Norris
of Houston brought the same concept
While better hair products have come, and my hair has gotten less
course and thinner, nevertheless, without Jack Pitts and his Jack’s of Dallas,
I would have been a hairstyle outcast for at least the first forty years of my
So I am lobbying the City of Dallas
to install a historical marker on the site of Jack’s of Dallas, 8307 Preston Road.
It’s the right thing to do.
10 , 2012 column
Copyright William S. Cherry. All rights reserved
Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories
| Columns | Texas
a Dallas Realtor and free lance writer was a longtime columnist for "The Galveston
County Daily News." His book, Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories, has sold
thousands, and is still available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com and other
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