January 17, 2022


Only The Finest Women

Cutting hair at Stanford for six decades and counting

By Kathleen J. Sullivan

Above the last 6 decades, Carmelo Cogliandro has slash the hair of legions of pupils, personnel and faculty at Stanford Hair, satisfying requests for hairstyles as exclusive as their names.

Carmelo Cogliandro (Graphic credit rating: Andrew Brodhead)

There was the Ivy League, the Buzzcut, the Fade, the Crew Minimize, the Flat Best and Flat Prime with Fenders, the Rat Tail – in some cases bleached or colored – the Mohawk, the Fauxhawk and the Mushroom – a bowl lower influenced by Moe of The 3 Stooges. For the Significant Sport, some learners preferred terms slice into their hair – this sort of as Beat Cal.

Cogliandro remembered the very first college student who wanted a hairstyle that would address his ears –inspired by the trademark moptops of the Beatles in the early 1960s. It was for the duration of the era when most adult men preferred the “clean look” of hair trimmed all around the ears.

“I was pondering to myself, what a weirdo,” he recalled. “Then inside of a 12 months or two, I had extensive hair far too. I fell appropriate into it.”

Cogliandro commenced his campus career in 1961 in a barbershop found in the basement of Encina Hall, which then housed the university’s monetary and business functions. He moved into Tresidder Memorial Union when the setting up opened in the tumble of 1962.

He now owns Stanford Hair, which is found throughout the corridor from the new Undergraduate Mail and Offer Delivery Centre on the ground ground of Tresidder.

Cardinal at Operate has determined the salon as a single of the dozens of the “sweetest perks” of being related to Stanford.

“We present clientele an oasis, if only for 20 minutes, from the worry of understanding, training, carrying out study and managing the university,” Cogliandro claimed.

Generally, the busiest times at the salon are Mondays and Fridays, and the week prior to winter split, spring break and summertime family vacation. All through the summertime, guests attending campus applications have also found their way to Stanford Hair.

Around the years, Cogliandro has slice the hair of Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and Stanford presidents courting back to Wallace Sterling, who took office environment in 1949. Previous Cardinal Football Coach Jim Harbaugh was a normal. So were his players.

A male with a large heart

David M. Kennedy, the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Emeritus, at Stanford, who gained the Pulitzer Prize for Heritage in 2000, remembers the September day in 1987 when he satisfied Cogliandro. When Kennedy arrived at the salon with his youngest son, Tom, who wanted a haircut for the new college 12 months, he ran into a good friend finding a haircut.

David M. Kennedy, the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of Record, Emeritus, has been a common at Cogliandro’s salon considering the fact that September 1987. (Picture credit history: Andrew Brodhead)

When the mate questioned how he was doing, Kennedy replied that his wife, Judy, was very seriously ill in the healthcare facility. Just after Cogliandro slice Tom’s hair, Kennedy questioned how substantially he owed him for the haircut. Cogliandro replied that he had overheard Kennedy speaking about his wife and didn’t know what he could do to help – besides not cost for the haircut.

“That touched me right down to my bone marrow,” Kennedy said. “As prolonged as Carmelo is in business, he will be my barber. As it turns out, he’s a extremely excellent barber, but which is not my principal motive for sticking with him all these decades. It is my way of repaying a favor he did for me throughout a quite, extremely dark second of my lifetime.”

Around the a long time, they became great friends. When Kennedy was incapacitated with a knee personal injury some 10 years in the past, Cogliandro went to his home to give him a haircut.

“He’s just that type of person,” Kennedy stated. “He’s obtained a major coronary heart. He is just one of the persons I admire most in this globe.”

Earning a barber license and a bachelor’s degree

As a young person, Cogliandro hoped for a occupation in music. But his father, who apprehensive that only Hollywood stars could make a dwelling in new music, recommended him to learn a trade.

Cogliandro gives Professor Emeritus David M. Kennedy a trim in his salon located in Tresidder Memorial Union. Cogliandro began his campus career in 1961 in a barbershop located in the basement of Encina Hall. (Graphic credit rating: Andrew Brodhead)

By enrolling in barber faculty – a phase he took as a junior in superior faculty – Cogliandro was pursuing a relatives custom. His father labored as a barber – even in the course of his stint in the U.S. Military – and his mom ran a attractiveness store for girls in the dwelling space of their house.

In addition to earning a barber license, Cogliandro acquired a bachelor’s degree in tunes at San Jose Condition University. He done as a tenor for a couple of many years with mild opera providers in Silicon Valley.

Cogliandro once returned to the phase for a cameo in Gaieties, a pupil-prepared musical extravaganza held the week right before the Large Video game – not to sing, but to give a haircut to the late Stanford President Donald Kennedy, a visitor star in the creation and a longtime buddy and consumer.

“I’d finished a large amount of executing just before then and it was a lot of enjoyment to be back on stage,” he explained.

Listening is the critical to achievements

Cogliandro stated the important to success as a hairstylist is conversation, particularly in a salon that caters to the assorted neighborhood that is Stanford.

“If you are a fantastic listener and you ask plenty of issues, you are going to be effective,” he explained.

“If somebody says, ‘I want a limited haircut,’ you have to discover out what that signifies to them. 10 different persons can have 100 versions of ‘short.’ So, you give them a small shock treatment. You say, a shorter haircut, yeah, you mean like Maritime boot camp? They say, ‘no, no, not that small! Now we’ve obtained a basis to start off working from.”

In addition to a career, Cogliandro located love through the trade he achieved his spouse, a hairstylist named Lynda, at Stanford Hair. The few has been together for 32 many years.

During the final two a long time, the coronavirus has taken a significant toll on the salon, which as soon as utilized several stylists. Now two individuals can quickly manage the company, claimed Cogliandro.

Wanting back again, Cogliandro mentioned he is loaded with gratitude for the previous six many years.

“It’s been a genuine privilege,” he claimed. “I really don’t know how I was blessed with this.”