After 44 years as a barber/ stylist, Iraida Reyes has not intentions of retiring and leaving the customers she not only cuts hair for, but also counsels.
She knew since the age of seven that what was considered a traditional career for a woman would not be for her after spending one day in her father’s barber shop in Puerto Rico.
A bloodline of Barbers is what Reyes comes from. Not only was Reyes’s father a barber, but her great grandfather, uncles and three older brothers were too.
“ I call it hair spray in the blood,” she said.
After that one day in the late 1950’s, Reyes spent everyday in her father’s barbershop. Instead of learning how to sew and cook, she learned how to cut hair.
At just 10 years old she did her first cut for a friend. From then Reyes cut the hair of friends and family members until graduating from Paris Beauty School in the Bronx at 17 as a professional in 1967.
She has cut hair for three and our generations of some families in the Melrose section of the Bronx, often helping couples through marriage problems and others with drug addiction.
The 63-year-old known commonly says she wants to cut hair until she now longer can.