Longtime Salt Lake barber Clyde Ashcroft retires after 58 years

Published: Friday, Dec. 28 2012 5:05 p.m. MST

Because he was the son of a barber, he said, he wasn't allowed to grow out his hair into the longer styles his friends often sported. The Ashcroft family has several anecdotes revolving around Clyde Ashcroft's distaste for long hair — for both aesthetic and economic reasons. His grandson, for example, wanted to cut his hair into a mullet and Ashcroft would have nothing to do with it.

"My grandpa refused to cut it," Preston Carlson recalled. "He said I looked like a hippie."

Ashcroft doesn't have any big plans for his retirement. He enjoys fishing and plans on doing a lot of it when the weather warms. Beyond that, however, he said he has a lot of little projects to fill his time.

"It's a lot harder than I thought it was going to be," he said of retirement. "When you do something for 58 years and then stop, it's tough."

Clyde's Barber Shop may be shutting its doors, but the family tradition of cutting hair will live on in part in the form of granddaughter Jessica Soelberg, who works at Kellie and Company salon. The torch was unofficially passed seven years ago, when Ashcroft took some rare time off to recover from a surgery while Soelberg filled in at Clyde's.

"It was interesting to hear what the customers thought," Chris Ashcroft said. "She didn't cut hair like he cut hair, but they all told him she was prettier to look at."

E-mail: benwood@desnews.com

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