Local barber keeps very busy, celebrates 40th year in The Woodlands
The door to Henry’s Barber Shop states that the store opens at 9 a.m. but doesn’t list the time it closes. That’s because the owner, Henry Sneed, stays open until customers quit walking through the door.
Sneed said his shop has remained open past midnight on a few occasions because he loves socializing with his customers and providing a convenient service for them.
“I enjoy it so much; I tell no one ‘no.’ I never tell a customer no. I’ve been here as late as (midnight), 12:30 (a.m.) and I will cut a head of hair every 15 minutes up until they stop coming. When they stop coming, I leave,” Sneed said. “It’s a great service, though. I have a regular night clientele. Half the people come in here at night because it’s convenient for them.”
Sneed has been cutting hair in The Woodlands for 40 years. About 43 years ago, Sneed said he had a friend who was a barber so he decided he could be one, too. He began his first job cutting hair in 1978 at The Woodlands Barber Shop in Grogan’s Mill, and he opened his own barber shop in 1992 off of Glen Loch Drive.
“After cutting hair from 1978 to (1986), working with someone else, I decided I can do it on my own,” Sneed said. “So I decided to find a location, and I did. Open it up, and I did. And it’s been a joy ever since.”
Sneed explained that the best part about being a barber is the social aspect.
“I love the social part of this business. I tell people all the time I can do this all day and half the night mostly because of the social part of it,” he said. “I know a lot of people.”
Building a clientele can be tough work, but Sneed was able to build his customer base by cutting hair that others did not want to-children’s hair.
“I’ll never forget when I first started at the barber shop I was in, most of them didn’t want to cut kids’ hair. So I went to the owner, and I said ‘I’ll cut every kid that walks in the door.’ They didn’t want to cut them because they wiggle,” Sneed explained. “What they don’t realize is those kids are going to stop wiggling and get big and now you have a clientele. I built my clientele off of mothers sitting their kids in my chair. As they got older, they kept coming back. Even today I love cutting kids’ (hair).”
Sneed also likes cutting the hair of new customers or teenagers who bring in a photograph or pull one up on their phone showing the haircut they want.
“I’ve been doing this so long, what I love more than anything is when a new customer walks in the door and shows me a picture. I love it. They just show me a picture and I cut the picture. I enjoy that so much,” Sneed said.
Having lived and worked in The Woodlands for so long, Sneed said it has been incredible to watch the area grow from a population of less than 5,000 people into what it is today.
“When I first came here there were no red lights. I think the population must have been three to five thousand. There wasn’t anyone here. What I’ve noticed most about watching it change is that different people from different parts of the country come here. That’s been amazing. I’ve met a lot of people from a lot of places, every background. It’s been great,” Sneed remarked. “One thing I really like about watching The Woodlands (grow), they kept the basic wooded life, like a city in the woods. I’ll never forget when I first came here the whole motto was, ‘We will never build a building taller than the trees.’ And they pretty much kept Anadarko, the big skyscraper, to that.”
Sneed is more than just a barber with late hours. He also drives a school bus and participates in community services such as a prison ministry and Meals on Wheels.
“I’m a very social person. I love hanging out with kids. I love the social part of the bus driving. I enjoy that so much. I tell people I enjoy cutting hair, driving the school bus, I do a prison ministry, and I do Meals on Wheels,” Sneed explained. “And I’ll probably do that as long as I’m healthy enough to do it. And it’s all because of the social part of it. As long as I’m healthy, I will do those four things.”
Sneed said he purposefully schedules long hours for himself because he loves to connect with others. A typical day begins in the early morning hours before dawn and doesn’t end until late in the evenings or at night.
“I love my day. During the school year, I’m up about 4:30 in the morning. I go to the gym, I leave the gym, I go to the bus, I leave the bus and I come here (to the barber shop),” he said. “I leave here at 1:30 to go back to the bus and I get back here about 5:15, 5:30 and I stay here until people stop coming. I’ve never been the type of person who wants to be idle. So I’m never idle.”
The barber shop owner has no intention of slowing down, either, and no plans for retirement.
“I’m going to do this as long as I’m healthy enough to. I enjoy it just that much,” Sneed said. “As long as my health lasts, I’m going to do this.”