With a barber pole that’s been in the same place since the 1930s, Denton’s Joe Medina & The Bearded Lady carries on barbering traditions that have been passed down through generations. Joey Medina is a third-generation barber and works in the same barbershop as his late grandfather, Joe Medina Sr. Across the interior of the shop lies a mural by Denton artist Dan Black, which pays tribute to Medina Sr..
Prior to entering the family trade, Medina worked at Kroger for 20 years. Going into retail was kind of a rebellion against what was expected of him, Medina said, but in the end, it just didn’t fit.
“I just knew if I was going to do anything, I was going to cut hair,” Medina said.
In 2015, he entered cosmetology school, and in December of 2017, The Bearded Lady brand welcomed him aboard.
Medina kept an eye on his grandfather’s old shop. In 2019 when the shop became available, Medina said he jumped at the chance.
“There’s history behind it,” Medina said.
On one wall inside the shop hangs a postcard, which shows the barbershop as it was before Medina Sr. got ahold of it. Back then, the shop was part of a block designed to host visitors to Denton. There was a motel, a café and the barbershop itself.
Medina said while he was not interested in the family trade in his younger years, it has now become something he loves.
“I haven’t worked a day since I started,” Medina said. “The worst day cutting hair is better than the best day working retail.”
One of the advantages Joe Medina & The Bearded Lady has over traditional franchised chains, Medina said, is that they make the service more personal.
“We give better haircuts because we have more time to talk to people — a little more time to tailor the haircut to you,” Medina said.
Medina’s mentor Gary Barnhart said Medina is a hard worker and very family-oriented.
“Industrious is one of his most defining qualities,” Barnhart said.
Tanner Prine, who works at Joe Medina & The Bearded Lady, has been involved with the Bearded Lady brand for the past three years.
“The coolest part [of working here] has been seeing people come in who remember the original shop,” Prine said. “I’ve had a couple people kind of confused because they say, ‘I used to get my hair cut here by Joe Medina, but I thought he died.’”
Originally, when Medina’s grandfather acquired the shop, it was a one-chair operation. Medina Sr. was known around town for cutting the hair of the local high school boys. Some of these customers come now as adults, or their kids come in their place.
“It’s cool getting to hear the stories they have,” Prine said.
Though Medina Sr. is gone, his commitment to quality barbering lives on in his grandson. In the future, Medina said he hopes to pass down the business to his kids so that the family legacy lives on.
Courtesy Joey Medina