Haircuts come with friendship

Merrylands barber Vince Zumbo knows a thing or two when it comes to cutting or styling hair.

For half a century, Mr Zumbo has been tending to the hair needs of his Holroyd clients in the same shop in Pitt Street, Merrylands, where he started his apprenticeship on January 4, 1964.

But the 65-year-old grandfather of three actually started his career in the hair trade at the age of seven.

At that time he was required to complete general chores at a barber shop and received a weekly wage of five cents.

"We had to choose a trade like being a mechanic, carpenter or barber that we were to go into when we were seven or eight," Mr Zumbo said.

"Being a barber was what I chose."

He was a fully qualified barber overseas by the age of 15 but had to complete his Australian apprenticeship in Merrylands after emigrating to Australia from Italy in 1963. Mr Zumbo took over the barber shop, which is now called Vince Hair Design, in 1985.

"I'm happy with the clients," he said.

"Good atmosphere."

Mr Zumbo still has 200 original clients who travel from far and wide for a snip.

"We have people from Young, Bathurst, Orange, Wollongong, Newcastle and even Burleigh Heads," he said.

"I think it's a matter of friendship.

"Business is suppose to be about friendship and not a money-making thing."

Merrylands business owner Joe Rositano has been going to the well-known barber shop for more than 40 years.

"He [Mr Zumbo] gives me good service and he is a good friend," Mr Rositano said.

"I will go anywhere he [Mr Zumbo] goes in Australia [for a hair cut]."

Mr Zumbo will pass the business down to his son Ross, who also works at the shop, when he retires.

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