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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Cutting edge tradition

Jesse+Medina+has+been+cutting+hair+for+64+years.
Photo by Photo by Casey Dawson

Jesse Medina has been cutting hair for 64 years.

Creating looks for over half a century, a local barbershop owner is still going strong, providing fresh cuts to residents in the Bryan-College Station area.
Jesse Medina grew up in the B-CS area and served in the Korean War on the U.S.S. Jason. After returning to Bryan, he opened Aggieland Barber Shop off the corner of College Main and University Drive in 1956. In 1978, he relocated to the second floor of the building, where he still operates today.
During his service in the U.S. Navy, Medina said he became tired of his position on deck in the frosty Japanese weather, so when a barber offered him a chair below the ship’s deck, he immediately accepted. With no previous experience cutting hair, Medina said he learned quickly, practicing on the 400 men aboard the U.S.S. Jason.
“The barber who offered me his chair said I had a natural talent,” Medina said. “Well, I guess I do since I have been doing it for 64 years.”
Medina, 84-years-old, has developed a loyal customer base, some of whom travel many miles just to have him cut their hair. Ron Martins, a 78-year-old customer, said Medina has been his barber since 1978. Once a month, he makes the hour- and-a-half drive from Smithville.
“Jesse is the reason I stay nearby,” Martins said.
Medina said he specializes in the flattop haircut, but can improvise anything.
“When one walks into his shop, they may think they are going to get, a 60s haircut, but he really knows the modern styles and can do what anyone asks,” customer Khaleel Abubasha said.
Medina’s shop decor features classic pictures of his Navy career, old articles written about him and an antique telephone and cash register.
“I like the vintage style of his shop and listening to his stories about life,” Abubasha said.
Medina said developing relationships through conversation is one thing he loves about his job.
“My favorite thing about my shop is the people that come in,” Medina said. “I enjoy the one-on-one conversations I have with my customers.”
Because of A&M’s diverse population of international students, Medina said it is fascinating that he has customers come from all over the world for a haircut.
“I can do haircuts that others don’t do, or don’t like to do, so people from all over the world come to me,” Medina said.
Medina said the friendly students and his customers are his favorite thing about College Station. Starting in the 50s and 60s, Medina said his customers were generous and gave him A&M football tickets.
“I remember when football tickets were only $5.50 and customers would come and bring me tickets,” Medina said. “I would always bring my brother or a friend to enjoy the evening.”
Medina said he has grown as a person over the years. He said as a minority, he came to College Station with a chip on his shoulder, but as he spent more time here, he realized the Aggie family is accepting and loving.
“You must focus on where you are now and not where you used to be,” Medina said.

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  • A Korean War veteran, Jesse Medina has owned and operated Aggieland Barber Shop since 1956.

    Photo by Photo by Casey Dawson
  • Jesse Medina learned to cut hair while in the United States Navy aboard the U.S.S. Jason.

    Photo by Photo by Casey Dawson
  • One of Jesse Medina’s customers travels an hour and a half from Smithville just to have Jesse cut his hair.

    Photo by Photo by Casey Dawson
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