The Master. "Hair Magician." Therapist. All of these titles have been at various times bestowed on Moses Moreno, a barber who will close his Menlo Park barber shop, Moses Hairstyling, on Jan. 29, after nearly 30 years of operation.
Mr. Moreno plans to retire and close out his 52 years as a hairdresser. "It's time for the next chapter of my life," he said. "I feel now it's time to go smell the roses."
Moses Hairstyling will be the second barbershop in downtown Menlo Park to close within the month. Golden Shears closed on Jan. 10 after 53 years in business. Mr. Moreno said a new hair salon will go into his shop's current location.
Raised in Salinas
Moses Moreno was raised farming and ranching in Salinas. His father, who was a farmer, told him: "Learn a trade. Believe in God and in yourself. Be the best you can in what you do." So, he said, "I chose to become the best barber I ever could be."
He began his career as a barber in San Jose, where he worked for two years before moving to the Golden Shears in Menlo Park, where he worked for about two decades. He launched Moses Hairstyling in 1987.
He started this business after his clients insisted they'd follow him from the Golden Shears. His clients even helped him pick out the name. "Casa de Moses," "Mi Casa Tu Casa" and "Moses Parts Hair" were all suggested before landing on "Moses Hairstyling."
"My vision for Moses Hairstyling was to make my clients feel and look their best. I tried!" he said.
In retirement, he said, he plans to travel with his wife, both for pleasure and for service. He wants to go to Panama first, but also wants to travel on missionary trips with his denomination, United Pentecostal Church International.
In the meantime, though, he said, "I want to end it right."
"I would love to leave on my last day with peace and satisfaction that I tried my best," he said.
He plans to donate the current furnishings of his shop to the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop on Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park.
"I think the main thing that I will miss about the shop is the relationships I had with my clients," he said. "It was more than just cutting their hair."
Several clients offered superlatives on the friendships they'd developed with Mr. Moreno over the years:
"He's the best hairdresser on the Peninsula," said John Field.
"I've never met a nicer man," said Richard Popp.
"When my wife got ill, he and his wife made us dinner on a couple of occasions," said Rusty Griner. "He remembers your family, your kid's name, the trials and tribulations we all deal with, and," he added, "He gives great bear hugs."