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My Name Is

My Name Is: Al Arellano

Recently celebrated 50 years as a Lakewood barber


About me

My family has been in this country since 1769, when my ancestors immigrated from Spain. I was born in the San Luis Valley, and my family moved down to the Denver area in the 1950s. I was 6 at the time, and we came down because the altitude in the valley was too much for my dad.

I graduated from West High School, and then went into the army in 1962. I did well in basic training, and was recommended to join a NATO rifleman group. I was stationed in Germany, and served for three years. I thought about making a career of it, but the Vietnam War was starting, and so I decided not to re-enlist.

I coached Little League sports in the area for many years, and have seen a lot of changes in the community during my time.

I’ve been married to my wife, Betty, for 53 years, this October.

Becoming a barber

I started going to barber school to help me pay for college, but I enjoyed cutting hair so much I decided to focus on that. I started managing a shop on Colfax in 1967, and moved to the location I’m at now (1695 Wadsworth Blvd.) in 1988.

The social intercourse with customers is my favorite part about being a barber. Everyone has a story, and I’m never bored. Every day is different. I still have clients that started with me in 1967. Customers are pretty loyal, I’ve found. If you give them great service, they’ll keep coming back.

I’ve done well over the years — well enough to send my son CJ and daughter Melanie through college.

Celebrating 50 years

I’ve noticed that hairstyles are a little like a pendulum — I see styles go and return.

In honor of reaching 50 years as a barber, my son put a big party together, with a DJ, Bronco superfan trucks, three grills and about 450 people who showed up.

The secret to working is enjoying what you do. You don’t consider it work when you do — it’s almost like a hobby. I’ll be here until they have to haul me out of here.

If you have suggestions for My Name Is ..., contact Clarke Reader at creader@coloradocommunitymedia.com.


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