Bethesda Barber Shop

My Two Cents is a weekly opinion column from Bethesda resident Joseph Hawkins. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Miguel and Maria Gaona have been cutting hair in the heart of downtown Bethesda since October 14, 1988.  I’ve been a faithful customer since the very beginning.

Let’s see: once a month for my “numero dos” for 25 years is 12 X 25 = 300 visits, 300 cuts.

Joseph HawkinsBut on my most recent visit, I asked Miguel if he had ever sat and figured out how many cuts he had done over his more than 50-year career as a barber. He had.

Now, given its Bethesda location (7219 Arlington Rd.), I should have guessed that Miguel and Maria have a mathematician as a customer. That customer helped Miguel come up with a rough count. Miguel puts the total number of haircuts north of a million over a career of 50+ years.


I think a million cuts is a little high. But even if it is half a million, which is something like 25 cuts per day per year, that’s still an extremely impressive career of cutting hair and serving Bethesda. And when it comes to service, it is hard to exceed the grace and charm of Miguel and Maria.

Miguel and Maria have no retirement plans in the works, and I have no plans to change barbers. And so perhaps by the time they put down their scissors and trimmers, that number — 1 million — will have easily been exceeded.

Joseph Hawkins is a longtime Bethesda resident who remembers when there was no Capital Crescent Trail. He works full-time for an employee-owned social science research firm located Montgomery County. He is a D.C. native and for nearly 10 years, he wrote a regular column for the Montgomery Journal. He also has essays and editorials published in Education Week, the Washington Post, and Teaching Tolerance Magazine. He is a serious live music fan and is committed to checking out some live act at least once a month.