Neal Furlong has been a barber since 1963. He has no plans of retiring anytime soon.
Furlong owns Neal’s Hair Company in Springfield, OR. He loves his job for a variety of different reasons. He has the pleasure of chit chatting with a new customer every half hour, many of which are regulars. Some of them have been coming to Furlong since the early 1960s. Furlong has seen a large variety of things from the large front window of his shop. He has seen airplane parts being hauled by large trucks, fights, car accidents and parades. Furlong has even seen an odd naked woman walk by his shop.
Furlong’s father worked in a sawmill. He knew he did not want to follow in his father’s footsteps because he hated outdoor work. After he graduated from Thurston High School, Furlong attended barber school.
Furlong has owned three barber shops in his lifetime. His second shop was located on Mohawk Boulevard in the old Springfield mall, which is now a WinCo grocery store. When the location was bought out to build the WinCo, Furlong moved his shop across the street. He likes his current location because it is close to the freeway, he has good neighbors and it’s a fairly busy place.
Furlong is a man who enjoys what he does. He wears a shiny, silver belt buckle with scissors on it. “I like cutting hair because it’s inside, where it’s clean and warm,” Furlong said. “It’s better than being out in the cold.”