5 Questions with Base Barber Joy Hamilton

Joy Hamilton

Joy Hamilton

Hadley Parsons, 
CFB Esquimalt Public Affairs

Joy Hamilton currently works at the CFB Esquimalt CANEX Barber Shop and has been cutting hair for 44 years.

What’s an average day on the job?

We get a lot of drop-ins, but we take appointments as well. Since the pandemic, our numbers have been different, but, usually, I do about ten haircuts, and on a hectic day, I’ve done as many as 25. We’re at our busiest when there’s a deployment or other special event.

What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened recently while on the job?

Well, with the upcoming CANFORGEN on hair regulations, we’ll see a much more comprehensive range of hairstyles and colouring requests. It’s not in place yet, but once it is, it will broaden who we are as stylists and allow us to be more creative. I expect most people will keep their current hairstyles, but I’m open to the changes and ready to deal with any haircut or colour that comes my way. It’s exciting to be on the ‘cutting edge’ of military hair styling.

What’s something about your job that you wish more people realized?

When they see a military haircut, many people think it’s fairly simple, and while they are straightforward, that doesn’t mean they’re easy to do well. It takes skill to get the taper on the back and sides just right so that it looks good and meets the standards every time.

What’s something interesting about yourself?

I hosted a radio show called Wolf Beat for a while back in the early 2000s. It was a First Nations cultural show that featured First Nations music, storytelling, and theatre. I also interviewed many people on the show, like Elders and political figures. Chatting to guests as a radio host and clients as a barber is alike.

Bonus Question: What makes a good client?

You know, we get a wide variety of people, military members of course, but also retired members and civilians, and everyone who comes in is great to work with. The best clients are respectful and can tell or show you exactly what they want. It makes the process easy.

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