In photos: Barber and beauty shops are centers of community in sprawling Whitehaven

Whitehaven is one of Memphis's largest and most populous neighborhoods, boasting over 50,000 residents. But despite its size, Whitehaven continues to function as a tight-knit community.

One of the ways that sense of community is maintained is through the neighborhood's barbershops and salons. One of those salon owners, Hazel Moore, is no stranger to doing work that brings her community closer together. Known by the community as the "Mayor of Whitehaven", Moore received the MLK Humanitarian Award in 2017, the city's highest award, and this is only one of her many achievements. She opened Hazel's Hair Fashions in the 1980s and it has been a staple of the community ever since.

Many of her customers have been coming to her salon, located at 4105 Elvis Presley Boulevard, for years, both because of the service they receive and because of the salon's role as a community hub.

This sentiment is echoed elsewhere. Social media pages for both Blades Barber Shop, in the Whitehaven Plaza Shopping Center at 4088 Elvis Presley Boulevard, and Iconic Stylz, at 892 East Raines Road, are filled with testaments of customer loyalty and pride. Many stores in Whitehaven Plaza have shut down, but Blades continues to be a thriving business with a loyal base.

And the owner of Iconic Stylz, Staff Jones, has been at his current location for nine years. He said he is happy to be in Whitehaven and a member of the business community.

"The news gets it wrong. There's a lot of good people here," he said. 

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Brandon Dahlberg.

Brandon Dahlberg is a documentary photographer based in Memphis. A lifelong resident of the city, he earned his B.A. in English and M.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of Memphis. He has worked as a photographer in various capacities throughout the city, and loves telling visual stories.