Bar Harbor native and Mount Desert Island High School graduate Grady Webster cuts hair at Bar Harbor Barber Shop.  PHOTO COURTESY OF GRADY WEBSTER 

There’s a new barber in town 

BAR HARBOR — As 2021 Mount Desert Island High School graduate Grady Webster approached the end of his high school career at the height of the pandemic, he decided to change gears. Instead of going to college, Webster took a year off to learn the art of a barber shop haircut. 

Webster said the primary reason for the change had to do with the fact that he didn’t want to go to college virtually.  

“I was sick of learning remotely and I didn’t want to spend the money and not get the full college experience,” he said.  

Webster decided to hold off on college until programs transitioned back to in-person instruction and to attend barber school at the New England School of Barbering in Concord, N.H. “The school was pretty much like a functioning barber shop, so it felt super real,” said Webster. 

The 19-year-old Bar Harbor native finished the barber program earlier this year. Shortly after, Webster paid a visit to Jennifer Nowlin, owner of Bar Harbor Barber Shop (formerly known for 50 years as Ray’s Barber Shop). Nowlin hired him on the spot. Since June, Webster has been working at the Main Street shop three days a week.  

Webster plans to attend Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J., this fall, where he will major in child advocacy.  

Though he will leave for college at the end of the summer, he is currently happy doing something he is passionate about. “I’m planning on either doing haircuts in the college dorms or maybe picking up a job in a shop downtown,” Webster said. 


Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.
Ninah Rein

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