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Barber Wins Acclaim with Vintage Style

Milford barber Scott Braga crafted a pompadour for a model in an international barbers' competition, taking home the first-place trophy as "Super Barber."

The pompadour, a hair style made famous by Elvis Presley, isn't something you see on a man every day.

That's what Scott Braga was thinking, when the Milford barber was trying to decide what kind of cut and style to execute at an international barbers' competition in New York.

"What would separate myself from the rest of the competitors? What would someone not do?" Braga said he thought.

He settled on the pompadour, and dressed his model in leather jacket, jeans and white t-shirt, to complete the look.

His model, one of his students at a hair cutting academy in Fitchburg, had to be persuaded, first. He had to agree to grow his hair out for the competition. But the creative instincts proved dead-on. The pompadour Braga created in 37 minutes won first place last month at the Major League Barber Super Barber Competition. Braga drove home to Massachusetts with the large silver trophy, now displayed in his shop.

Braga, owner of , on West Street, loves older things, and vintage style. His shop has barber chairs dating to the 1920s, and razors and shaving tools from the early part of the century.

Braga purchased the business two years ago, and moved his family from Rhode Island to Milford. He trained in Rhode Island under a third-generation barber, and has been a barber for 14 years.

His specialty is the kind of techniques that were used decades ago. The barber shop provides straight-razor shaves, facials, and neck and head massages for men who like the old-fashioned services.

A stream of loyal customers came into his shop last week. Like women and their stylists, men will keep coming back if the barber knows what he's doing.

Brian DaSilva, 18, came in for a touch-up on a "fade 2" a popular style that includes a close trim with a clipper. He comes in to the barber "at least every two weeks," he said.

Men are starting to take better care of themselves, Braga said, which means more business for barbers. "Men are starting to make a change," he said.

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