Barbershop Latitude 45 Now Open on Main Street

Debra Loring (right) and her sister, Diana Grass, are now accepting clients at Latitude 45. (Photo by Lura Jackson)

By Lura Jackson

 

Those seeking options for high quality haircuts now have a new barbershop to consider. Owned and operated by lifelong haircutting expert Debra Loring – who is returning to the area after a successful career as a cosmetologist and barber in mid-central Maine – Latitude 45 is ready for clients. Loring will be joined by her two daughters, Lindsey Loring and Chelsea Chapman, both of whom work at the Cornerstone Barbershop in Bangor, and her sister and business partner, Diana Grass, who will be learning the trade.     

Clients coming to Latitude 45 can request any kind of men’s or boy’s haircut, from buzzcuts to skinfades and beyond. Beard trimming – complete with moisturizing and a steaming hot towel treatment – is also available, along with tattoo oil application as desired. Men and women can have their eyebrows waxed, and women can seek a variety of haircuts in the chemical- and color- free environment.  

Loring will be performing the majority of the haircuts initially, drawing on her many years of experience. “It’s been my life since I was 18,” she said, explaining that she’s done “pretty much everything you can do in this business,” including being an educator, writing textbooks, managing and styling. She was the Educational Manager at Mr. Bernard’s School of Hair Fashions in Bangor for ten years, and most recently was a manager and stylist at Sport Clips in Waterville with her daughters, Lindsey and Chelsea. After working for the corporate store, Loring, a graduate from Woodland High School, decided she was ready to come back home and go into business with her family.

In many ways, Loring and her daughters, who will come down one day a week, will be recreating the family atmosphere at Sport Clips. “People loved that. The back and forth between us all. I had a huge clientele there. The guys responded so well to us.” While female barbers may seem unusual to some, Loring said that the response was consistently positive once clients came in, saw what was available and saw the results. “We can do a skin fade and there will never be a line. My daughters – their skill is amazing.”

Loring’s goal is to emphasize a relaxed and enjoyable environment. “It isn’t about just the haircut, it’s the experience when you walk through the door,” she explained. “I want them to come in and sit at my bar and watch the TV on the wall. For the ones that I know and that are of age, there will be a cup of beer. I want them to sit and meet up with their friends and I want to become their friend.”

While she began her career as a cosmetologist, Loring has fully embraced focusing on men’s styles. “The haircuts that guys have now, it’s all about the detail. It’s almost an art. It’s so different than it used to be; they’re looking for so many different things. Men’s grooming has come so far in the past few years. It’s a whole different ballgame now with the products you use and the time that they’re taking to care about their hair.”

Loring and her daughters have learned what her clients most appreciate, including using a straight razor to shave the back of the neck. “It looks so good and so clean and the guys love it,” Loring said. Accordingly, any client can come back at any time to receive a free straight razor shave touch-up to their haircut. In the future, Latitude 45 will offer full straight razor facial shaves.

The shop itself, located in the former Bordertown Subz/Mimi’s Kitchen spot on Main Street, is bright, open and airy. The décor is a mixture of old and new items, all of which have personal meaning to the family. Father and distinguished woodworker Steve Beach has some items on display, including a functional grandfather clock that now stands in the barber shop, chiming quietly as the clock strikes the appropriate quarter hour. He has lent his skill freely to his daughters to bring the shop up to shape, as has Fred Williams of Princeton. “We wouldn’t have gotten this far without him,” Loring said.

Other items on display are directly from Calais’s past, including 110-year-old red shutters and a desk from Dr. Mundie’s office. Loring aims to showcase other historic memorabilia, honoring her own memories and that of the community. The name of the shop itself is based on the specialness of this place, she explains. “Latitude 45. This is where we live.”

 

If you’d like to check out Latitude 45, stop by 313 Main Street or call ahead to 952-9054. The shop is open from Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.