Work We Do: Matt Courtenay, Neat & Complete Barber Shop

I’m Matt Courtenay. I work at Neat & Complete Barber Shop. I’ve been here for 12 years. 

My grandfather had a barbershop on Griffing Avenue, right down the road over here. And I just started cutting my friends’ [hair] in high school. And here I am.

I get to make my own hours and when you’re not giving a haircut, you get to hang out, watch TV.

You get to see all your friends come in and people hang out. It’s like a hangout and you get to make money.

I definitely have a lot of regulars that come in here all the time, especially after being here for a long time.

After the first two years I started to really develop a lot of clientele.

All kinds. Long hair, short, hair, ethnic hair — all kinds of hair.

And I started getting good with the straight edge, and started doing straight-edge shaves. Everything just came together.

A normal day is right when I get here, I clean up my station and usually there’s people waiting at the door already. The night before I try to keep everything in order, keep it clean and make it presentable for the next client. Some days I am constantly busy but people want their hair cut. It involves standing a lot and every job has its flaws or ups and downs, and I have to stand all day, which isn’t always fun. But, that is the biggest flaw of my life right now so I can’t really complain. It could be a lot worse.

It’s pretty much all day the same thing. Just cutting hair on the head.

“The Work We Do” is a Riverhead News-Review multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @riverheadnewsreview.