A special first haircut

Family travels from Florida to have Ferry barber trim baby’s hair

DOMINIC MICHALO, 13 months old, smiles while receiving his first haircut from Martins Ferry barber Don Falbo on Friday.

MARTINS FERRY — Don Falbo never gets tired of giving a child their first haircut, even after 67 years in business.

On Friday, Falbo got to do another first haircut at his Fifth Street barbershop — the first trim ever for 13-month-old Dominic Michalo.

Dominic was brought to the shop by his father Brian Michalo, a native of the Dillonvale area, and his mother Karla Castellano, who is Brian Michalo’s fiancee. Brian Michalo, who now lives in Sarasota, Fla., with his fiancee and her daughters Camila, Ximena and Carolina, traveled from Florida so Dominic could receive his first haircut from Falbo.

Also in attendance for the tender moment were Brian Michalo’s parents, Larry and Karen Michalo of Mount Pleasant.

Falbo performed Brian Michalo’s first haircut when he was a baby, Karen Michalo said. He also has been cutting Larry Michalo’s hair for 50 years. And he cut the hair of Dominic’s great-grandfather, the late John Olszeski, for many years.

“Don is like family,” Karen Michalo said. “He did all my uncles’ first haircuts.”

Falbo said he started his barbershop in 1956 and it has remained in the same location in Martins Ferry ever since. He has many generations of customers who keep coming back for haircuts there.

Karen Michalo remembers well the first time her son Brian got his hair cut by Falbo.

“He was 15 months old. I got a lot of photos. I still have his first hair, too. … Don is a part of the family,” she said.

During his first haircut, Dominic was very patient and remained mostly distracted by his parents and sisters. For being such a good and brave boy, Falbo gave him a toy fire truck and three suckers. He also received a certificate marking the occasion with a lock of his hair taped to it.

Following the event, the entire family planned to visit Oglebay Park in Wheeling.

Brian Michalo is a 1998 graduate of Buckeye Local High School. After graduating from West Liberty State College in 2002, he moved to Florida for work and has remained there since.

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