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Frank's Rockin' Styles Keep Larkspur Looking Good

Stylist has been cutting the hair of generations of residents in his Magnolia Avenue shop.

Frank's been cutting hair for 36 years, but he insists he doesn't work in a barbershop. Then again, Frank's Hair Styles on Magnolia Avenue looks as much like a Hollywood shrine as a barbershop.

"We probably look a little more guy-friendly because of all the old stuff. There's three guys and one woman working here, so it has a "barber-y" feel to it, instead of the wall of hairdryers," owner Frank Snodgrass said, adding he's "not the guy with the barber pole."

True, but there are movie posters, autographed guitars and photos of celebrities adorning the walls and ceiling.

Snodgrass calls it a hair salon, "not a barbershop," but it seems like its also his own clubhouse. When he ran out of space at home for all his memorabilia, he started bringing it to the shop. He added more items as local musicians stopped by, including Journey's Neal Schon.

"Eventually some of the guys work their way through here. Guys from Journey, Huey Lewis and the News, Starship … but we're not a 'rock' studio," Snodgrass said.

The shop itself has a footnote in Hollywood history. Frank eagerly points to 1949 movie "Impact," which was filmed in the Bay Area and includes a brief scene of the shop when it was still a gas station. The film turned Larkspur, Ca., into Larkspur, Idaho, population 4,701, but the scenes on Magnolia Avenue are a dead giveaway.

Check out the historic photo in the window and you can see how the shop looked when it was a Mobil Gas Station in the 1940s. Look around and it hasn't changed that much.

Snodgrass abandoned Southern California in search of the Bohemian lifestyle of Northern California. Just like the main character in "Impact," he found a new life in Larkspur.

"I loved coming up here. I was in my 20s at the time and I knew I wanted to leave Southern California," Snodgrass said.

Snodgrass was attracted by the "Mayberry" feel of Larkspur, a welcome change after working in San Francisco as a hair stylist. He still gets that small-town feeling as he looks out his window at Dolliver Park or the Larkspur Steps.

"I get to come in here, work among a grove of redwoods, listen to the kind of music I want to, enjoy working with the people around me," Snodgrass said. "This isn't work. I'm a lucky guy."

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Haggis September 26, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Saw "Impact" with a very young Brian Dunlevy; it's a neat old black & white piece and many great views of Larkspur and of San Francisco. Highly recommended. Be a nice addition to the Library if a copy can be found.
Tracy September 27, 2012 at 02:06 AM
The memorabilia at Frank's barber shop is really cool.
Rocky September 27, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Every time I drive by Frank's, I see the famous lamp from A Christmas Story (Fragile- it must be Italian) in the window. That is so cool.

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