ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Hairstyles change from year to year, and so have the barbershops and beauty parlors that used to be the hub of most downtowns.

But a Tri-Cities Original in downtown Elizabethton is run by barbers and stylists who are determined to preserve the past while keeping up with the times.

“This is Wilson’s, the hippest clip joint in town,” said lead barber and business owner Seth Babb.

“I will stand by that,” he said with a smirk, unable to take himself too seriously.

Lead barber Seth Babb tackles a trim for one of his younger customers.

Babb said he spotted the empty building at 512 East Elk Avenue in Elizabethton’s downtown back in 2016 while hanging out at the Saturday downtown car show.

“I was with some friends passing by and saw this little hole in the wall,” Babb said.

When he finally got inside, the narrow space felt frozen in time.

And he loved it.

“Not much had changed, and we want to preserve that. Keep it as original as we can.”

Furnishings date back decades inside Wilson’s Barbershop, and Seth Babb plans to keep it that way.

Wilson’s Barbershop was painted on the front window when he moved in. Babb says he toyed with changing the name but decided to keep it as a tribute to the barbers who came before him.

“Seth’s Barbershop just didn’t sound right,” he said.

And he decided to keep his business model simple.

“You can come in and expect a proper service on your noggin’ and expect endless conversations,” he said. “Whatever you want to talk about — as long as it’s rated G — come in here and we’ll share with you.”

Babb may be the business owner, but he’s quick to emphasize he’s one member of a three-barber team.

Gage Buck works at the first chair on the left as you enter the long and narrow corridor of a shop.

“We cut all walks of life,” Buck said. “We’ve had first haircuts. I’m sure we’ll give some last haircuts.”

“Whether you’ve come here your whole life or this is your first time here, we try to make everyone the same and equal,” Buck said.

Stylist Sara Cole trims Dalton Clark’s hair. She says he’s working toward a mullet – one of her many specialties.

Sara Cole is the third member of Wilson’s Barbershop team. The day we visited, she was helping Dalton Clark restore his mullet.

“It’s business in the front, party in the back,” stylist Sara Cole explained.

Cole reminded us that her female customers aren’t excluded from the popular-again style.

“They can get a ‘shullet,'” she said. “Like a she-mullet…for females.”

Dalton Clark laughed at that comment and offered his endorsement. “It’s a good haircut,” he said. “Good people to talk to while you are in here.”

On the wall, Babb displays an eclectic collection. A homemade sign shows the prices for cuts and styles.

There’s a collection of hats that Babb considerers to be trophies for jobs well done.

“We think the services we provide are so good that they entirely forget their hats,” Babb said. “Makes sense to me, so I’ll stand by that.”

Vintage photos from Wilson’s Barbershop in years gone by can be found amidst funny posters and random relics.

In this undated and unattributed photo hanging on the wall in Wilson’s Barbershop, former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander (right) speaks with an unidentified former barber at Wilson’s. It’s possible this image dates from 1978 when Alexander was campaigning for governor.

Babb thinks those long-gone barbers who worked their craft in the same chairs and in front of the same mirrors would be happy if they could see Wilson’s today.

“I think they’d applaud the efforts to keep the door open,” he said.