The British invasion of the mid-1960s brought more than just new music, it also brought a cultural shift that forever changed the way barbers like David Banuelos of Hesperia cut men's hair.


Before the Beatles, Rolling Stones and other music groups brought longer hair, Banuelos was cutting "gentlemen's haircuts" in West Los Angeles. But those wanting to let their freaked flags fly brought a new, tangled reality for the haircutting trade.


"It knocked the crap out of barbers," said Banuelos, who has owned Hair Factory on Main Street in Hesperia for about 15 years.


As men's hair was getting longer, the term "unisex" emerged. "Can you cut my hair like my boyfriend's?" young women would ask Banuelos.


When the hippie movement mellowed, men still wanted longer hair but they requested cuts with shape and style, so more went for layered looks. The disco era of the late 1970s brought even more changes followed by shorter cuts of the New Wave 1980s. The 1990s saw new hair attitudes including close-shaved domes.


Some four decades after he started, Banuelos is still going with the flow, absorbing new hair-cutting techniques to balance the classic barber stylings he initially learned.


"I went through all the changes. I went to seminars, learned different techniques."


Not doing so could have meant the end of the line for the entrepreneur.


"This business is either sink or swim," he said.


Today, he and his stylists are ready for just about any request. While an older customer may seek a classic cut with a tapered neckline, the younger walk-ins want their hair cut shorter all around, perhaps with a "fade" or "line up" for a cleaner look.


Perhaps due to the recession, some men are choosing to cut their hair on their own. But, he said, "There's a big difference between doing it yourself or having a real barber cut it." Sometimes do-it-yourselfers end up at his shop for a clean up around the ear, back of the head or neck.


"You need to know when to start and stop to taper," said Terri Fowler, a cosmetologist who works out of Hair Factory.


Banuelos also is one of the few classically trained barbers who will shave men with a straight razor for those who either want the closest shave possible or are unable to shave due to a medical condition.


"It's an extra service that's gone by the wayside," he said.


When time permits, Banuelos also gives a scalp massage using a special hand vibrator.


"I tell the clients I'm not doing them a favor, I'm stimulating hair growth so they come in quickly," he joked. "To me it's important to cut a good haircut rather than speed."


Joining Banuelos and Fowler are son Ruben Garcia and his wife Irma and nephew Steven Hernandez. Banuelos' daughter also will be joining soon to offer even more styling choices. Hair Factory has chairs for women on one side and men on the other. Sometimes entire families walk through the doors.


Although Banuelos is pleased to grow with the times, he has fond memories of the way things were for barbers.


"They did some beautiful haircuts," he said. "They were craftsmen."