MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Warren Lewis, the Memphis barber who became famous for cutting hair with candles instead of clippers, passed away Sunday, his daughter confirmed.
Lewis was 90 years old and was still working until three weeks before his death. He was semi-retired but vowed he would never stop cutting hair.
His unique flame technique got him nationwide attention. He was featured on late-night talk shows, including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and in 2017, he demonstrated the cut on WREG’s Live At 9 show (see the video above).
Former interim Mayor and current City Court Clerk Myron Lowery and many other local politicians were longtime customers at his North Memphis shop.
Lewis was born Nov. 12, 1932 in Louisville, Mississippi. He moved to Memphis in 1951 and started as a barber in 1961.
Lewis said he got the idea for his hot haircuts from watching his mother burn feathers off chickens on the farm when he was a boy in Mississippi. He claimed the fire made the haircut smoother and better.
He was the father of three children and had five grandchildren.
A public visitation is set for Friday, Oct. 20 from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. at RS Lewis Funeral Home, 3651 Austin Peay Highway in Memphis. A funeral is planned for Oct. 21 at Pentecostal Temple Church at 11 a.m.