Scissors down and feet up for hairdressers

Retiring hairdresser Jenny Hyslop and her ``apprentice'' Joy Rowe (seated) at Dawn Salon in South Dunedin. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Retiring hairdresser Jenny Hyslop and her ``apprentice'' Joy Rowe (seated) at Dawn Salon in South Dunedin. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
There will be ''tears in the bubbles'' at Dawn Salon on Friday.

Owner Jenny Hyslop (70) is retiring this week, ending a hairdressing career in Dunedin that has spanned 55 years.

For the past 25 years, it has been something of a double-act with Joy Rowe - her first apprentice - working part-time in the St Kilda salon.

Mrs Rowe (62) was also retiring, saying it ''wouldn't feel right'' working with anyone else.

Inside the modest exterior of the salon, on Prince Albert Rd, lies a workplace where hilarity - and sometimes wine - has flowed freely.

A large part of its market was catering for an older clientele and Mrs Hyslop acknowledged work was not as busy these days as clients had their final cuts.

The pair often felt like they were part of the family of their long-standing clients. When they attended funerals of special customers, they could usually identify family members - despite having never met them - because they had heard so much about them.

Mrs Hyslop, who grew up in Dunedin, followed in her mother's hairdressing footsteps and served her apprenticeship at Mark Everett Salon in the 1960s.

She had a break for 16 years while raising a family, just cutting the neighbours' hair and her own children's.

Then, 27 years ago, Mrs Hyslop bought Dawn Salon, an existing business which had long been known by that name.

Asked if she had ever been tempted to switch to a more modern name, she said some of her clients told her initially not to change it as it had always been called that.

The salon is finally undergoing a name change - it will be known as Studio 24 when new owner Kim Thompson takes over on April 1.

Mrs Hyslop said the business had become very much ''a community thing'' in latter times, particularly as it had been quieter. Often, people called in for coffee, rather than a cut.

Their location, next to a laundromat, also provided plenty of entertainment. People would sometimes take their clothes off on the street and stand in their underwear.

Mrs Hyslop was looking forward to retirement, saying she was ''ready for sitting down and not doing so much''.

Troubled by some health issues, Mrs Rowe quipped that her surgeons would be ''delighted'' that she was retiring.

The pair acknowledged it would also be ''weird'' to hang up their scissors at the end of what was shaping up to be a very busy week.

''There'll be tears in the bubbly,'' Mrs Hyslop said.


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