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Harleston salon boss Robert Mack set to retire

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A hairdressing salon owner is set to put his scissors down for the last time tomorrow, November 1 as he retires after 51 years in the trade.

Robert Mack, from Harleston, has run Robert Mack Hairdressing, in Station Road, for 43 years.

He said: “It almost feels like a bereavement for me really; I am leaving this with such a heavy heart.

Robert Mack is retiring as a hairdresser after 51 years in his Harleston-based salon. Picture by Mark Bullimore.
Robert Mack is retiring as a hairdresser after 51 years in his Harleston-based salon. Picture by Mark Bullimore.

“After hairdressing for 51 years, I still remember opening the salon. It is all still so clear in my mind, like it was five minutes ago.”

Mr Mack, who has lived in the town since he was nine-years-old, began his career at the Andre Bernard salon in Norwich in April 1968, having left school at the age of 15.

Since then, he has not only styled tens of thousands of clients, but he has also seen the birth and development of many trends and techniques in the world of hairdressing.

He said: “I have seen it all come and go and come back around again time and time again.

“I think that if I was starting again now, I would do more in men’s hair, as it seems to have become so adventurous these days. I like that.”

Mr Mack feels that being a real people person, having a great memory and being a very hard worker are the secrets to his success.

He said: “In this job, not only do you have to remember all the people who come in, but their families as well, as you find out so much about all of them when they are sat in the chair.”

Recalling long hours on his feet, he added: “I used to work from 8am to 7pm, five days a week, and I did that until I was about 50. But there has to

come a point where you have to slow down.”

A member of the salon staff will be taking up the reins of the business.

The businessman said that instead of going travelling, which he has done a lot of already, he plans to get back in the garden and to take up golf again, after not playing for about five years.

“It has been a fantastic journey,” he said. “I look at some of our clients who were in their 30s when I first started here – they are now in their 70s and 80s and have been with me through it all.

“We now do their family’s hair. It has just been wonderful.

“Though my heart is still in it, my body is just telling me it is time to go.

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“I will miss all the great friends I have made over the years and thank them all for their support.”

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