Sheffield hairdresser Carol Silcok has come a long way since the days of curling hair with the help of a bunsen burner.
It is 50 years in fact since the stylist started out in her dream career as a 15-year-old apprentice.
Now. five decades later, the grandmother is still as enthusiastic as ever, running Twisty’s Hair and Nail Salon, London Road, Highfield, with no immediate plans to hang up her scissors, despite celebrating her golden hair-cutting anniversary.
The 65-year-old said: “I love it and don’t want to retire.
“I pride myself that I can turn my hand to anything – we’ve got lots of young customers as well as the older ones. Some of them have had their hair cut by me for 40 years. One lady was only 10 days old when I first cut her hair. Now she is aged 31 and brings her own son in. That style is all coming back in now, it’s back to my heyday.”
Plenty has changed – and not just the styles – since Carol started out and took on her own salon at the tender age of 21. She said: “I had a shop at the bottom of London Road where we used to get all the ladies from the piccalilli factory coming in.
Carol said: “They’d have rollers in, put their turbans over and go back to work, then come in later for it combing up.
“When I was an apprentice I went to help this lady out at a barber shop, She was very old school – she taught me how to do a marcel wave and she had a little Bunsen burner to heat the tongs up. The products are a lot better now – everything is done for the kindness of the hair when they used to be really harsh.”
The salon was called Twisty’s after the nickname of Carol’s daughter Bianca, who did gymnastics when it opened 16 years ago.
Now it has become a real family affair, with Carol’s sister-in-law Jacqui Shaw and granddaughters Sophie and Elle Price making up the staff.
Carol, of Mosborough, also goes out to collect some elderly customers who cannot make their own way in to make appointments.
She said: “I’d never considered doing anything else.
“My friends laugh at me. Some have been retired 10 years, but I just love it.
“A lot of my clients are family really. When I lost my husband 17 years ago they were there to support me through it all.
“Most hairdressers will say the same, they’re not just clients, they are friends because you get to know everything about each other, how they like their hair and all the little quirks.”