Myrna Smith sat in Gina Coenen’s chair for the last time on Friday, March 30.
“How long have you been cutting my hair?” Smith, of Perry, asked as Coenen put a pink cape around her shoulders.
“Like 40 years,” Coenen answered as she started trimming her hair with a pair of scissors.
Coenen hung up her scissors on March 30 as the hairdresser retired from Your Salon after 42 years.
A Happy Retirement balloon floated next to a pot of flowers on a back table, along with a cake. Coenen’s customers stopped in throughout the day to get their hair cut one last time. Others gave her hug and dropped off cards and cupcakes.
“I’m going to miss her terribly,” Maxine Spencer, of Woodward, said after she got her hair styled by Coenen.
Coenen took it all in stride, though she said she will miss her longtime customers.
“They’re more family than customers,” she said. “I’ve appreciated everything and I’ve loved working with them.”
The same goes, she said, for her co-workers.
“She’s been a jewel to work with,” Jane Allen said as she worked on a customer in the next chair. Allen, who has worked with Coenen for 33 years, said she was “someone you could rely on.”
Coenen started in the hair industry when her aunt offered to pay for her education. Beauty school wasn’t Coenen’s first choice, but she graduated from school in Washington. She came back home and started working as a hairdresser.
Fast-forward 51 years, and Coenen just finished cutting hair for the last time.
“I’ve really enjoyed my profession. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here this long,” she said.
It also helped, Coenen said, being able to cut and style hair in the same place for the past 42 years. The salon was originally known as Elegans, before being renamed Your Spa.
“What I’ve enjoyed the most is the people,” Coenen said. “The friendships formed because you’ve worked so long here.”
Though she is looking forward to retirement. She plans to visit her grandchildren and travel.
“You enjoy every minute of it,” Smith said about Coenen’s retirement as she gave her a hug.