Having been at the cutting edge of his profession, hairdresser Tony Papouis is retiring and closing his salon doors.
He is the man who brought the blow dry to Worthing in the 1960s and he introduced a number of styles that became fashionable, including the spider cut.
Tony has been trading as Anthony Michael Hair, in Wallace Parade, Goring Road, for 45 years but will close for good on Saturday.
He said: “I have loved it. It has been very enjoyable. You have got to have a good eye for what looks right and I was always interested in fashion.
“There is no doubt I had an influence on changing hairstyles in Worthing. People seemed to latch on to it somehow. They would come in and say they wanted their hair done like I had done their friend’s hair.”
Tony grew up in London and started hairdressing when he was 14, learning the trade in his uncle’s barber shop.
When he did National Service in the Army, he stood in as the camp barber when the official barber was not available.
He went on to be a barber at The Shell Centre in the City, where Second World War fighter ace Douglas Bader was one of his regular clients.
“He was a very quiet man,” Tony recalled.
Tony was talent spotted by Richard Henry, a major hairdressing chain, which sponsored his training in women’s hairdressing.
He honed his skills in Chester before being asked to manage a new salon, at Hubbard’s department store in Worthing town centre in 1967.
It was there he introduced the blow dry to the town, replacing the shampoo and set.
Tony said: “When I first came to Worthing, it was all rollers and ladies sitting under hairdryers in hairnets. No-one was doing blow drying at all.
“People said to me ‘you can’t get any height that way’ but I showed them you could.
“We used to do hairdressing in the window, people loved it.”
Tony still has a client who has been coming to him ever since.
His first salon as an independent owner was in the basement at Warnes Hotel and he has since owned six salons across Worthing, Lancing and Littlehampton.
Tony has also been involved in amateur dramatics, which is how he met his wife, Sarah, 30 years ago.
She became the salon manager at Wallace Parade and will be retiring with Tony.
Sarah said: “Tony has had a lifetime in the hairdressing profession that has been his passion. He has been a L’Oreal colour technician, trained a great number of very successful hairdressers and created thousands of styles for men and women, alongside raising a family, being a local amateur dramatic actor, marathon runner, photographer and a charity fundraiser. He’s a very special man.”
A farewell celebration for family and clients will be held at the salon tomorrow.