Published 12:19 am Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Genia Dorman with her last two customers, Ruck Ashworth and Roger Powell. She’s been cutting their hair for decades.

Genia Dorman with her last two customers, Ruck Ashworth and Roger Powell. She’s been cutting their hair for decades.

After 53 years, she’s calling it quits

You don’t need to ask the receptionist where Genia Dorman’s space at Head Hunters Styling Salon in Andalusia is – you can just follow the laughter. At least you could. Monday, after more than 50 years as a hairdresser and friend, to her clients, Dorman retired.

“It was spur of the moment,” she said on Monday as she gave one last trim to long-time customer Roger Powell. “I’ve been cutting his hair since he was a teenager,” she said of Powell.

“I’ve been cutting his since he was eight,” she said, pointing to Ruck Ashworth. The two life-ling customers were also the last two heads of hair Dorman cut as a professional.

But after what she called “a roast” from friends and co-workers on Sunday – and one last day on the job Monday – Dorman said she has no regrets.

“When I was a kid, I had this book that asked what your ambition in life was,” Dorman said. “I wanted to be a beautician, and I wanted to be married to Earl Dorman.”

She has been both for the last 53 years. But now, she says its time to spend more time with Earl, and less at work.

But Dorman leaves behind more than a legacy of exceptional service and quick wit, she also leaves behind a loyal group of customers, many of whom have come to her for decades, as well as a group of young beauticians who will step up in her absence.

“They have big flip flops to fill,” a customer said, with a smile.

Dorman, an Andalusia native, has spent her entire professional life in town, as an owner, employee and independent contractor, and says she plans to spend the rest of her life here, enjoying all of the things she has worked hard for over the years.

“I’ll take art lessons,” she said of her plans for retirement. “I’ll go to the beach,” she added, as if making plans that very moment. “I love to fish. I really love to fish. I’ll play cards. I like to work in the yard.”

It only takes meeting Dorman once to see that her zeal for life will serve her well in retirement, as it obviously has during her career.

“I always wanted to be the best,” she said. “I never wanted to settle for doing little-old-lady hair. I always liked a challenge and variety.”

And after years of challenging herself as a hairdresser, Dorman has set out on a new adventure in life.

At Head Hunters Salon, customers will continue to leave with a good-looking head of hair, but likely without as many laugh lines.

The Dormans have two sons, five grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.