Former Canterbury resident and Earlwood hairdresser Nicole Firmani, with staff members Alice Portela and Antonella Sapienza, and customer Sophie Kemp, is retiring after 42 years at Chez Coiffure.
FORTY-TWO years is a long time in one job but when you're a hairdresser and on your feet all day, it can be especially challenging but not so for Nicole Firmani, a former Canterbury resident and owner of Chez Coiffure in Earlwood.
"I've loved every minute of it," she says. "But now it's time to hang up the scissors and give the younger hairdressers a go."
Much loved by her local clientele, Nicole explains that even though many of the early ones have moved out of the area, they still make their appointments with Chez Coiffure.
"We have grown old together," she said.
Nicole explained that after she finished her apprenticeship, her first job was at Chez Coiffure.
"I was only 21 and the youngest when the owner announced she wanted to sell the business; I hadn't planned to buy a business that soon but grabbed the opportunity."
It was September 1975 and the era of perms, weekly sets, shaggy dog cuts, big curls and high buns. Nicole says the fashion has changed dramatically since that time.
"We all want a more natural look now and often do our own hair but I think there is more demand for colour - foils, tints, highlights, dark roots, light roots, two tones - much different to the bleached blonde look of the 1970s.
"I want to thank my family, all of my clients and staff who I will miss but am looking forward to spending more time with my husband, two grown up children and five grandchildren."