Dorris Jean Manning has been getting her hair done by Judy McElwain since June, 1971, and says she trusts no one like she does Judy.
A hairdresser is much more than someone who just fixes your hair, as any woman knows. A hairdresser is a therapist and a trusted friend who must not only know how to put a curl or color in your hair, but also tell you which dress to wear with what shoes and how to make your husband appreciate your cooking.
Mrs. Manning has trusted her hair dresser for over 40 years as children grew, grandchildren were born and countless decisions were made in the shop that families never realized where they were settled.
Rain, sleet or snow, Mrs. Manning has never missed her hair appointment. In fact the day she was interviewed for this story she was involved in her first car accident, someone running into the back of her at an intersection. This still did not keep her from her weekly time in the chair with Judy.
“She is family,” said McElwain of Mrs. Manning. “After you do people’s hair for so long you go through the good and the bad with them,” added McElwain.
Even Mrs. Manning’s daughter Pauline Chyle spent countless Fridays in the beauty shop as a child growing up watching her mother getting her hair fixed.
“I learned about cutting hair by watching Judy cut Mama’s hair all those years,” said Chyle, who cut her brother’s hair growing up for .25 cents a cut. She also used that knowledge learned at the hairdressers to cut her own children’s hair who are now grown.
Mrs. Manning has nine children, 23 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.
“She just does a good job,” said Mrs. Manning on why she has stayed with Judy for so long.