Joyce Hurt hangs up the scissors

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Stylist retires after 53 years of makeovers

By Carolyn Ten Broeck, Editor

The beehive, the French twist, the shag and the bouffant. Not only has Joyce Hurt seen them all–she’s done them all.

But two weeks ago, Hurt traded her scissors and curling irons for retirement after 53 years of standing on her feet making people look beautiful.

Now instead of perm solution and hair color, she will be helping her artist husband pitch his talent at craft shows and fairs.

Hurt, a native of Ohio, began her career in cosmetology before she even graduated high school.

“We had the first experimental class in cosmetology in the United States,” she said as she moved a client from one chair to another at A’Nu-U, the last salon she worked at.

Hurt admits she didn’t even know what the word meant when she first met with the counselor but once she knew it meant hairstyling, she knew she was in.

“I was artistic,” Hurt said, “and I liked messing with hair. As one of 10 children, college wasn’t really an option so this was a good solution.”

Indeed it was. When she graduated high school, she also graduated with her cosmetology certification. And the rest–as they say–is history.

In Ohio she first worked for someone else but eventually owned her own salon, Super Scissors.

Along the way she married, started a family and then ended up in Florida–never breaking stride on the vocation she had chosen.

And while styles may come and go, one thing that remained constant was her love of the people she met.

“I’ve been everything,” she laughed, “marriage counselor, psychiatrist, doctor.” It’s true–people bare their souls to the person cutting their hair.

“I may have even saved a life,” she said. One of her clients was particularly jaundiced and when she commented on it, it was enough to send that person in search of a medical opinion.

Another time, an expectant mother was in the chair getting her hair done when her water broke. 

Those stories are among the hundreds she has during a career that has spanned seven salons over 53 years.

Now though is the time to be with her husband, Frank, as he markets his phenomenal graphite or pen and ink drawings.

When the couple is at home, Hurt says she will be searching out antique furniture and doing a complete redesign of her home.

“I have more tools than my husband,” she laughed.

Her daughter, also a stylist, is picking up the mantle at A’Nu-U and occasionally she might just drop in to help her out.

“I’m good at what I do and I enjoy it,” she said as she starting combing out a client.

 “She’s been a sweetheart,” said Betty Dean from the chair. “I’m going to miss her.”