SWAPPING GIGS: Louisville's oldest hairdresser going strong - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SWAPPING GIGS: Louisville's oldest hairdresser going strong

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- An 80-year old Louisville beautician is still doing hair after 61 years in the business. Sterling Riggs discovered that she's now on a mission to pass down her knowledge to future generations.

It's hard to tell Thelma Martin's age by watching her work. She means business when a client's in the chair. The 80-old started doing hair in 1952.

Think about this, Dwight Eisenhower was president when Martin started doing hair. 61-years later, she's still going strong. "When I first started doing a press and curl, I charged two dollars and fifty cents. Now I charge 50 dollars," says Martin.

From a young age, Martin knew she wanted to do hair. She started practicing by braiding corn stalks when she was a girl.

Small in stature and big in personality, she's known around the metro as being one of the best in the business at the press and curl. Once a week, students gather to watch Martin in action.

Martin splits her time now between clients and teaching. She shared this about her happiness and career longevity. "First, you must love people. You are going to meet some nasty clients, and you have to win them over. There's a way to do it. Always be nice and they will come around," says Martin.

As for the future, Martin's going to keep doing hair as long as she feels up to it and she's not traveling. "I don't make a lot of money because I don't work a lot. I'm 80! I don't need to work a lot. That's why I've got Mr. Martin. He spent 22 years in the Army. Everywhere we go they give us a discount and I love it," says Martin.




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