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52 years of helping others feel beautiful

Cheryl Augdahl, owner of Cheryl’s Beauty Shop in Brandon, retired her shears after 52 years. (Annie Harman/Echo Press)

Cheryl Augdahl has been cutting and styling hair for the past 52 years. Thursday, July 3, Cheryl had her last professional appointment with a client in her home salon, Cheryl’s Beauty Shop, in Brandon.

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Always knowing she wanted to be a hair stylist, Cheryl attended Ritter’s Beauty School of Cosmetology in Fergus Falls a month after graduating high school in 1962. The school has since closed, but the education she received held true throughout the years.

“It’s not very long until you’re out on the floor doing hair,” Cheryl said, regarding beauty school. “I was timid at first, but I grew out of that quickly!”

Cheryl has been in the game a long time and she has seen hair styles spanning from the beehive of the 60s, the Farrah of the 70s, the mullets and crimped dos of the 80s, and, of course, the infamous Rachel of the 90s.

“I kept going to hair shows and seminars to keep up,” Cheryl said. “The hardest style was the spiral perms on long hair. I had to stand on my tiptoes; it was hard on your shoulders!”

During her career, Cheryl has worked in various salons in Hoffman, Kensington, Alexandria, Minneapolis, Ashby and Brandon. After working in uptown Brandon at Carol’s Cut N’ Curl from 1967 to 1976, Cheryl decided it was time to start her own salon.

“I was ready to be independent and work for myself,” Cheryl said. “I wanted to make the money and keep the money.”

Because Cheryl had small children at the time, she made the decision to have her personal salon run from her home.

“This way I didn’t have to hire babysitters,” Cheryl said. She added that it was especially important for her to be home with the children after their father died in 1978.

Cheryl found love again among all the hair and shears when she married the town barber, Jim Augdahl, in 2005.

Between Cheryl and Jim, there are six children, 12 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. The number-one thing Cheryl said she wanted to do during retirement was spend time visiting them.

“I’m 70 years old,” Cheryl laughed. “I’m ready to run around and do what I want!”

Though she is excited, ready, and already enjoying her retirement, she could not hide the fact that ending her career was bittersweet.

“I really enjoyed my clients and doing hair,” Cheryl said with a bright smile. “It’s really a satisfying thing when someone leaves with a smile and feeling better about themselves.”

Cheryl’s last appointment on July 3 was a friend and customer of more than 50 years. Other friends showed up with a bottle of wine to celebrate.

Though a few tears were shed, Cheryl is happy to be taking away all the friends and memories she has gained throughout her years behind the scissors and chair.

Annie Harman
Annie Harman is a reporter for Echo Press and The Osakis Review. She grew up in Detroit Lakes and graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire with a degree in print journalism and history in May 2012. Follow her on Twitter at annieharman
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