Carleton Brown joined the family business at the insistence of his mother after he decided to leave school early.
“My mother, who had two hair salons at the time, in her wisdom, said that If I wanted to leave, I would have to work the salon floor.”
Aged just 16, young Carleton was sent to London to study perming at a top academy off Regent Street and began work on his return with Jack Feely in Belfast.
Jack gave him the go-ahead and encouragement to study perming and colour with L’Oreal and Carleton also studied techniques with Clynol and specialised cutting at Henry James in Soho.
With such training to his credit, aged just 17, he gained the position of manager at a Ballymoney hairdresser’s.
Within another year he was called on by Ian Cameron to manage a large salon with a staff of 16 on Ballymena’s Wellington Street.
After four years there, Carleton decided to branch out on his own and opened a salon in Linenhall Street before moving to Thomas Street where he worked up until his retirement, on Saturday.
Carleton, however, intends to continue keeping his hand in hairdressing.
While retiring from the management side of things, he plans to cut and style hair on an individual basis during personal consultations with clients on Friday and Saturday mornings.
In the meantime, he has extended thanks to his many clients for their custom and support over the past half a century.