Rock Hill's Betty Tinkler has always been particular about her hair. Just ask anyone who knows her.
"Nobody can touch it," said the 77-year-old as she patted her silver mane. "I won't even go out in the rain."
Forty-five years ago, Tinkler stepped into Three Bells salon on Saluda Street in Rock Hill looking for a beautician. That's where she met cosmetologist Betty Jordan.
"It was her first day there and it was my first time there," Tinkler said. "I just fell in love with her."
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Since 1964, almost every Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m., Jordan has washed, set, permed, teased, trimmed or frosted Tinkler's hair.
On Friday, their relationship came full circle when Jordan ended her long career by washing and setting Tinkler's hair at Cathy's Hair Fantasies on East Main Street in Rock Hill.
"Betty was my first customer," said Jordan, 65, recalling how Tinkler wanted her hair styled. "It was called ratting. Hair teased real tight. It would last all week. ... She still wants it teased, but not as high.
"I'm going to miss it," Jordan said about doing hair.
And clients like Tinkler say they will miss her.
"It's been hard this week telling them bye," Jordan said, pointing out the cards and flowers brought in by clients.
Born and raised in Richburg, Jordan graduated from Lewisville High School in 1962 and almost didn't become a beautician.
"I had already enrolled in business school," said Jordan, who now lives in Rodman. "In those days, you didn't have much of a choice. I didn't have the money to go to college, so it was either go to business school and be a secretary, or go to beauty school."
But days before starting business classes, Jordan changed her mind.
"I couldn't see myself sitting still," she said. "I didn't see myself behind a desk."
Jordan said she has no regrets about her decision to become a beautician.
"It was a good fit," she said. "I've thoroughly enjoyed it."
Jordan eventually bought her own salon, Style Corner on East Main Street in Rock Hill, and she ran it for 19 years. Three years ago, she sold it after having triple bypass surgery. For the past few years, she has been doing hair at Cathy's Hair Fantasies.
"I feel like the Lord brought her to me when I needed her, but it's time to let her go," said salon owner Cathy Armstrong.
Over the years, Tinkler and Jordan have developed a bond that goes beyond shampoo, hairspray and the latest styles.
"She knows me better than anybody else," said Tinkler, who works part-time at York Technical College. "We've shared losing loved ones, the marriages of children. She knows my mood. She knows if I don't feel well when I come in."
"We've had some good times together," Jordan said.
Like Tinkler, most of Jordan's clients are in their 70s, 80s or 90s.
"Everyone has been like a momma to me," she said.
But Friday, Jordan, who never thought she would want to retire, said she's finished with hair.
"I'm hanging it up," she said. "I just woke up one day and said it's time to retire."
Jordan said she has no special plans for retirement.
"I'm going to clean my house," she said. "And I told my dog Clara, 'After today, you're going to be number one.'"