Sometimes guys need someone to talk to more than a haircut.
Armidale barber Roy Cowley, who hung up the clippers on Friday after more than 70 years, has been a good listener over the years.
Patience and having a good ear make a good barber Mr Cowley says, and every client is different.
"I've had the best job in the world because of the fellowship that goes with it," he said.
"Some guys need someone to talk to more than a haircut, and for me, it is very satisfying to be able to help somebody with a problem they've got."
One of his last customers was the Acting Prime Minister and Member for New England Barnaby Joyce.
Mr Cowley's magic worked on the leader of the National Party on Friday, and within five minutes of Mr Joyce walking in (followed closely by his media and federal security entourage), he congratulated him on being the 'big wheel' now.
Mr Joyce dropped into the barber chair and confessed his occasional disbelief at the level of responsibility he had.
"It's an incredible honour to be in this position," he said to the retiring barber.
"Sometimes it washes over me, and I don't think about it, and sometimes I sit in the car and say to myself I'm the acting prime minister of Australia - how strange is that for someone from Danglemah?
"It says something about our nation that we're so egalitarian that someone that lives in an iron-roofed, pretty modest three-bedroom house like me can be in this position.
"In any other country, you'd be in a palace, and if you walked down the street, they'd block it off - I wouldn't want Australia ever to be that way; I like it exactly the way it is."
Mr Joyce was in Armidale to meet with small business owners at a roundtable session to discuss the impact of COVID-19 and squeezed the barber stop in when he heard about the impressive seven-decade career of the 86-year-old.
After 72 years of styling the hair of Armidale men, Mr Cowley has seen the cycle of trends come full circle, and he had a word of advice for Mr Joyce.
"I'd like Barnaby to wear his hair a little longer on the sides - I think he'd look a lot more presentable," he said.
Mr Cowley has been operating out of his shop on Jessie Street for 45 years after starting his career as an apprentice three days after leaving school in 1949 when he was just shy of 15-years-old.
He isn't sure how many haircuts he has done over the years, but said it would be thousands as he was capable of catering for up to 200 men a week in his heyday.
The barber said he enjoys his craft but says his job is all about the people he sees on a daily basis - some of whom he has styled for 72 years. He has also cut the hair of five generations of men in one local family.
"There are a couple of guys I was in third class with at Ben Venue Primary School, and I'm still cutting their hair," he said.
More than 500 well-wishers took to social media to send their regards to Mr Cowley, and friends and family called him throughout his final day.
Mr Cowley said after retirement, he will spend more time at Rotary and more time 'under my wife's feet' but admits he will get emotional as he shuts the barbershop door for the last time.
"But a glass of Chivas Regal should fix that," he said.
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