'Ready to move on' - hairdresser hangs up his clippers after 40 years

Des Cooper, owner of Des Cooper Haircutters on Cattle Market Street, in Fakenham, has retired

Des Cooper, owner of Des Cooper Haircutters on Cattle Market Street, in Fakenham, has retired - Credit: Danielle Booden

His career has spanned more than 40 years and seen him cut barnets of all shapes and sizes. 

But now, a Norfolk hairdresser and decided the the time is right to hang up his clippers and scissors.  

Des Cooper has been running Des Cooper Haircutters, in Fakenham, since 1980

Des Cooper has been running Des Cooper Haircutters, in Fakenham, since 1980 - Credit: Danielle Booden

Des Cooper has retired from running his Fakenham business, Des Cooper Haircutters, having welcomed loyal customers since 1980. 

His last day was on Friday, June 24. 

“I am ready to move on,” said Mr Cooper.

“I have enjoyed every minute but I’m 68 years old now and there is a time when you’ve had enough of working. I am still fit and healthy and I’m looking forward to doing whatever I want to do.”

Des Cooper outside his business in Fakenham

Des Cooper outside his business in Fakenham - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mr Cooper began pursuing a career in hairdressing at the age of 16, leaving school to go undertake a City and Guilds qualification at King’s Lynn College. 

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Valuable experience was gained with several haircutters across the area, including John Olivers in Norwich.

Having worked away with P&O Cruises for a year, Mr Cooper returned to Norfolk in 1978 and was based in Norwich for two years, before returning to his home town of Fakenham to start his own firm.

Des Cooper Haircutters on Cattle Market Street in Fakenham

Des Cooper Haircutters on Cattle Market Street in Fakenham - Credit: Danielle Booden

Des Cooper Haircutters was originally on Bridge Street, but moved to its existing premises on Cattle Market Street in 1989.

“Hairdresser is the only thing I have ever wanted to do,” added Mr Cooper.

“I love the hairdressing side and making people feel good, but people come and have a good chat. So many of my customers are like friends because I’ve known them for so long.

Des Cooper is passing on the running of Des Cooper Haircutters to his son, Jake

Des Cooper is passing on the running of Des Cooper Haircutters to his son, Jake - Credit: Danielle Booden

“It's as much a social occasion as it is a haircut.”

Mr Cooper's son Jake, who has been working by his side for the last two decades, has now taken on the firm full-time with his wife, Leanne. 

Cooper junior said he was thankful for all the lessons his dad had passed on over the years, and was keen to carry on his dad's legacy. 

Des Cooper Haircutters on Cattle Market Street in Fakenham

Des Cooper Haircutters on Cattle Market Street in Fakenham - Credit: Danielle Booden

“It is nice for dad as he started this all," he added. "I would never dream of changing the name.

“I’m so very thankful for the 20 years we had. I’m looking forward to my next step, but will always remember the hard work dad has done and I'm looking forward to him going off and enjoying himself.”

Mr Cooper's other big passion is travelling. He is setting off on a five-week motorcycling trip across Europe.