What will I do without him?

My hairdresser broke up with me yesterday.

Well, not really, that’s a bit of a weekly magazine coverline version of what happened,

He told me he’s moving to Adelaide next year.

Mark has been my hairdresser for more than 25 years, so I’m not sure what I will do without him.

I met him when he was working at a salon called Helmet in the 1990s. The owner, the legendary Glenn O’Reilly, set up Helmet with famed hair and make-up artist Stephen Price.

The problem with legends is they get too busy, so Glenn gently nudged me over Mark’s way.

Then Glenn relocated to Europe to work for the Paris and Milan runways and Mark moved across the road to a different salon, followed by another in Kings Cross, then another in Surry Hills. I followed him every time.

When I moved to Singapore, I’d book an appointment with Mark whenever I was back in town. When I moved to New York, I just let my hair grow wild for a year.

When my hair got too grey to cover up with henna shampoo, Mark introduced me to Kathy, my colourist. That’s her in the main pic with Mark.

They opened their own salon together, called Crown Hair, on Bourke Street in Darlinghurst.

Mark used to cut my ex husband’s hair too, but I got him in the divorce settlement. We’ve been through so much together, it will be strange not having him in my life every few months.

Like any long-term relationship, we’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve both battled health issues and he lost his mum. He can be a cranky old bastard, but I can usually make him laugh at least once every visit.

The tumult of the last few years made Mark reassess his life. He gave up being an owner of the salon last year and has just been renting a chair there instead.

He’s moving to Adelaide because he’s done with Sydney life. He wants to be free from his mortgage and the demands of the big city.

I hear him. I want to be free from that stuff too. Perhaps not in Adelaide. I’m sure its a lovely place to live, but it’s a bit far away from family and friends for me.

Mark doesn’t have any family in Sydney and reckons he did a cull of his friends last year. He’s ready for a big life change and has convinced his partner to make the move too.

My hair never looks as good on the odd occasions when I am forced to let someone else cut it. I will be very sad to lose both Mark’s quirky company and his talent.

It will be the end of an era, but I’m thrilled he’s pursuing happiness. Life is too short not to listen to what your heart tells you it needs.

Song of the day: Rod Stewart “The first cut is the deepest”

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