Falkirk barber’s still ahead after 25 years

Dianne, Brian and Garry with staff Danielle Laing and Clare Anderson
Dianne, Brian and Garry with staff Danielle Laing and Clare Anderson

A family with a ‘head’ for business celebrates 25 years of running their own firm next week.

It was almost inevitable Brian, Garry and Dianne Retson would follow each other into hairdressing – their great grandfather John had a barber’s shop in Denny and their grandparents Myles and Betty built an ‘empire’ which their dad, David, uncle John and aunt Phylis steadily built up over the years.

At its peak the Retson name was also to be found above the doors of barbers shops in Stirling, Bonnybridge, Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Banknock.

John also launched the Tektra training school in Larbert and Glasgow which ‘groomed’ hundreds of stylists in the art of making anybody’s hair look good.

Given that background it is no surprise David and Nannette Retson’s children knew exactly what career path they wanted to take when they left high school.

Brian (44) was the first to find out how to use a comb and a pair of scissors with style, and after completing his two -year training course working in his uncle’s salon in Stirling, joined his dad when Retson opened in Falkirk’s Manor Street in January, 1990.

Siblings Garry (42) and Dianne (41) followed the exact same path and together carried on the family tradition by operating one of the most popular barber’s in the Falkirk district.

Back then the ‘bowl cut’ was the choice of many – not too flash but very practical. But pop into Retson’s today and you will discover the traditional ‘short back and sides’ is anything but the only way to have the hair on your head presented.

Razor cut or scissor cut? Wet cut or dry cut? Side parting or swept back? Tints or gel or conditioner – or all three sir? – the choice to have your hair ‘just so’ is endless.

They will also trim your beard or moustache and if you are looking for a ‘hair tattoo’ or ‘fudge hair colour’ Retson is the place to go.

On the eve of clocking up their quarter of a century as Falkirk’s leading modern barber shop Brian said: “It’s a very competitive industry nowadays and there’s a lot of choice out there so we’re proud that over the years we have been able to build on what our dad and uncle started.

“Many of our customers today are the sons or even grandsons of the dads who used to come to our dad for a haircut and that’s something we are all very pleased about.”