Genelle’s Hair Styles closes after 38 years


Photo courtesy of Genelle Davenport

Genelle Davenport, second from left, with friends in front of Genelle’s Hair Styles at a sidewalk sale a few years ago.

After 38 years of haircuts in the square, Genelle Davenport closed her salon, Genelle’s Hair Styles, at the end of 2020.

Davenport said she decided to close the salon because of her age and that her husband, Jimmy, needed her around the house. They will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in May.

It has also decided to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I didn’t know what the first of the year would bring,” Davenport said.

The salon was closed for six weeks in the spring due to the pandemic, which was Davenport’s longest jobless period. After the show reopened, Davenport cut its hours, also because of the pandemic.

The last day the show opened was December 30th and Davenport cleaned it up on December 31st. She donated most of the living room equipment and her friends Willie, Connie and Lisa helped her move out.

“It was a big cleanup job,” Davenport said. “I was excited and a little sad and worried.”

Davenport grew up in the Welcome community with his parents and siblings. She started cutting her hair when she was in the 11th grade.

Ever since she was young, she knew that being a hairdresser was what she wanted to do, and she stuck to it. Davenport learned on the job, thanks to his experience and good leadership.

“It’s largely natural if you’re talented,” Davenport said.

Davenport worked in salons around Newnan, before purchasing the salon from Ciel Dunaway in 1982.

“She was ready to sell and I was ready to buy,” Davenport said.

She said she didn’t want to have to change salons anymore and that she enjoyed being in town so her clients would know where she was.

Davenport cut the hair of women, men and children, and Nancy Larose worked with her at Genelle for about 35 years.

Some of her favorite memories from the salon are meeting new people and clients, who she has become friends with.

Davenport said she has worked with some of her clients for 40 or 50 years and already misses her. She said she had received a lot of adorable messages and cards since the show closed.

Over the years, Davenport said the show hasn’t changed much. It has retained much of the old equipment and replaced virtually nothing.

“I worked with what I had,” Davenport said.

Davenport cut Newt Gingrich’s hair in his shop while working in Carrollton. She said she was the most famous person whose hair she had ever cut.

Genelle’s Hair Styles has been in about eight films, Davenport said. She recalls that actress Judith Light once walked into the living room and met Jack Black while he was in town for a movie.

Davenport is a member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization, a women’s organization focused on providing educational opportunities for female students.

Davenport’s friend Connie Psathas wrote about her in a newsletter for their chapter: “Her favorite thing in life is meeting and connecting with people.”

“She treasures all the friendships she has made – almost everyone is like family,” Psathas added.

For now, Davenport has said she enjoys staying home. She said once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, she hopes to travel to Tennessee and Texas to visit her three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

“My husband is a homemaker so I’m really happy to be home with him,” she said.

Davenport loves cooking, needlework and quilting, and hopes to do more.

She went to a salon to get her hair cut and colored this week, and said it was very relaxing.

“I sure enjoyed it,” Davenport said.

Let Them Eat Toffee plans to expand its store in the Genelle location, owner Phyllis Graham said. She said they hope to be open in this space by Easter, depending on how things develop.


David R. Brewer