POLLOCK PINES (CBS13) — Patty’s Place: A successful hair salon where the owner only sees one customer at a time, and those customers get to name their price.

Even it’s a few pennies or dimes, any spare change you have, that’s all you have to give for one of Patty Becker’s haircuts.

“I always said I’d do hair for nothing,” she said. “I love to do hair. I just love to do hair.”

She has volunteers who help her with maintenance and bookkeeping. Patty’s been cutting hair since she was 8 years old. That’s about 50 years of experience.

But the pay-what-you-can approach may not sound like the best business plan.

“I have to tell you, I did spend a wad getting in here on ads and things, but we’re making it up,” Becker said. “I’m here ’til 7, 8 o’clock every night. I work six days a week.”

Three weeks after opening in Pollock Pines, Patty’s business is blossoming.

“Some people give you $5, some $6, some $10, some $15. People can be very generous,” she said. “I did my first purple or blue, it was a blue, mohawk and the guy gave me $80. I had one lady who’d never been in a salon her whole life. She always just whacked her hair off.”

No matter who sits in her chair, paying customer or not, Patty offers special treatment.

“When Ii get a little old lady with hairs on her chin, I know everyone else sees those so I get rid of them,” she said. “Never expect anything in return, that’s our motto.”

Patty also goes beyond hair to offer encouragement…

“She’ll say something uplifting … just always great things to say,” said volunteer Heather McCreery.

Retired after decades of working in and owning salons, Patty now doesn’t need to make money.

“We live in a beautiful fifth wheel, but it is a fifth wheel and it just doesn’t take a lot for us to live,” she said.

Even the kids who come in get a treat — Patty gives each one a Beanie Baby.

She finds fulfillment in giving inside a 200-square-foot salon where her services bring new meaning to beauty.

Comments (5)
  1. Dennis Jackson says:

    I saw Neda Iranpour’s story on Patty’s Place. I’d like the address and phone number of Ms. Becker’s Solon in Pollock Pines. My wife would like to try her services.

    Thank you.

    1. Heather says:

      Patty’s Place Salon is located at 6151 Pony Express Trail Ste. #14, in Pollock Pines, CA 95726. Her salon is located next door to the Pollock Pines Community Center. The phone number to the Salon is 530-644-4511.
      She has been doing my hair for about 6 months now and I LOVE it! She’s great!

  2. curtis2k11 says:

    This is one cool hair salon. will be visiting this salon this week. Will bookmark this to let everyone know.

  3. jjvv says:

    I have very, very thick hair. I stopped going to salons for a couple of different reasons but one of them is that hair stylist had always made me feel like because I seem to have more hair, then I should 1) pay a higher rate or 2) leave them a big tip. Well I can’t afford it as my hair also grows so super, super fast, so I just cut my own hair, and it’s free that way. I still get the exact kind of compliments from co-workers (or they lying & just being polite, LOL) but I sure would like to give this lady a try.

  4. Sam Singer says:

    This is a very great report from Neda and I can’t believe Patty’s Salon is able to survive through their pay-what-you-can policy through this rough time. I have a salon myself and using referral marketing to spread the word around town about my shop. Maybe I’ll try to come up with an idea based on Patty’s policy

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