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One-Seat Hair Salon Where You Pay What You Can

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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.

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