Susie Owns Halo Hair

Jenny Scarborough

Susie Hutchinson took charge of Halo Hair Studio in early May.

"It was fate, I guess," said Susie with her easy smile.  As she was unpacking and moving into her new island home, Susie came across an old journal.  She opened it to an entry from several years ago where she wrote about her dream of moving to Ocracoke. 

"I've been coming here for years, six or seven times a year.  Fall and winter are my two favorite times.  You can really get a feel for the island," said Susie, who grew up in Fayetteville, NC.

While visiting Ocracoke for a week last August, Susie H stopped by Halo Hair to talk to founding stylist Susie Kennedy about the possibility of offering manicures and pedicures at the salon.  A few months later, she received a call.

Susie Owns Halo Hair

"Susie was wanting a new stage in her life, and we talked about me buying the salon," explained Susie H, who was moonlighting at an Aveda salon in the evenings after her day job as a manager and insurance salesperson for Aflac. 

Years of doing hair for friends and family led Susie to make a change of her own.  She received her stylist license two years ago.  "I think every stylist at some point in time worked out of their kitchen," laughed Susie.

"I love doing nails almost as much as I love doing hair," she said.  When her back-ordered pedicure bowl arrives, she will offer basic manicures for $25, and basic pedicures for $35. 

"I love the location and I love the building," said Susie, who envisions a few changes at Halo Hair.  She plans to re-arrange, and make the smaller of the two front rooms into the mani-pedi salon, and to move the shampoo station into the back room.  The walls will get fresh paint, in "calming, relaxing spa colors."

The long hours it takes to coif Ocracoke residents of all ages and genders don't phase Susie.  "I'm very used to working very hard," she explained.  Coreen Tortorice also works at Halo Hair during the summer.

Susie laughed when I asked what she enjoys doing when she's not working.  "I've only been to the beach maybe three times.  That's really surprising because I love the ocean.  I'm going to have to do something about that." 

In Fayetteville, Susie was an avid gardener.  "I miss working in the yard, digging and planting," she said.  Some of her other talents include playing the flute, clarinet and "piano from time to time," said Susie.  "And I cross stitch!" 

Her "very large" family, including her 20 year old son, were sad to see her go, "but happy for me," she said.  Susie's boyfriend, Jeff, "loves Ocracoke as much as I do.  He loves it.  He's jealous I'm here and he's not yet." 

Part of her large family moved with Susie.  Her chihuahua mix has taken a shine to the Ocracats, and is learning to hold her own with the scrappy island kitties.  The couple's other four dogs (a bull mastiff, a husky, a 3-legged mutt, and a German spitz) are still living in Fayetteville. 

She shares her love of animals by volunteering with an animal rescue group called Fosters for Furbutts.  The travel required to sell insurance gave Susie the chance to transport a lot of animals to their new homes. 

The strangest request Susie has gotten will be a surprise, she said.  "It hasn't been done yet, but everyone will know.  It will be fun," she said, of the Ocracoke resident who is looking to make a dramatic change.  Hint:  it has something to do with color.

The most surprising thing about life thus far on Ocracoke is that "you can go a week and not see certain people," said Susie.  If you do run into Susie soon, wish her a belated 'Happy Birthday.'  She turned 40 on June 14.

Susie instantly said her favorite holiday is Halloween, ensuring that she'll fit right in.  This town loves to dress up.

Appointments with Halo Hair can be made by stopping by the salon on Creek Road, or by contacting Susie's cell phone at (252) 308-2351.


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