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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Paula TredwaySally Vogel, of the Beauty Bar, will be retiring Dec. 31 after 50 years of cutting hair to start the next chapter of her life.

A long career is coming to an end for a stalwart of the California salon scene.

After 50 years, Sally Vogel has decided to retire from the Beauty Bar to move on to the next chapter of her life.

"It's a bittersweet feeling," Vogel said. "I'm going to miss everyone. It's been a good profession. I love what I do, and you have to love being a hairdresser because it's hard work."

Vogel's last day will be Dec. 31, but she still plans to be active in the community — which she adores — in a number of ways. She'll stay involved with the Moniteau County Fair, the Ozark Ham and Turkey Festival, her church and her position on the Flag Spring Cemetery Board.

Though many have expressed sadness that she's leaving, Vogel said she is looking forward to her retirement. She plans on taking quilting lessons, redoing an old house, gardening, getting back to her paintings and cleaning her house.

When Vogel first decided to go into cosmetology, she went to school for $400; since then, she said she'd fallen in love with the profession. She loved being able to be creative, to just start cutting hair and watch it turn into what the client was looking for. One of her favorite things to do was first haircuts because it became a tradition for families and she was able to be a part of that.

"People share things with you," Vogel said. "And a lot of time, all they have to do is just say it. Like, they don't need advice. I'm not really capable of giving advice, but all you have to do is listen and by the end of their appointment, they know what their answer is. And I always tell them it's not going to leave here."

And that's why she loved what she did; Vogel said it has always been so rewarding for her. She was able to get to know her clients, to be there for them, to make their day, make them feel good after getting their hair fixed. She even does hair at the funeral home.

"People ask me how I can do that," Vogel said. "And I said well, it's the last thing you can do for them."

Vogel has also had some challenges along the way. Her first was her son, Billy Vogel. He had muscular dystrophy. Doctors didn't think he would make it to five, but he lived to be 35. She said it was hard for her to leave him every day, but he always encouraged her and her clients always asked about him.

Another major challenge has been the current coronavirus pandemic. It was hard and confusing for her, Vogel said, because there was no direction on what to do. Closing her shop not only hindered her but her clients, as well. Since re-opening, Vogel has worn a mask and encouraged others to do so as well, but there were a few times she had to be quarantined.

Nevertheless, Vogel said she is thankful and proud of what she was able to build. She was able to have her family at the salon and help several women break into the world of cosmetology. She said she feels overly blessed for the support that she has gotten from California's community over the years, even after long hours and how hard the work is on your body, as the community has made it worth it.

Even though Vogel is hanging up her clippers, the Beauty Bar will be passed on into good hands. Jamie Atwell and Martreta Battles will be moving in after the new year.

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