WHEN Tommy J and his partner moved to Windsor and got married two years ago, they knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives in the Hawkesbury.
A global ambassador for Uppercut hair products, Tommy J is the owner of successful barber shop Hair By Tommy J in Redfern, and now proud owner of a brand new store closer to home - Hair by Tommy J in Windsor Mall.
"I love this colonial town, and the village vibe. The old buildings and pubs have that rustic feel, which is exactly what drove me here," Tommy told the Gazette.
Tommy opened his Redfern barber 11 years ago when he was 24, and went on to teach at the London School of Barbering, as well as around New Zealand and Australia.
While he still works at his Redfern barber two days a week, opening at Windsor was a strategic choice for him, allowing him to work closer to home.
"People say this shop looks like it belongs in Newtown," he said, pointing to the vintage barber chairs and old sinks, hair gels, an old Singer sewing machine, a pinball machine, and even a half-pipe - which Tommy and the neighbourhood skaters make use of after hours.
When the Gazette visited the store, Tommy was cutting the hair of Chris from Zetland, who had been going to Tommy for eight years and travelled out this way to check out Tommy's new digs.
"We really hark back to the fifties," Tommy said of his cutting style.
"We do hair for guys and dolls, but you've got to get a short back and sides.
"We specialise in side parts, quiffs, pompadours, slick-backs, high-and-tight and low-and-tight, and we also specialise in long beards."
Tommy grew up in Byron Bay, where his parents own an antique store - so collecting pieces with a vintage vibe is in his blood.
"Moving out here was a lifestyle choice," he said.
"I like the idea of hanging out and having a yarn with people. I like cutting hair and I like having a skate in the middle of the day - I didn't go into barbering for the money."
Tommy is a strong advocate for men's mental health and said "freshening-up with a cut gives people a good lease on life again, and we're happy to be a part of that".
"I definitely hope to be here for the next 20 years; I want to be that old barber skating around Windsor."
Hair by Tommy J is at Shop 9, 168 George Street, Windsor, and is open Wednesday to Saturday. Appointments are required - call 0481 108 846