EDENTON — Most mornings before the COVID-19 pandemic, folks in Edenton could be seen getting their hair cut at Shear Pleasure Hairstyling on South Broad Street.

Though the popular haircare shop will reopen when Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order is finally lifted, its longtime owner and barber won’t be there.

Mike Byrum has retired.

“To my loyal customers, thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me all these years,” Byrum said recently in a message to customers. “I hope to bump into you and shake your hand and give you a good hug in the future.”

Byrum said he had been pondering retirement since January. He said he finally made the decision after realizing the time was right to proceed to the next chapter of his life.

“My major reasons for my retiring are my wife had a major heart problem in February (during) which I almost lost her, but the good Lord spared her,” he said. “I have been serving the public for 48 years and will turn 69 in a few months. I want to spend more time with my wife, sons, and see more of my grandchildren with baseball and dance recitals to enjoy.”

Byrum sold both his business and building to Scott and Dee Spruce in March.

“They are a wonderful couple and good businesspeople,” Byrum said. “They have completely remodeled and updated the shop. It looks great and will have an upscale look.”

Shear Pleasure Hairstyling’s longtime staff — Angie Black, Shelia Parks and Wendy Jordan, who combined have 82 years of experience cutting hair — will continue to work at the shop.

“They will roll out the red carpet for you and do their best to please you,” Byrum said. “To me, they were like the sisters I never had.”

Byrum said his long career as one of Edenton’s premier barbers started in 1972, when he got a job at 20th Century Barbershop with his brother, Jimmy, and Raymond Mansfield.

After eight good years working there, Byrum said he wanted to further his career. He attended cosmetology school at College of The Albemarle, and after graduation, he started working for Shear Pleasure Hairstyling in 1980.

Byrum went from renting his own chair in the shop to owning the business and the building on South Broad Street.

“I have been there 40 years: worked as both a renter under Ray Dail and Irma Allsbrook,” he said. “I bought the business in 1985 and the building in 1989. Other than marrying my wife, it was the best move I ever made.”

Staff writer Miles Layton can be reached at mlayton@ncweeklies.com