Connie Offermann’s customers have a routine: shampoo, set, repeat. Every week, they return to have it all done again, though a haircut is occasionally thrown into the mix. And that’s the way it’s been for 40 years. Offermann, who opened Evergreen’s Hi-Winder Beauty & Barber Salon in January 1969, admits that people are what got her into the hair business. Though she likes making customers look their best, she finds a greater reward in the friendships that bloomed from weekly styles and trims. “They’re like my family,” Offermann said. “It’s mostly the same people every week.” She hasn’t yet decided how to celebrate four decades of cutting and combing, but that doesn’t seem too important. As long as she gets to see the same friendly faces, she’ll be content. “I’m not good at interviews because I start crying,” she said, dabbing her eyes. “I always did everybody’s hair from the time I was little. … In school, we’d have slumber parties, and I’d stay up late and do everybody’s hair.” When Offermann opened up shop, she was the only salon in Evergreen, she said. There were no stoplights in town, and I-70 hadn’t been built, so she drove through Bergen Park from her former home in Wheat Ridge to get there. Things have changed over the years. Evergreen is more accessible, and salons are abundant. One sits in the same shopping center as Hi-Winder, and another is just across the street. But Offermann’s has what many newer, trendier shops do not: old-fashioned hair dryers. “I’m one of the only salons that does elderly ladies and do shampoo and sets. And those are my favorite ladies,” she said. “Its always been funny to me that all the salons I’ve seen up in Evergreen (don’t have) hair dryers. These young hair dressers don’t even know what a shampoo and set is.” Though she cuts men’s hair, the elderly ladies are her regulars. Offermann’s unique services and passionate demeanor keep them coming back. “She’s really good with hair, and I like her. She’s one of my good friends,” said the silver-haired Judie Roderick, who for 40 years has patronized the shop on a weekly basis. Though 40 years might seem like an unusually long time to keep a stylist, most of Offermann’s clients have been seeing her for three or four decades.
“I’ve come ever since she’s had her salon. I don’t ever want her to retire,” Roderick said. After decades in operation, Hi-Winder doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. But Offermann still commutes to Evergreen from the metro area. “I just love coming up here,” she said. “I live in Lakewood. I don’t like to work in the city. And the people up here are just great. They’re friendlier and happier. … I just love it.” The preponderance of wildlife, as many in town might agree, is also a plus. “I get to see deer, elk every morning.” And in our picturesque mountain town, Offermann definitely has a favorite spot. “I think my shop is the cutest shop in Evergreen. … I have the best view of all, too.” Listening to Offermann speak about her favorite patrons and love of wildlife, it’s difficult to know if that view is of the tops of curler-covered heads or of snowcapped mountains. “I come in every week. … I have a standing appointment,” Roderick said. “I’m terrible with hair. Connie’s my lifesaver.”