Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Businessman, granddaughter share stylish background

Danielle Swain, who graduated Saturday from Aveda Institute St. Petersburg, hugs her grandfather Eddie Dunn at his shop, Eddie Dunn Hair Systems. The graduate of Sunstate Barber College in 1968 didn’t know Swain was studying cosmetology.


Danielle Swain, who graduated Saturday from Aveda Institute St. Petersburg, hugs her grandfather Eddie Dunn at his shop, Eddie Dunn Hair Systems. The graduate of Sunstate Barber College in 1968 didn’t know Swain was studying cosmetology.


Related News/Archive

Forty-five years ago, as Eddie Dunn was days away from his graduation at the Sunstate Barber College in Largo, a reporter and photographer from the Evening Independent sought out the latest trends in women's hair.

This was in January 1968, long before anyone had coined the terms metrosexual and manscaping.

They happened upon Dunn, who took a step beyond traditional barbering, applying gel to his clients' hair, using a blow dryer, coaxing the hair into a flattering shape, spraying it to keep the style in place.

He didn't much approve of working on "long-haired hippies," he said at the time. Most of his customers were bankers, clergymen, doctors and lawyers, professionals who liked their hair clipped to between 2 and 2½ inches.

"How do men react to their first hair styling?" the Independent story read. "Most of them are embarrassed. … But after a few visits, they become accustomed and it seems as natural as the morning shave."

For a little more than a decade, Dunn worked in several elite St. Petersburg shops that also offered services such as manicures and shoe shines.

He had been hearing about hair replacement, and one of his clients paid for him to get special training in nonsurgical techniques. In the early 1980s, he went out on his own, opening Eddie Dunn Hair Systems on Fourth Street N.

"I can shoot the bull better than I can cut hair," he jokes. A handful of prominent patrons continue to rely on Dunn for haircuts and styling, even though the better part of his business involves fitting people with hairpieces that attach to the scalp with a long-lasting adhesive.

That's where his granddaughter Danielle Swain comes in. She and Dunn share a Jan. 7 birthday. (He will be 70 on Monday; she, 22.)

And on Saturday, 45 years and a day after her grandfather finished barber school, Swain graduated from the Aveda Institute St. Petersburg, where she learned cosmetology, including cutting, styling and coloring hair.

The onetime St. Petersburg College student had changed her major a few times. She thought about nursing and later studied business.

"I would always do my friends' hair," she says. "I realized I should do something I love and get paid for it."

At first, Dunn says, he didn't know she had enrolled in Aveda, "as close as we are."

Now, he is hopeful that she, too, will study hair-replacement techniques and join him in the business, expanding it to serve women who have experienced permanent hair loss.

The custom-fitted hairpieces, Dunn says, offer more comfortable, natural-looking options than wigs. Those he recommends for women who are undergoing chemotherapy and may lose their hair only temporarily.

Dunn has no immediate plans to retire. When he does, he says, he'd like to hand his granddaughter the keys to the business.

Says Swain: "I think it's awesome that we have so many similarities."

Businessman, granddaughter share stylish background 01/05/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 5, 2013 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks


    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here (w/ video)

    The Heater


    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, it better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher it can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]