By Jim Cryns   Published Jul 02, 2003 at 5:09 AM

A hairdresser is much more than a person that cuts your hair, they can be your confidant, sounding board and friend. Malcolm Brown, best known in the Milwaukee area as Malcolm of London, is moving on to greener pastures, literally.

Brown has transported his hair gear and his hair acumen to Minoqua permanently after 30 years of cutting, trimming, styling locks in this town.

"Everyone used to come in to the shop and talk about Minoqua," Brown explains over coffee in Whitefish Bay. "I loved going to Door County but everyone was talking about Minoqua. It's truly God's country. It's a very large area and I think it's the most beautiful place in Wisconsin.

"I'm not retiring, I'm still going to be doing hair, but I've gotten to the point in my life where the city boy has become more of a country boy and I need to relax," Brown says. He'll work about four days a week in Minoqua, as opposed to the six days a week he worked here.

Brown worked for another Milwaukee hair landmark, Erik of Norway, when he first arrived in the city. "I was born in London and I moved over here in '73," Brown says. "I came straight to Milwaukee. My father lived here and I went to work for Erik. I called my wife the day I arrived to say, 'I will never come back to live in England again.'"

Education will play a big role in Brown's life in the future, both as a student and as an instructor.

"Three days a week I want to go to school. I want to teach hair styling one of those days and go to school for photography during the other two days."

Brown says Milwaukee has some of the finest hairdressers in the Midwest.

"I used to be embarrassed to say I came from Milwaukee," Brown confesses. "Erik and I ended up training the majority of the hairdressers in the area. Those who opened stores in the Midwest had worked for either Erik or me. We touched a lot of lives."

Brown is quick to give advice to individuals interested in cutting hair for a living.

"If someone was to go into hairdressing today, I'd tell them to get a business degree first, then learn how to cut hair. The difference between cutting hair in '73 and 2003, you'd better be a good business person today. The bottom line in this business is as small as it has ever been."

Leaving the Milwaukee area was difficult for Brown. He says he's watched clients children grow up, cutting the kids' hair as they grew into adulthood.

"This has been the most emotional time I've had in my whole life since I left England. I've lost it so many times. It's the relationships that I'm going to miss."