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“Hello Gorgeous”

by Nanci Levy | Jul 08, 2019

Beauty Salon Ruth“Hello Gorgeous” That’s the sign on the door that welcomes you into the Beauty Salon at Handmaker. When the door opens, and the sounds of Jazz music and the smells of hair spray waft down the hall, you know that Bethany is in, and the Handmaker Beauty Salon is open for business.

While nowadays most women wash their hair daily, back in the day, most women would get their hair “done” once a week. And Handmaker is a place where many women still do. The Beauty Salon is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays for appointments or walk ins. Residents can get a shampoo, trim, color, perm, set or almost whatever they want, including manis and pedis. Male residents come in for shampoos, trims, a shave or even a pedicure. Our patients at Handmaker for post hospital rehab are always thrilled when they hear that we have a full service Beauty Salon.

A glimpse into the Beauty Salon is like stepping back in time. With Frank Sinatra playing in the background, several women in curlers under the hair dryer reading magazines, and another client having her hair teased. Residents in the salon look relaxed and content. Salon day is something that many look forward to, and plan their days and week around. It is their day to feel pampered, and made to feel gorgeous, just like the sign says. Nothing beats the smiles on the faces of residents as they emerge from the Beauty Salon, with their “do’s” neatly in place. And when they are complimented on their recently coiffed hair, their smiles only grow wider.

One of our residents, Ruth, is one of Bethany’s regulars and she always looks forward to her visits to the Beauty Salon. She says that Bethany “works miracles”, gesturing to her hair she says with a smile, “If she can get this hair looking this great, she is working a miracle.”

Bethany has been taking care of residents in the Handmaker Beauty Salon for eight years. And she loves what she does. She loves the residents. She knows her regulars really well. What services they like, how they want their hair done, and even what type of music they like to listen to. She often changes the music playing based on who is in the Salon. And if she does not know the client very well, she asks what they want to listen to. She wants to make them feel comfortable, pampered and beautiful. She told me the story of a woman who came to her in her wheelchair to have her hair done. She looked at herself in the mirror and said to Bethany, “I am such an ugly lady.” Bethany replied emphatically, “No you’re not, you are beautiful!” She then proceeded to make the client feel beautiful. When she was done, the woman seemed transformed inside and out. So much so, that she stood up from her wheelchair and started to walk, actually Bethany described it as more of a confident strut, out of the Salon. Bethany told her to wait, that she forgot her wheelchair! The client said that she was fine without it. Of course, Bethany brought her the wheelchair and helped her to sit down in it. But the fact that her whole attitude changed from her one hour with Bethany in the Salon is remarkable, and telling.

Making our residents feel gorgeous on the outside can make them feel better on the inside. When they feel pampered and beautiful, they may forget their aches and pains for a few minutes, bringing them a sense of calm and contentment. That is Bethany’s goal, and we are so grateful that she continues to work her magic twice a week at the Beauty Salon at Handmaker.