Diane Toth, lifestyles consultant, Bette Hutchinson, retirement counsellor, current resident Mary Bucholtz and Amrit Sidhu, director of wellness washed, dried and styled hair at Peninsula Retirement Residence last week. (Contributed photo)

‘Beauty School Dropout’ session offers shampoo, set and social interaction

Peninsula Retirement Residence staff host spa day for seniors amid COVID-19 lockdown

In the grand scheme of things, regular trips to the salon may be a small luxury, but the lack of a fresh cut, colour or style is definitely being felt by many this spring.

With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down businesses deemed non-essential – including hair salons – some British Columbians are buying up stocks of hair colour and clippers and taking matters into their own hands.

But for residents of White Rock’s Peninsula Retirement Residence, it offered a chance to be pampered by staff last week, with the first of what may well be several hair-styling sessions.

Dubbed ‘Beauty School Dropout Salon’ – an homage to the ’70s classic Grease – the session offered Peninsula residents a shampoo and a set as well as a bit of a trim, when needed.

None of the staff involved have any formal training as stylists so there were no major adjustments made, just enough to help their clients look and – more importantly – feel good.

Using tools donated by Legends Academy in Abbotsford, staff members washed, curled, styled and trimmed throughout the afternoon.

“We also pampered our residents with facial masks,” said Bette Hutchinson, who contacted PAN on behalf of the styling team.

“Listening to musical favourites and enjoying some delicious treats made for a magical day.”

The idea for the session grew from a comment made by one resident who spent two weeks in mandatory self-isolation following a stay in the hospital. When asked how she was feeling, she responded: “Better than I look.”

Many of the residents, who have not left the building since mid-March, are missing the often-weekly shampoo and set that made them feel good, Hutchinson said.

“These are ladies who lunched.”

Each week, they’d go out and have their hair done before meeting their friends for a bite and visit, she explained.

Another hairstyling session is planned for Mother’s Day, and then will most likely continue until salons are open once more.

It wasn’t just women who took advantage of the opportunity, either. A few gentlemen came in for a wash and style as well.

With physical distancing protocols in place and visitor access to the seniors residence strictly limited, the Beauty School Dropout Salon offered participants a chance for some much-needed interaction, Hutchinson said, noting the session was not just about personal grooming, but also the “warmth of human connection.”

•••

This feel-good story is part of the #WereInThisTogether campaign by Black Press Media. Have an uplifting story that you think would bring joy to readers? Email your story, photos and videos to wereinthistogether@blackpress.ca

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‘Client’ Doris was ‘over the moon’ with her fresh style. (Contributed photos)

Staff at Peninsula Retirement Residence offered seniors a shampoo, set and style last week at the ‘Beauty School Dropout Salon.’ (Contributed photo)

Resident Mary Bucholtz helped out as a stylist with the ‘Beauty School Dropout Salon.’ (Contributed photo)

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