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From the Neighborhood Press

The Beauty Parlor

In 2008, a chance encounter led to a career change for one woman. “My then mother-in-law ran the beauty parlor and I started running it by accident,” Chastity McCann, operator of the beauty parlor inside Sommerset Neighborhood, recalls. “Do you think you could come in and do some pedicures?” she was asked, and with a baby in one hand and a breast pump in the other, she began her journey in the senior beauty industry.

Fifteen years later, she’s still there and loves every minute of it. The residents are loyal, coming in once a week for a shampoo set and perms every now and then on their cherished beauty hair day. The beauty parlor offers a range of services from basic haircuts, styling and perms to manicures and pedicures. Chastity provides all of these services to assisted living, memory care and supportive care residents at Sommerset Neighborhood. But her salon is more than just a place for haircuts and perms. For her clients, it’s a haven where they can feel pampered and comfortable. She changes the decor and pillows depending on the seasons to create a cozy ambiance. Chastity’s goal is to create a welcoming, homey atmosphere where clients can relax and be pampered.

Chastity found it was harder to keep Alzheimer’s residents still long enough to get a haircut. That’s when she discovered if she gave them a simple task-oriented activity, something they’ve done all their life, they would sit long enough to finish the haircut. She has found that giving them something to do like folding a pile of towels on their lap helps them relax during their haircuts.

The Clientele

Typically, lady clients keep Chastity very busy because they come in more often. Currently, however, she actually has more men clientele than women, who come in approximately once a month for a trim or edging. “The men aren’t used to having women cut their hair,” she explains, “so I try to get them in the shop when there’s no women around so they get that barber shop feel.” Chastity started out in an all-male barber shop and carries a barber’s license. Certainly the right person for the job!

Chastity and the rest of the staff at Sommerset Neighborhood work as a team to ensure the well-being of the seniors in the Sommerset Neighborhood community. Therapists will bring residents down to the beauty parlor to watch them walk and see how they transfer into the beauty chairs. Nursing care also helps with bringing residents down to the beauty parlor as well as doing the shaving for men because of safety reasons. Chastity used to perform all the manicures and pedicures, but most pedicures are now done by an experienced podiatrist who visits Sommerset Neighborhood to provide foot care for residents.

Chastity finds joy in her work. She loves hearing her clients’ stories, even when they tell the stories over and over. By creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere, Chastity’s beauty parlor is helping seniors feel at home so they can age in place with dignity and support. If a resident is bedridden, Chastity does not hesitate to bring her services to them, knowing that the opportunity to feel pampered can lift their spirits.

Chastity’s work is a true passion for her, and one that she plans to continue for years to come. And for residents at Oklahoma City’s Sommerset Neighborhood, it’s a special place where they can feel safe in an inviting environment. And show off their beautiful hairstyles to friends and family afterwards!

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