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Socializing at the salon

Brooksby salons create more than hairstyles

Created date

June 19th, 2012

When June Benoit moved to Brooksby, an Erickson Living community in Peabody, Mass., four years ago from a house in the same town, she already had a host of local Peabody services she relied upon, including a hairstylist. Even so, she chose to switch and begin using Brooksby s own salon services. I just like all the girls here, she says while at the Town Centre Salon one recent Saturday. Everybody who works here is wonderful. Overhearing June s comment, Leslie Driscoll, one of the salon s hairstylists, runs over and pretends to give her a handful of cash for her praise. Everyone laughs. See why I like these girls? June says. The rapport between hairstylists and clientele is undeniable in the salon s consistent hum of conversation and laughter. In nearly every chair, women sit in various stages of beautification, a weekly ritual for many. Some sit quietly with magazines at the hair dryers, while others chat animatedly with the hairdressers. We all interact well, and I think that we relate well to this age group, Brooksby Hair Salon Director Bernice Cunningham says of the relationship between the hairstylists and their customers. She says many of her customers are about her mother s age and all of us relate to each other well; it s like a little family. She adds that after many years working together, at Brooksby and beforehand, the hairstylists are much like sisters. Marie Wakefield, who lives at Brooksby and visits the Town Centre Salon weekly, agrees. I think that they re really attuned to all of us. They really give very special attention to people.

Skillful set

Cunningham has more than four decades of experience in hairstyling. From a department store salon to nursing homes and her own small business, Cunningham honed her skills while adapting to changing hair styles and methods. She interviewed for the job at Brooksby before it opened in 2000 and has been there to oversee a growing number of patrons and salons, from the community s first building, Town Centre, to the McIntosh Salon. Between Brooksby s two salons, customers have access to haircutting, coloring, and styling, as well as manicure, pedicure, and waxing services. Mondays are men s day in the Town Centre Salon for men who would prefer to see a barber, though men are always welcome. This is a nice place to come; everybody is so cheerful, says Simone Roy, who lives at Brooksby and has been visiting its salons for six years. She gives you such a good haircut, she adds while Driscoll cuts her hair.

Accommodating staff, convenient location

In addition to the quality and sociability of Brooksby s salon services, people who move to the community find themselves returning for the staff members accommodating and convenient services. When Marie Wakefield moved to Brooksby from Nova Scotia, she didn t know any hairstylists in the area. She gave Brooksby s salon a try. I don t know why people go outside [the community], she says. While elsewhere she had to wait before her appointment, she adds, Very rarely does that happen here. You don t get that kind of service away from here. For those who move to Brooksby from out-of-state and have their hair colored, Cunningham and her staff will call the previous hair stylist for the exact color formula. If patrons have a last-minute event or want to change their weekly appointments to make time for other Brooksby activities, Cunningham says, We try to be accommodating and work around their schedule. Joanne Baldwin, who moved to Brooksby from Rhode Island two years ago, can vouch for that flexibility. I m apt to call at the last minute. They make it very easy, she says. When Joanne was evaluating retirement communities in the area and contemplating her own move, Brooksby s salon services were a differentiating factor. People who live at Brooksby also have access to the community s on-site medical services, bank, and fitness center, in addition to a full schedule of activities. The other places, they don t have all this they don t have all the facilities, Joanne says. Of the Town Centre Salon, Joanne adds: This is a fun place. When I want to have a good time, I come here.