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Manicures and Permanents: Inside a Senior Living Facility Beauty Shop

Stashed in: Massage, Aging, Aging, Retirement

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Will be interested to see whether the wash-and-wear generation also will continue to enjoy going to the beauty salon as they near 100 (!) years of age.

No mention of massage in the article alongside manicures and getting hair done, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear how calming the getting ready ritual is.

For these senior citizens, it’s not really about the makeup or the hair, it’s about the activity of getting ready. As a young person who cultivated her beauty routine at a college on a nowhere-to-go farm in central New York state, this is something I know well. We’d cheat our lip size with purple crayons and craft elaborate braids, only to realize hours later we’d rather stay in and watch TV instead. The ritual of beauty, rather than the look itself, is often most important. It’s no different between twentysomethings and ninetysomethings. "The seniors here will get dressed up for doctor’s appointments," a stylist at the Hebrew Home told me.

Putting on lipstick or getting a hairdo may be the only part of a senior’s former life that remains when she moves into a senior living facility, and it can ease the transition for everyone involved. "My son told me this morning, ‘I’m so glad you’re getting your hair done. I want you to get your hair done as often as you used to,’" said Roslyn. "When he sees me, he wants me to look like he used to see me look. And he knows I feel better when my hair is done."

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