Traveling beautician at Cecilia's Hair Care caters to seniors
WYANDOTTE — Hairstylist Cecilia Sammons makes house calls.
For more than three decades, the owner of Cecilia’s Hair Care has been catering to needs of senior citizens’ coiffures.
Sammons became a traveling beautician after graduating from the now-closed McNeely School of Cosmetology in Trenton.
While attending Trenton High School, she took co-op classes as a junior and senior and graduated ahead of her class in January 1975.
Sammons worked in a salon for about a year before going back to school.
"I went back to McNeely beauty school and completed another 500 hours, which gave me my instructor’s license," she said. "Then, I taught beauty school at State Beauty College in Wyandotte for two years."
It was during that time that Sammons was introduced to the idea of offering hair care services outside of the salon.
"I met another instructor, who introduced me to my first senior place, which was then called Inter-City Manor," Sammons said. "Her church (Inter-City Baptist) was affiliated with the senior building, and she told me they were in need of a hairdresser and wanted to know if I was interested."
Sammons began working at the senior living high-rise, now known as Maple Heights Retirement Community in Allen Park, a couple of days a week.
The part-time work later turned into a full-time job, and Sammons’ styling services included traveling to other senior buildings and nursing homes.
"I started working more hours and I contacted other senior buildings and was contacted by different places, too," she said.
In about 1991, Sammons launched Cecilia’s Hair Care.
"When I started Cecilia’s Hair Care, I started it for seniors that were homebound and I started getting calls from senior residences looking for a stylist," she said. "My services have grown from independent living to senior citizen apartment buildings, assisted living and nursing homes.
"My services are basic senior hair care (for women and men). I do haircuts, shampoo and styles, perms, colors and manicures."
Sammons works between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays.
Throughout the week, Sammons drives to senior buildings and offers hair care services. She employs another stylist to help.
Seniors residences include Hearthstone at Downriver in Brownstown Township and Tendercare Health and Rehabilitation Center of Taylor.
"There are beauty salons that are set up in each facility that I lease," Sammons said. "It’s like a salon you would go to, but on a smaller scale with one or two shampoo bowls and hairdryers."
Regular appointments are scheduled at each location, but walk-ins can be accommodated
Hospitals such as Henry Ford Wyandotte often will request Sammons’ services for patients, and she provides hair care for homebound residents and group homes with residents who are handicapped or have special needs.
She sees about 20 clients a day and said she would be glad to take on new customers.
As her customer base expands, Sammons said she would expand her staff by hiring other stylists.
In conjunction with Cecilia’s Hair Care, Sammons and her husband, Jack, own Salon Bellissimo, a 1,200-square-foot full-service salon at 14440 Pennsylvania Road, Southgate.
Over the years, Sammons said, she has learned the importance of being a good listener.
"Getting to have their hair done will often lift their spirits," she said of seniors. "So many of them don’t get to have many visitors and are lonely. If I get to come in and do their hair and talk to them and care for them, that just makes my day.
"This business is who I am. I love my seniors. It gives me gratification when they look in the mirror and like what they see. One thing I enjoy most about my job is making them feel better and feel special."
The mother of four offers this advice to new stylists starting their careers.
"Be loyal to your clients," Sammons said. "Be dependable and reliable."