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Last updated: March 17, 2023

The Crucial Role Salons Play In Senior Communities

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Photo Credit: Whitney Glandon

Salons Bring Joy & Companionship To Senior Communities

If there’s something we all can agree on, it’s that beauty knows no limits—especially when it comes to age. No one knows this better than Arthur Nektalov—the in-house stylist at Brookdale Battery Park City, a senior living community in downtown Manhattan, NYC. Arthur has been serving Brookdale’s community for 19 years, and his experience has spoke volumes to the critical role salons play in senior care.


Arthur’s hairdressing skills found a calling at Brookdale.

Arthur’s inspiration to work with hair came from his father and grandfather—both of whom were hairdressers. “While Brookdale was still under construction, I owned another business on Greenwich Street. [The project manager] came in a few times to my salon for service purposes,” Arthur recalls. “She was the one who proposed the idea of running a hair salon in Brookdale.”


Now, Arthur has been styling Brookdale’s community for almost two decades—with only a short hiatus. “When I left Brookdale [to focus on my own salon], the residents didn’t like the company that replaced me and many of them even came to my salon on Greenwich asking me to return to Brookdale,” Arthur explains.


Arthur’s presence has made a lasting impact on Brookdale’s community.

Photo Credit: Whitney Glandon


A consistent grooming routine is essential for a healthy lifestyle.

Just because someone is moving into a senior residence doesn’t mean they should give up a beauty regimen they’ve always had. Whether a client enjoys monthly blowouts or maintenance trims, in-residence haircare can help maintain a long-standing routine—or even kickstart a healthy new one!


While a glam routine is fun, the outcomes aren’t always superficial. Studies suggest that following a consistent beauty routine can have a positive, nonpharmacological impact on our mental wellbeing as we age, and can help prevent depression and memory disorders. It may even be a viable form of care for patients with dementia. 


Former model and current resident Barbara Fields, 94, sees Arthur every Friday for a blowout. The longest part of her trip to his floor is the elevator ride. “Not having to depend on outside travel for my weekly blowouts gives me peace,” she says. Barbara also keeps up on a color, cut and nail routine to maintain her go-to aesthetic. 


A look into Arthur’s in-house salon, with renovations on the way!

Photo Credit: Whitney Glandon


Up Next: Clients With Thinning & Hair Loss? Read This!


Why every senior living facility should have in-house salons:

Nearly 1/3 of Americans view getting a haircut as a top self-care activity. Why? Think about how you feel when you’re not proud of your appearance. Now, imagine that feeling amplified because salon providers are not around to help you. Citizens living in senior care communities often have a more difficult time getting their hair serviced—a basic self-care regimen so many of them had grown accustomed to their entire life. At Brookdale, Arthur’s in-house salon is the first line of defense against the “hair blues,” providing cut, color and styling services for residents.


“I feel like I make my clients happy every time they leave my salon. They look better and they tell me themselves that they feel better after each hair service,” Arthur says. “The relationship I have with my clients is the same [as] my relationship with my family.”


Director of Resident Programs Whitney Glandon speaks to the success of Brookdale’s salon: “The salon opened in 2000 when the community opened and has been thriving ever since,” she says. “Hair is very important for our residents here. Whether you are 25 or 95, looking good and feeling good is important at any age!” Approximately 85 percent of residents use Brookdale’s salon.


Related: Gray Hair: To Cover Or Embrace? Here Are 4 Tricks!


Hairdressing for senior communities requires a special touch.

Stylists who work in senior living communities help their clients adjust to an entirely new chapter of their lives. You’re able to reach out as part of a larger support system or simply address their specific beauty needs—including more difficult conversations about the changes hair goes through as we age.


Arthur’s advice to every stylist:
My advice for other stylists is to always listen to a client’s needs,” he explains. “Some stylists just do what they feel is right, but my suggestion is to always listen and respect what the client’s needs are and provide them with the right opinions for better quality of their hair.”


Enroll in BTC-U for pro tips on how to style every client’s hair!


Stylists offer a form of companionship that cannot be replicated.

Hair therapy may not be the same as talk therapy, but we like to think it’s fairly close. The client and stylist relationship has room to grow into one of camaraderie, from knowing their go-to styles and products to listening through life’s ups and downs.


“Every client that I have is special and unique in their own way. While getting the services they need, I would hear their fascinating lifetime stories. With each unique story that I hear, I learn many interesting facts that their lives have presented which has impacted my point of view in life,” Arthur explains. 


“I’ve been with the community for almost 19 years and I love what I do every day. Being able to engage each day with our incredible group of residents is an honor. They all have something amazing to share and learn from each and every day,” Whitney adds.


Resident Hiroko Oka, 90, has a simple but meaningful beauty routine she maintains without fail. Aside from squalene oil produced in Japan and ultra-sheer sunscreen, she has seen Arthur for a wash and cut once a month since she first moved to Brookdale in 2014. “I cannot survive without an in-house beauty salon and visiting Arthur’s gives me peace of mind and joy,” she says.


Hiro has been one of Arthur’s regular clients for almost a decade.

getting-a-haircut-improves-your mental-health
Photo Credit: Whitney Glandon


To learn more about Brookdale’s in-house salon, click here!