Cut, Color, and (Self) Care: The Benefits of Salons in Senior Living - Autumn Leaves

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Cut, Color, and (Self) Care: The Benefits of Salons in Senior Living

Senior Woman Having Hair Cut By Female Stylist In Hairdressing SalonWellness goes beyond physical health and it’s no surprise that seniors consider self-care to be a big part of what it means to truly live well in our golden years. We know when a person looks and feels their best, it truly improves their quality of life. A visit to a salon can do more than just enhance our appearance; it can improve our mental health.

Here are 5 ways onsite salon services improve the quality of life for older adults.


For many community residents, visiting a salon offsite isn’t an option. Traveling offsite requires added coordination for transportation and mobility, but can also be impeded by an inability to navigate unfamiliar places. Having salon services available on-site eliminates these barriers and makes it more convenient for residents to take care of their appearance and prioritize their own self-care.


But, the benefits of salon services go beyond simple convenience. Regular haircuts, styling, and grooming can help seniors feel more confident and self-assured. A recent Japanese study concluded that beauty care “is effective for maintaining and improving the self-rated health and depression status of community-dwelling older people and that it may help prolong healthy life expectancy.” This is not surprising, since the salon is a place where we can explore our personality and appearance, highlighting the things that make us look and feel like the best version of ourselves.


Losing the ability to make decisions for themselves is a chief point of frustration. As experts in memory care, we see this replayed frequently. Aging people with cognitive impairment disabilities will cling to their independence. They may more readily give up certain levels of independence (like driving) as they recognize they “can’t do it” any longer. However, they will strive to guard control over more personal items like their appearance. And this simple act gives them satisfaction through accomplishment.

For most seniors, a visit to the salon has always been part of their regular routine. Keeping these routines going after transitioning to full-time care is incredibly important to mental health. So, something as simple as on-site salon services helps seniors maintain their sense of independence and comfort, and can be a huge boost to our self-esteem.


As we age, self-care becomes increasingly important and it goes beyond good looks. Taking pride in our appearance and taking time to pamper ourselves can have a positive impact on our mental and physical well-being. Having a regular relaxing, enjoyable experience such as a bi-monthly visit to the salon reduces stress, and promotes feelings of relaxation and happiness.

Salon services have been linked to improving emotional well-being, particularly among seniors. A salon promotes pampering, emotional boosts, and a sense of satisfaction and self-worth. Having a range of salon services conveniently available inside a senior living community can be such a valuable asset as their benefits go far beyond a great haircut!


Many older adults who are more vulnerable to illness either are more cut-off or feel as much, due to the lingering effects of COVID-19—adding to an increased feeling of loneliness and anxiety. ”Older adults are more likely to be socially isolated to begin with, so self-isolation orders can exacerbate the challenges for this population that’s already at risk,” says Deborah DiGilio, director of American Psychological Association’s office on aging.

People forge life-long relationships in salons. In addition to getting a haircut from a favorite stylist, being surrounded by peers promotes great conversation. We can laugh and catch up with friends, swap stories about siblings, children, grandchildren, and neighbors, and bond over frequent discussions about nothing in particular.

We should also never underestimate the importance of human touch. Studies show that experiencing human touch can reduce stress and releases the happiness-inducing hormone, oxytocin. A simple hand massage during a manicure can raise our serotonin and reduce the stress hormone, cortisol. A relaxing shampoo can do wonders for someone experiencing high levels of stress and the simple act of compassionate touch helps alleviate feelings of loneliness.


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