TWINSBURG — A local beauty shop is helping senior citizens get their hair done at home while providing them with some human contact.
Yolanda Lewis, owner of Silky Strands Salon and Hair Extensions at 10755 Ravenna Road, decided she wanted to be a blessing to others — especially her elders, who want to look and feel their best. So each Tuesday, Lewis and and her six stylists close up shop, jump in their cars and drive to their customers’ homes.
Through these personal visits, the stylists have made lasting connections with their clients.
“We have another grandmother,” Lewis said on a recent Tuesday. “We had one older lady tell us we’re her granddaughters.”
Although it can be a long day driving to appointments in Twinsburg and the surrounding communities, Lewis said she feels good knowing she’s helping others.
“We have so much fun,” she said. “They feed us, talk to us; they enjoy our company because a lot of them don’t get a lot of company. It takes stress off of the family, as well.”
Recently, Lewis and stylist Aleyah Langford were at the home of Twinsburg resident Joan Carmichael to shampoo, comb and curl her hair. Carmichael, 65, has five children, two living at home, and three grandchildren. Retired from Alltel, she now works part time for Gabriel Brothers.
“It gets boring around the house after awhile,” she said. “I can only vacuum and dust so much.”
Carmichael has been a Silky Strands patron for many years. This is her second time getting her hair done at home.
Lewis said she was inspired to start this special service after she saw first-hand the kind of care her bedridden grandmother required before her death in 2017. Yolanda made a point of visiting her grandmother on a regular basis and making sure her hair was taken care of.
“Then I came up with the idea,” Lewis said. “I said, ‘Hmm, there’s a lot of seniors out here who are bedridden and can’t get out who would want this service.’ So, I decided it was time to launch it.”
She said she chose Tuesday because it is typically a slow day anyway so she believes her business will be OK being open Wednesday through Saturday.
“It’s been good,” she said, adding she started the program around Christmas. “If we get a break, we’ll head back to the salon. Sometimes we’ll get seniors who want to go to the salon … But the majority of the time, like today, we’ve been going since 9:30 a.m.”
It was now after 5 p.m.
Lewis has been styling hair for 10 years, starting in Cleveland and then moving her business to Twinsburg eight years ago. She co-owns Silky Strands with her younger sister, Janie Lewis-Gaines.
Silky Strands stylists usually spend an hour on each visit. When a new in-home client schedules an appointment, two stylists will respond to the residence. Lewis said she likes to have more than on person there to get familiar with the way there and the surroundings. She said it’s also important to gather up everything (shampoos, combs and brushes, curling irons, etc.) when it’s time to go, and a second person can help with that.
On this particular visit, Langford shampooed and conditioned Carmichael’s hair in the kitchen, then sat her down in the dining room where she straightened her hair with a blow dryer, and then curled it. Lewis pointed out that Carmichael’s hair is “natural” and easy to curl.
Lewis said her salon is multicultural, and she and her stylists do men’s haircuts — and they will come out to the guy’s homes, too, if they need help with a haircut or shampoo.
“We don’t discriminate,” Langford said.
Lewis wasn’t always a hair stylist. Before she started doing hair, she worked with computers for Dell and IBM, until she saw people around her getting laid off. That’s when she changed careers.
“You never know what’s in store for you,” she said. “You think you’re going to do one profession, and then everything turns around.”
Lewis said her career change proved to be a successful move.
“It just took off from there,” she said. “And it’s been a blessing ever since.”
Anyone 55 and older who is interested in having their hair done at home may call Silky Strands at 330-405-6544, then press option 2.
Reporter Steve Wiandt can be reached at 330-541-9420, email@example.com or @SteveWiandt_RPC.