Hospital Will Soon Be Home to Organic Hair Salon
Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital will host a community open house at the Vita Hair Salon May 12.
Editor's note: This story originally ran March 14, 2011.
After two years of operation, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital's Main Street is well-known for looking a bit different from other hospitals. That perspective is about to be strengthened as construction gets under way for the 1,000-square-foot Vita Hair Salon.
The salon, which will serve men and women patients, employees, visitors and the public, will celebrate its grand opening May 4 and will hold a community open house May 12.
Karen Harris, administrator for nursing services, is excited to see the hospital offer another amenity to the patients — and she's excited to use the facility herself. “It’s just too convenient," Harris said. "With the hours that I work, it’s a challenge to even go get a haircut done.”
She noted that even though image is not on the forefront on many patients’ minds, getting something as simple as a professional haircut can lift their spirits.
“If you feel good about yourself, it can help with health and healing,” Harris said.
The salon is an addition to the Vita Wellness Center but will occupy its own space within the hospital's Main Street. As with all of the projects at the hospital, sticking with the theme of wellness, the salon will try to use organic products wherever possible and will use the safest coloring treatments available.
Meghan Rossi, manager of the salon and retail manager for the hospital, said she has been using natural hair products for 15 years now and said that is the only way her hair cooperates.
“Organic products have really worked with my hair,” Rossi said. “My hair definitely has less breakage and less falling out, more shine and versatility.”
She said she has received positive feedback about the concept from many employees and potential customers.
“I do believe that ultimately, this is the way that salons are going to go,” Rossi said.
In addition to using all-organic products, the stylists will work closely with dermatologists to conduct scalp searches for different conditions. The hospital's volunteer-run Wigs For Chemo program, which includes consultations and free wigs for cancer patients, will move from the Vita Wellness Center to the salon.
“When someone comes in, we’re going to be looking at the whole person — their skin, their scalp, from a health perspective,” said sosmetologist Coco Dila-Krause of Ferndale, who will be working at the salon when it opens.
Patients will be able to schedule hair appointments with one of several stylists or the salon's barber while staying in their hospital room. Rossi said patients will be able to receive in-room cutting, styling and shampoo treatments to begin with. She said the in-room service will offered during a trial period to see how the process works, and each service will be dependent on what treatments the particular patient can and cannot receive.
As a branch of the Vita Wellness Center, Rossi said the salon would not be incorporating massages or facials into its services. However, eyebrow waxing may be a possibility, along with mineral makeup application. She said prices will be comparable for the area: Haircuts will start at $15 for men and $45 for women. Color will start in the $60-$80 range. Complimentary valet parking will be offered to customers as well.
Sven Gierlinger, vice president of hospitality for the Henry Ford Health System, said that aside from the hospital’s vision of wellness, it makes sense to leave harsh chemicals out of the mix.
He said that when planners first started crafting the idea of having a hair salon in the hospital, they were thinking along conventional lines.
“It just didn’t fit our vision, since we are all about preventing diseases,” Gierlinger said. “There are so many harmful chemicals in hair care, so we did some soul-searching.”
A blossoming relationship with Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda Corp., which manufactures skin care and hair care products, aided in the creation of the vision for the salon. Gierlinger called Rechelbacher a mentor in the process and said he navigated the hospital to where it could go naturally with the salon.
“I just feel like, healthwise, we’re the best we can be when we put the purest things on us,” Dila-Krause said.