CAREcuts Program gives gift of normalcy one haircut at time

UC Davis

Sitting in a chair with a smock wrapped around her shoulders, Carol Duran chatted with the stylist trimming her hair about how much she had looked forward to getting her haircut this morning.

Hair stylist wearing PPE cutting hair of woman sitting in a wheelchair
Carol Duran getting her hair cut by stylist Maricela Fry

They continued their small talk as if they were in a salon, instead of a hospital room where many patients like Duran crave the normalcy and the pampering of a haircut, wash and style.

“I already feel better,” Duran exclaimed mid-haircut. “I feel like me again.”

The cut was a much-needed break for Duran, who had not gotten her hair cut in over a year since being admitted to UC Davis Medical Center.

“I used to get my haircut every three months,” said Duran. “My oldest daughter would take me, and we would make a day of it. But I have not been able to get it cut since coming to the hospital.”

Duran was one of 15 patients to receive a haircut from a Salon Paisley stylist this week. They visited the medical center to give haircuts – or CAREcuts – to patients as part of The CARE Project. The project provides a holistic approach to healthcare, treating the mind, body, and spirit through an interdisciplinary approach, utilizing both creative arts and recreation.

Alcove with stylists cutting people's hair
“The Davis Salon” on the North 6 was created to provide space for the CAREcuts Program

“It is a little bit of normalcy that we can provide, and I am confident the CAREcuts brightened the day of everyone involved,” said Katie Lorain, Creative Arts and Recreation Therapy manager for The CARE Project. “It was a privilege and pleasure to watch the talented hairstylists from Salon Paisley work and we are so grateful for their team providing this much needed and appreciated service to our patients.”

In an effort to host additional CAREcut events more frequently, The CARE Project team has created “The Davis Salon” on the sixth floor of the Davis Tower of the hospital where they have four spaces reserved for stylists.

“All of us love being able to bring this experience to patients and we hope to continue to do this regularly,” said Maricela Fry, owner of Salon Paisley. “Getting a haircut is an experience, being able to socialize with your stylist and forget about your daily stresses. It’s our way of giving back and we get to use our craft to do it.”

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