Despite an enthusiastic recommendation from a family friend, Teixeira admited she had low expectations when her cousin brought him to his appointment with Krystal Everett, owner of Salon KrySTYLE in Chelmsford, last winter.
Teixeira, who stayed home due to her chemotherapy regime for colon cancer, said she was “in tears” viewing videos and photos of her professionally styled son relaxing on the salon couch with Everett and her cousin’s son, who had accompanied him for moral support.
“Krystal explained everything and told [him], ‘If anything bothers you, just let me know.’ She followed his lead, let him go to town with the spray bottle, asked if he needed breaks, and when he did, she said, ‘I need a break, too!’ She made him feel safe, which is all I can ask for,” said Teixeira, who has since become a Salon KrySTYLE client as well.
“Krystal is a treasure. I don’t think she realizes what a difference she makes.”
Everett, a Chelmsford resident who has four children of her own along with nearly 21 years of hairstyling experience, started her Tender, Love, Care (TLC) program to embrace clients with special needs — which she defines as “anyone who needs special treatment” — based on personal experience.
In her previous 17-year career in the human services field, Everett’s responsibilities as a case manager and program manager for a nonprofit day program included bringing adult clients to hair salons. Despite booking appointments in advance, she said only one or two would typically receive buzz cuts out of a group of five or six.
“All of a sudden, the stylists would need to go on break, or go to the bank, or check on their kids. We’d finally leave and the clients who didn’t get their hair done would look at me like, ‘What about me?’” recalled Everett, noting that she had “never been livid like that in my life” when having to pretend that the visibly uncomfortable staff simply ran out of time for the group.
“I was already a licensed hairdresser, so I didn’t mind cutting their hair in the group home — but the goal was to integrate them within the community,” she added. “I decided when I opened my own salon, it would be a place where they would feel beautiful like anyone else.”
Everett, whose grandmother and mother did hairstyling, said she feels “born” into the profession.
“My mom used to find my Barbie dolls with their hair cut into all the styles,” she said.
Everett worked at several salons before opening Salon KrySTYLE in July 2016, offering hairstyling, nail care services, and reiki. Four years later, she took an entrepreneurial class to formally launch the TLC program, which provides in-home services in addition to customized experiences in a private salon room offering aromatherapy, a weighted neck pad, a fish tank, and endless patience.
Ashleigh Sheehan of Tyngsborough said she was prepared for a tantrum when she took her 7-year-old son to Salon KrySTYLE in June 2021 for his first professional haircut since the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic. The most difficult part for her child, who has cerebral palsy and a developmental delay, was his initial anxiety, which Everett eased by playing his favorite songs by Lizzo and New Kids on the Block.
“Now he looks in the mirror and says …’See you next time!’ And when his hair gets long, he touches his head and says, ‘Call Krystal,’” Sheehan said with amazement. “I appreciate that she’s super flexible and blocks off the time [he] needs because getting out in the community is a learning experience for him. We’ve spent enough time included at home. He needs to know there’s a bigger world out there.”
As Sharon Styman-Lussier can attest, the TLC program is also important to adults. The Merrimack, NH, resident has been a regular client at Salon KrySTYLE for years, but she reached out to Everett recently to cut her hair very short in preparation for chemotherapy treatments.
“I’ve had long hair for most of my life, so this was really scary,” said Styman-Lussier, noting that Everett also cut and styled her wigs “which are perfect now.”
“Krystal kept saying I’m a rock star and telling me how great I look — all important things when you’re feeling so much anxiety,” she added. “The experience was warm and comfortable, and everybody was so kind that it turned out to be really special. She’s a very talented stylist, but she’s also out there helping people. You can’t ask for more than that.”
For more information, call 978-307-7762, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org visit www.salonkrystyle.com.
Cindy Cantrell can be reached at email@example.com.