Medicine Hat, AB - From feathered bangs, to mullets, to perms, Daria Krooshoop has seen it all over her 50 years as a hairdresser.
It was 1974, five years after graduating from hairdressing school, when she agreed to visit her Aunt in Bow Island, who had a salon.
“I told her, I’m just coming for a couple of months. I didn’t want to come permanently to Bow Island,” Krooshoop laughed. “And it’s been the best place in the whole world. And you know people pass through here, I don’t think they understand you live here. But you just have to experience”
Those two months visiting turned into 45 years of doing hair in town in her own shop, where she learned the power she had to help people.
“It’s just making people happy,” she said. “Making them feel good about themselves doing their hair. It’s just all about making them feel good.”
She’s taken it a step further than just helping people with their hair though.
“You asked me what made me feel good about doing this job, well my car was always out in the winter storm when I had lots of clientele that there husbands had died and they didn’t want to take their cars out in storms, I picked them up.” She smiled. “On their way home I picked up groceries, post office, banking, drug store, I’ve done it all.”
She says it’s those connections that make the job so special.
“You just get to know them so well and I tell you we’re almost like therapists to them because they will tell us anything you know.” Krooshoop said.
Krooshoop has also spent her years cutting hair at the hospital, the Alfred Egan assisted living Home, and still goes to the seniors lodge every Wednesday, something that has inspired her former business partner, Chelsea Geldreich.
“Obviously she’s got the special touch and the right things that she knows and I’ve learned a lot from that.” The owner of Chelsea’s Hair Design said. “She’s volunteered in the community for years and she’s willing to step up and help people out in a pinch.”
It’s the idea of inspiring others that keeps her going.
“I think it’s good for people to see that people do that too. And maybe that gives them the idea that they should be doing it or helping some how. I think we need to help each other.”
At 72, Krooshoop continues to work at Chelsea Hair Design in Bow Island and says she will be there as long as she can make a difference in others’ lives.
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