By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There’s a new salon in town and the location may surprise you — it’s nestled on the fifth floor of the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.

Among the needle and X-ray machines, you’ll now find nail polish and aromatic shampoos. It’s where Kristina Becker’s gown is replaced with a cape. And like most 16-year-olds, she has an opinion.

“I like it shorter, because it’s easier to wash and brush and all that stuff,” she said.

She sat down in a salon chair in the Blythe Brenden-Mann Foundation Wellness Center.

“No bangs either,” she explained to her hair stylist Jeanne McCoy. “I tried bangs once and they were terrible.”

childrens hospital salon Childrens Hospital Salon Gives Young Patients Something To Smile About

Kristina Becker and Jeanne McCoy (credit: CBS)

Kristina hasn’t been to a salon in a while — she hasn’t been much of anywhere. Born with a heart defect, she got a transplant in October — but that’s not what McCoy wants to talk about.

“Let’s look at your face shape,” McCoy said. “Sometimes we look at the profile to make sure the hair looks super great, even from the side.”

McCoy is also a cancer survivor, so when she heard about the new collaboration, she was in.

“It’s a great space to come into, because the stylist, accupuncturist and manicurist are here to talk about everyday things, or talk about hair trends, like I did with Kristina,” she said.

In the end, Kristina went short — the cut was mom-approved, so was the experience.

“We can come here and take care of it while we’re here, and still maintain her dignity to look nice and pretty,” her mother, Karen Becker, said.

The salon is one of the only times patients can have personal interaction, and it has nothing to do with their health.


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