Salon and spa for women with cancer lets them live with dignity

Seven years ago, Saundra Shapiro was perfectly happy running a chain of children’s hair salons. It wasn’t until a client’s mother had been diagnosed with cancer and asked for Saundra to shave her head that Saundra realized there was more she could do.

“I felt a need to have a place where women with cancer can come and still feel like they did before the cancer,” Saundra said. What she came up with was Compassionate Beauty, a salon and spa for women who have cancer.

Along with wigs and massages, Compassionate Beauty offers just about everything a woman would want, along with the discretion that women with cancer look for.

“I want to give them the lifestyle that they were used to,” Saundra said. “If they wore sexy lingerie, I want to give them sexy lingerie. If they wore a two-piece bathing suit, I want to give them that.”

Saundra said that dealing with clients who have cancer can be difficult, but nothing was tougher then when her mother had been diagnosed.

“I sat my mother down in this chair, and shaved her head,” Saundra said. “But what really got to me was when I finished with my mother, and my dad said, ‘ok, now do me.’”

Saundra says that the future is bright for Compassionate Beauty, but won’t be said if one day her doors close.

“My dream is to have to close the doors and sell it off because they’ve found a cure for cancer.”

kubinski@cjournal.ca