Super Senior: Simone Kent

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 6:16 PM EDT
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ORWELL, Vt. (WCAX) - Just up the stairs at her home beauty salon in Orwell, everyone is a friend.

“A lot of my customers I grew up with actually,” said Simone Kent, the owner of Simone’s Village Hair Fashions.

Elaine Newton has stopped by on this day for a color and a cut. She’s been coming to the shop for 40 years. “She’s one of a kind,” Newton said.

From baseball to current events, it’s a place for a clip and a conversation. “I don’t know, I just like cuttin’ people’s hair. I never got sick of it,” Kent said.

Kent was born and raised in town. “I started school. I didn’t know a word of English,” Kent said. And the teacher didn’t know a word of French.”

She quickly learned the language and after high school, Kent headed to Burlington, learning her vocation at the Sheldon Academy of Beauty Culture. “I was really shy, you know, in fact, sometimes when I would talk to people, I was so shy, nothing would come out,” Kent said.

Simone found her passion and her bashfulness clipped away. “We all had blond hair because we all bleached our hair back then,” Kent said. From bouffants to bobs, the 76-year-old kept up with trends.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You did spike?

Simone Kent: Yes, was the spike queen, they called me the spike queen.

Once a month, Becky Desrocher stops in for a little touch-up and a chat.

Reporter Joe Carroll: So, this is a place for people to catch up on things, right?

Becky Desrocher: Oh definitely, we hear all the news, too.

A few years ago, the news was about Kent. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was also the height of COVID. “And my immune system was pretty bad back then,” Kent said.

Except for a pandemic pause, when most businesses were closed, Kent worked through her chemotherapy. “I always set up my treatments on my day off.”

Reporter Joe Carroll: And you didn’t lose your hair?

Simone Kent: No. It was kind of limp. I didn’t lose it.

Besides talking about her beloved Bronx Bombers, Kent makes sure her clients hear her message -- “get a yearly mammogram.” “But a lot of times some of them don’t go at all. They don’t think they need to, or they go every other year and -- a lot can happen in that year if I don’t go,” Kent said.

As of this week, her doctors say she’s cancer free. “No, I’m not thinking of retiring at all, I don’t even think about it,” Kent said.

Good news for Desrocher with her new hairdo. “Oh, it’s very exciting. It makes you feel younger, yeah,” Desrocher said.

“Just a little thing makes a difference,” added Kent.

Making a difference, from a woman who’s a cut above the rest.