Shandra Scheidel knew at an early age she wanted be a hair stylist. “Since I was probably three I always wanted to do hair,” said Scheidel, owner of The Heitz a Comstock Park hair salon. “Every doll I got, I cut its hair, I curled all my girlfriends’ hair.”
After graduating from Chic University of Cosmetology in 1992, Scheidel went to work in the hair salon and barber shop in the Alpine Avenue Meijer until she bought her own salon, then called April’s, at 3948 West River Drive in 1996. She said April’s had been in previous owner April Bonser’s family since the 1940’s. “My mom went there, and I started coming (to April’s) when I was five,” said Scheidel. “I worked (at April’s) as a receptionist.”
Scheidel grew up in Comstock Park, she lives in Comstock Park, and her children, ages 16, 13, and 10, go to Comstock Park schools. So it was natural for her to locate her business in Comstock Park. “I love the community,” she said. “I wanted to be able to build connections within the community for my kids, and I knew what a supporting community Comstock Park would be to be able to have a thriving business. “That has definitely proven true.”
Scheidel said she has recently invested in an additional business becoming a color line specialist and distributor for All Nutrient Hair Care Products, and she does shows for stylists to demonstrate the products and techniques. Besides sharing ideas for new styles and techniques with each other, continuing education for Scheidel and her three stylists includes hair style magazines and newsletters, and Internet sites such as YouTube and Pinterest. “It (the Internet) provides us a way to get out of the box instead of just what books show,” she said. “We urge people to bring pictures in.”
It’s likely that miles of hair have fallen in the tiny shop (about 800 square feet) over the decades, and Scheidel has donated some of that to Locks of Love, an organization that uses donated hair to provide hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss. Scheidel feels it’s important to her to give back to the community that has supported her business. She and her stylists participate in community and school benefits, donating hair services and products. If they know of someone is in financial need due to medical or other setbacks, they put a jar on the counter and take up a collection. Scheidel said she spends a portion of her advertising dollars putting ads in the school’s yearbook and in the programs for school events.
Scheidel has made an observation about men, women, and hair over the years. “I find that guys are more particular about hair,” she said. “I think women have learned to be more flexible. “I’ve had guys take measurements to make sure it’s (hair) an exact length.”
Scheidel said streetscape the Downtown Development Authority did almost 20 years ago went beyond the physical improvements. “There’s a definite sense of community,” she said. “It’s nice to see the town take care of itself, see people take pride, see the new businesses come in.”