When she was a little girl, Megan Schrum used to fold towels at her motherâ€™s beauty shop.
Now, she works there and has added a new dimension to A Cut Above, the salon owned by her mother, Robin, and Kay Houser.
Schrum is one of the only people in town who does microdermabrasion, a rejuvenating skin technique.
A 2004 graduate of West Lincoln High School, Schrum attended Carolina Academy, a Gastonia cosmetology school, where she obtained a cosmetology license.
At the academy, Schrum not only studied the finer points of haircuts and coloring, but also received an education in skin care.
â€œWe have just as much skin care education as an esthetician,â€ said Schrum.
When she graduated in 2005, Schrum knew where she wanted to put her newfound skills to use, although her mother wasnâ€™t so sure. Robin encouraged her to go to a bigger shop and get more experience, but Schrum wanted to be in the salon that has always been like a second home for her.
With a little help from Raymond Elmore, who works upstairs at Aerus Electrolux, plus Larry and Brian Taylor, the women took two weeks to turn what was basically a hole in the wall into a relaxing space where Schrum could work her magic.
She started out there just doing hair. When she decided to get more into skin care, Schrum took a few more classes and then went to work at Lincoln Center for Womenâ€™s Health, where she honed her skills doing laser hair removal, laser vein treatments and, of course, microdermabrasion.
Eventually, Schrum decided to focus all her attention on doing hair at A Cut Above, adding the microdermabrasion service there.
â€œI like doing them both so much I couldnâ€™t decide,â€ she said.
Now, Schrum gets to provide her clients with all the services she enjoys doing, including cuts, coloring, perms, manicures, pedicures and microdermabrasion.
With microdermabrasion, Schrum is able to turn clientsâ€™ problem skin into gorgeous skin.
â€œEveryone gets a build up of dead skin cells on their face,â€ said Schrum.
According to Schrum, make-up, environmental factors and sun damage can all be the culprit in damaging skin. Microdermabrasion uses salt crystals and a vacuum to remove the dead skin cells. It can also help with fine lines, enlarged pores and mild scarring.
Thereâ€™s another bonus to the procedure.
â€œItâ€™s not painful at all,â€ Schrum said. â€œThereâ€™s no down time, just minimal redness for about 20 minutes.â€
Schrum describes the treatment as â€œrelaxing and spa-likeâ€ and her room at A Cut Above, decorated in aqua and chocolate brown, has the comfortable, pampering atmosphere of a spa.
Although the actual microdermabrasion doesnâ€™t take very long, Schrum says she spends 45 minutes to an hour with her clients, cleansing and exfoliating their faces before the treatment and giving a facial massage after.
She says the feedback from her customers has been very positive.
â€œThey love it,â€ said Schrum. â€œThey say itâ€™s better than a full body massage.â€
The cost for the treatment is $50, which Schrum says is lower than most other places.
â€œI want to be able to let people have a spa treatment in a spa-like atmosphere without emptying their pockets,â€ she said.
Schrum says she plans to stay at A Cut Above, doing microdermabrasion as well as the other salon services she has offered all along. She says wedding and prom work, as well as coloring, are her specialties.
And sheâ€™s doing it all in the place where she spent so many happy hours as a child.
â€œI really like it here,â€ said Schrum. â€œI know most of my customers and I have a really good relationship with them.â€
A Cut Above is located at 318 E. Sycamore St. in the building that houses Main Street CafÐ¹. It is the former Gamble Hospital, which recently received a plaque from the Downtown Development Association in recognistion of 20 years of success. The phone number is (704) 735-3502.
by Allyson Levine