Beauty Inc. Bids Farewell After 60 Years


It’s great to have active members in the Historical Society. Sometimes, like cats, they bring you treats. Member Sandy Nance contacted me recently about the passage of some local history:

A Wheat Ridge institution will be closing March 30 on its 60th anniversary. Beauty Inc. is believed to be the oldest woman-owned business in Wheat Ridge. It’s more than just a hair salon — more like a major social center full of news about Wheat Ridge. 

Dolores (“Dee”) Lombardi was a North Denver native who purchased Beauty Inc. (then located in North Denver) in 1964 from her boss. That was a gutsy move for a recently divorced mother of two to make in an age when it was uncommon for women to own businesses, but Dee had a reputation as a lively, independent spirit blessed with determination. Dee’s large Italian family helped, answering phones, sweeping hair. Her daughter Pauletta started coming in at age 11. Her sister became a stylist. 

In 1981, Dee made the big move to buy property at 44th and Jay in Wheat Ridge. She built her new salon to match the vibe she wanted to create — a culture where everyone was welcomed like family. Open. No private booths. Everyone joined in the conversations. No need to advertise. Customers spread the word. Men would accompany their wives to the salon to sit and chat, and many got haircuts.

Donna Comito, a customer for the whole 60 years, said, “It was a place for socialization. All my friends went there. It was a fun place to be. We laughed a lot. I never thought of going anywhere else.”

Then Dee was powering through leukemia, still working and making people laugh, until the end in September 2021. The family has tried to keep the salon going, but as stylists retired and customers aged, the business of running a salon proved too much.

A farewell open house is planned for March 30 from 1-4 p.m. for all current and former customers and stylists.

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