Stafford hair salon slammed after employees mock 10-year-old girl recovering from stage 4 cancer
The Imperial Salon & Day Spa faced heavy criticism on social media after staffers working there mistreated a 10-year-old girl recovering from cancer
A hair salon in Stafford, Virginia, is facing heavy criticism after staffers allegedly working in the salon mistreated a 10-year-old girl battling stage four cancer. Employees at the Imperial Salon & Day Spa were accused of mocking Iliana — who is only just growing her hair back after her Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma went into remission — repeatedly by telling her she looked like a boy.
The incident was brought to light by Iliana's aunt, Shelle Jones, who posted what happened at the salon on her Facebook page. She said that after the employees mocked her niece, the issue was escalated to the management, but no one was willing to take any action.
She uploaded a photo of a dejected Iliana, writing, "This is my 10-year-old niece, who many of you know has spent the most of 2018 battling stage 4 cancer. She has recently gone into remission, and her hair is beginning to grow back. Last night, she went with her mom for a special evening, and this is a picture of her after the nail techs in this salon kept telling her she looked like a boy the entire time. My sister escalated the issue to the manager and the response was underwhelming. Please help me share this message. No one deserves to feel the way this salon made my niece feel."
The post soon went viral across social media, with several thousand sharing it and slamming the salon for the poor behavior of its employees. Many took to Google and Yelp to give the salon one-star ratings to tank its overall reputation, while others flooded their Facebook page and called for prospective visitors to boycott it.
The furor reached a point where the owners of the salon, who said they were away in training on the day the incident occurred, were forced to respond and issue an apology to Iliana and her family. They said they have handled the "sensitive matter" and also promised that "things are changing" and that they "will be better".
"As imperial salon and day spa we have handled this very sensitive matter," the statement read. "We do not now or ever support any of our employees making comments to any of our amazing clients. We value each and everyone who walks into our spa."
Addressing Iliana's mother directly, they wrote, "We deeply apologize that this has happened. We would love to meet with you and your daughter to formally apologize. Your daughter and any other cancer survivor and fighter have our complete support," and that "Myself Don and Julie owners of Imperial Salon and Day Spa would like you to know from the bottom of our hearts how deeply sorry we are."
They added, "We would also like to apologize to our clients and everyone. If anyone ever has an issue please do tell us. We value each and everyone who walks into the door at our spa. Things are changing here at the Spa and we promise we will be better."
The owners also said they will be "changing our spa to make sure each and every client feels respected and beautiful" and that they "will be having training on how to speak and handle clients in an appropriate manner."