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Posted on January 27, 2017 at 7:58 AM by Katie Stamy
If they say that hairdressers bring color to the world, then Allethia “Dean” Cousimano has been bringing color to Webster for 61 years!
It started in Timpson, TX when Dean was just 15 years old. She would curl her teacher’s hair using a pencil and bobby pins.
“I will never forget her,” she said. “Her name was Mrs. Wallace, and she loved the way I fixed her hair.”
One Saturday morning, Mrs. Wallace and Dean took a day trip to Center, TX where a woman walked up to the teacher and complimented her on her beautiful hair. At that moment, Dean was determined to fulfill her dream of becoming a hairdresser.
After graduating high school in 1945, Dean moved to Webster to take classes to receive her cosmetology license. Before classes started, she got a job at the Schwander Grocery Store that once stood where the Whataburger now stands. It was there that she met her husband, who she married in 1946.
He was in the Navy, which brought the pair to California in 1947. When they moved back to Texas in 1951, Dean continued on her path to being a hairdresser. She opened her first salon in South Houston, but after one of her clients had moved to Webster, she was compelled to move, as well.
She opened a hair salon on NASA Road 1 where The Hop is currently located. Within the building was a Humble Gas Station that later became Exxon, an auto repair shop, a grocery store that had a post office inside of it, and Allethia’s Beauty Shop.
She eventually moved to another location on NASA Rd. 1 before permanently moving the salon into the garage in her home in 1988. Her son, a construction worker, helped transform it into a quaint, little hair salon.
Dean, 89, retired her cosmetology license last year, but she still holds her shop license, and her daughter, Pam, has taken over the business.
“It runs in the family,” she said. “I had two cousins that became hairdressers, too.”
Although Dean is now retired, she still finds time to style her own hair each day. She also spends her spare time with her three children, eight grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.
The near 90-year-old said that although she spends most of her time relaxing at home, she still finds a way to make herself a nice meal every day.
In all the years she has been in Webster, she has seen the City develop at a rapid speed. She recalls the neighborhood that she now calls home, being just a wooded area.
“I have enjoyed my years of being a hairdresser in Webster,” Dean said.
The City appreciates Dean and her ability to bring color to Webster.