Anna Jones first opened “John’s Super Hair” in Governor Francis Plaza in 1963. Now 50 years later, she is taking the time to reflect on it all – and go golfing in the afternoon.
“I know what I am looking forward to,” Anna says in reference to her new schedule. She now comes in the morning to style hair and more importantly, socialize with her friends, also known as her clients.
Jones started the salon with her brother John, originally calling it “Governor Francis Beauty Salon,” renaming the shop in 1969 following a stint by her brother John studying hair dressing in New York City.
In the years since, “John’s” has grown into a focal point within the community, becoming a place for Jones’ “Old faithfuls” to come back again and again for an affordable haircut. She has watched families grow through the years and now many customers come in with their children and their grandchildren. For Jones, those who come in regularly are like a family. On a recent visit to the shop her clients reflected that she is cutting hair better than ever.
In all the years, Jones has also been a witness to the shifts and changes in hairstyles. They came and went with bangs and the “pixie cut” making a return. She considers hairstyles today to be more casual. In her time, she followed the styles through the Rhode Island Chapter of the National Cosmetology Association, where she served on the board for 20 years and later as president for six.
She has also taken notice of her neighbors in the plaza and how they intersect with her business. The shop was originally designated as a salon because there was Governor Francis Barbershop already in the plaza when she opened up. There was never a rivalry; they just catered to different clients.
The early morning rush of coffee drinkers to the Coffee Grinder has also caught her attention. She is impressed with the business the novelty coffee shop attracts.
Jones has not given much thought to the future of the shop. Her two daughters have both settled into careers outside of the hair dressing business and according to Jones, the last thing her two grandsons, one a recent Hendricken graduate, want to do is go into the hair salon business. Still, Jones goes on with John’s Super Hair.
She said she enjoys the work, enjoys the clients and has no burnout. Plus with the promise of a tee-time in the afternoon, a morning of work does not seem so bad.
“Follow what you really like and you’ll never get tired of it,” she advised a college sophomore who stopped in the salon Wednesday.
Jones also donates her time and expertise. Every other week she visits the Pilgrim Senior Center to give manicures.
“Some women have never had one,” she said, “they hold up their hands and simply can’t say anything.”
Jones closes down the shop around midday and heads off to the golf course at the Harbor Lights Marina and Country Club. She’s proud to say she has a handicap of 28.
“It is a little bit better than middle of the road,” she said.
She also believes that if you meet her in the shop or on the course, you will be interacting with the same Anna Jones because she does not take golf too seriously. Just like styling hair in the shop, it is relaxation for her.
You can find John’s Super Hair at 955 Namquid Dr. in Warwick. Jones welcomes new and old clients alike.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS: Anna Jones in her Governor Francis Plaza hair salon, John’s Super Hair. (Warwick Beacon photo)