60 years of hair-dos, 85 years of Winna Dean

Jun 25, 2024

At 85 years old, Onset’s Winna Dean might hold the title of the most experienced hairdresser in town. 

Since 1964, Dean has been cutting hair from her Union Avenue salon, and still does so today.

Over the years, the salon took on different names, from Hair-do Haven to Winna’s Total Image to just Total Image – but it had one defining feature: Winna, who has been the face of the salon from the start.

Winna doesn’t cut as much hair as she used to – now only seeing three clients–  but her legacy still holds strong.

“Winna was the only one that could do everybody’s hair,” said Wareham resident and Winna’s longtime friend Ralph Grassia. “She’s an amazingly talented person.”

Younger clientele and coworkers help her stay up to date with new styles, Winna said.

“I’m very glad to still be able to stand up and do hair at 85,” she said.

Winna’s path to becoming an Onset fixture was filled with challenges. 

Winna’s daughter, Tarra Dean, explained that before her mom could open her salon in Onset, she had to get a bank loan – something that was unduly difficult for a woman of color in 1964.

“When she walked in [the bank], nobody would even talk to her,” Tarra Dean said.

It was only when Winna secured a loan from her parents, that she was able to start her salon in Onset. 

Then in 1977, Hair-do Haven burnt down in an electrical fire, forcing Winna to relocate to a temporary space until a deathbed gift from her father in 1993 let her renovate and return to the scorched salon. 

According to Tarra Dean, while Winna was the hairdresser that residents “had to go see” if they wanted a good haircut, her influence extends beyond the walls of her hair salon.

Over the years, Winna has been involved in Onset as a member of the Wareham Fire District Prudential Committee, a volunteer at Spinney Memorial Library, and as a founder of the Onset Blues Festival.  

“[Winna] has put down the foundation for so many things in this town,” Grassia said. 

There isn’t a corner of Onset with something good that Winna doesn’t have less than a touch in, according to Grassia.

Perhaps Winna's involvement is also reflected in her personality.

“[Winna] is just absolutely the most caring, most giving person,” Grassia said. “She always thinks of what’s good for everybody.”

Maybe most important of all, Winna is also a supportive mom, Tarra Dean said.

“I hit the lottery with a mother,” Tarra Dean said. “I am grateful every single day.”

Tarra Dean now owns the studio previously owned by her mother, now called TarraDean Studio. The studio is celebrating its 60th anniversary on June 30 with an open house from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 6 Union Ave. in Onset.

Winna said she’s proud of her daughter for taking over the salon.

“I’m so fortunate that she’s done better than I would ever think of doing,” Winna said.