That’s why the six stylists and two assistants opened the doors of the salon Sunday to offer a free cut to anyone in the community who was jobless and actively seeking work.
“The main purpose is to inspire others in looking and finding a job by making them feel their best,” salon manager Shea Dale said.
The “Job Fair for Your Hair” event drew 31 people, who munched on refreshments and browsed information from Georgia Northwestern Technical College and local work staffing agencies while they waited their turn in a hairdresser’s chair.
Annie Eldridge said health complications forced her out of her job during her pregnancy last year, and she has had a hard time finding other work.
As a new mom with a 9-month-old baby at home, she said a $30 hair cut and style is beyond her means — and that’s not a good feeling.
“I was nervous and almost ashamed, but I knew there’s enough people going through it with me,” Eldridge said.
But she said stylist and owner Holly Moore’s soothing touch changed her mood.
“They’ve made me feel welcome,” she said, adding that Moore even gave her free hair styling products.
Eldridge said the haircut renewed her confidence, and she is encouraged to continue her search for work.
Moore said a friend with an Athens-based business came up with the idea of a free haircut day, and they decided to offer the service on the same day.
“Hair is the first impression, and if you’re happy with it you’ll smile and present yourself at your best,” she said. “Any time you lose a job, it’s easy to become isolated. We want people to know we realize they’re having a hard time.”
Moore said she might offer another “Job Fair for Your Hair” in the fall, if the need remains.
She said the recession is hitting salons too, as people cut back on spending, but customers walking out of Sunday’s event with smiles on their faces said they expect to be back when their finances improve.