Karen Hazelton cuts Evelyn Duncan's hair in the parking lot of the Cherry Street Mission as part of Project Daymaker. The program, which came to the mission for the first time last year, offers free haircuts and stress-relieving massages to the homeless and to low-income families.
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Muggy weather might give some people bad hair days, but at the Cherry Street Mission yesterday, volunteers gave others their best hair in months.
Stylists from seven area salons gave shampoos and haircuts in the parking lot for seven hours, to help those who can't afford to pay $10 or more for a haircut.
“I curl my hair and make it look as nice as I can,” Cheryl Gleis said as she sat on a stool, damp hair clipped out of the way over her face.
But her money has to go to diapers for her 4-month-old rather than haircuts.
Her hair was last cut about four months ago when a salon in Maumee invited the women of Aurora House, a shelter where she was staying, she said.
As a stylist cut a couple of inches off her hair, she said, “I just think it's nice, when you live in transitional housing, that they put the time in to help us look nice.”
The volunteers, part of Project Daymaker, hoped to do 100 haircuts, and had done about 35 in the first two hours, said Sally Lindsay.
The project offers free haircuts and stress-relieving massages to the homeless and low-income families, she said.
Project Daymaker came to the Cherry Street Mission for the first time last year. It began in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Kentucky in 1995, and since has expanded to states from New York to California. “We've been able to touch a lot of people,” Ms. Lindsay said.
Frederic Holzberger, owner of a Fairfield, Ohio, company that distributes hair-care products, donated a 34-foot mobile home and the money to turn it into a rolling salon.
He previously had donated money for beauty care centers, but the mobile salon allows the volunteer stylists to travel where they are needed.
The inside looks just like a small beauty salon, with a row of three mirrors and stools along one side, a sink for washing hair, and a station for hand and arm massages.
“We've got everything here, except doing color,” stylist Nicole Cascaddensaid.
The work wasn't only going on inside. Evelyn Duncan and her daughter had their hair cut while sitting on folding chairs in the parking lot, near two massage stations.
Working outside without adjustable stools, mirrors, or blow-dryers was not a challenge for the volunteers.
“It's kind of fun changing things up a little,” said Carrie Ruymann, cutting the 12-year-old's hair.
Ms. Duncan said she let Karen Hazelton, who with her husband owns Salon Hazelton, choose the style of her cut. Volunteers from the Perrysburg salon planned to be there until noon.
Ms. Duncan went inside to take a peek in the mirror and have her hair blow-dried. She saw her auburn curls hanging just below her shoulders and pronounced it a success.
“I love it,” she said.