Rebecca believes salons have a long history of being an integral part of the community. After six years of working with L'OREAL PROFESSIONNEL as a national educator in New York and achieving her long time goals of working Fashion week and influencing hairstylists nationally, she decided it was time to give back.
Haircuts with Heart provides haircuts, manicures, and makeup applications for the Bay Area’s underserved communities; including people experiencing homelessness, and veterans and their families. These services are provided completely free of charge.
In 2016, after styling hair for over 30 years and dedicating my life to the beauty industry and opening my own studio, I realized I could no longer pass the increasing number of homeless people in my community without doing something about it. I didn't have money to give, so I asked myself what could I give? I decided free haircuts would be my act of compassion. After a conversation with a client, Haircuts with Heart was born. I immediately started calling organizations who serve the homeless and underserved and asked if they would be interested in my services, and the answer was a resounding YES.
In a little over two years we have hosted 20 events and served over 1,000 guests. Our strategy is to build trust and to establish frequent contact to nourish our guests and contributing partners.
When Haircuts with Heart partners with a community based organization, we set up a pop up salon at their site and serve approximately 50 people at each event. We recruit local, licensed, volunteer hair stylists, barbers, makeup artists and manicurists, who all volunteer their time.
Although a haircut can be thought of as a small gesture, our guests have said they “feel normal,” “proud of how I look,” and that it is “nice to be touched.” Our volunteer stylists have been told “thank you for not forgetting about us” and other similar sentiments. We believe our services help our guests approach the next steps in their lives.
We recently heard from a guest that we served two years ago who found us on Facebook. She is no longer homeless. She sent us this message, “I’ve been looking for you! That day was so amazing, I want to come volunteer.”
Some of our clients:
Center for Empowerment of Refugees & Immigrants
Alameda Boys & Girls Club
Oakland Elizabeth House
Berkeley Women's Drop In Center
Berkeley Food & Housing Project- Men and Women's Shelter
Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency(BOSS)