At Theraputique Salon and Spa in Rockville, Maryland, business was brisk on a day when the establishment is normally closed.
That's because this Sunday was special, and the appointments came by the busload.
“When you feel good and you look good, it’s a perfect blend. And that’s exactly what we want to do for the community,” CEO Lacy Fields said.
The clients they served on Sunday were residents of Montgomery County homeless shelters. For the second year in a row, Theraputique offered them free haircuts and styling.
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These customers were coming for transformations, not just on the outside, but in their spirits.
“Things bring you down a lot and self-care and making yourself feel pretty and taken care of is very important for your state of mind,” customer Gloria Henderson said.
At the event there was hot breakfast available - courtesy of the owner’s mother – and donated clothes, with organizations like Black Girls Rockville and State Farm helping with the effort.
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But most of all, there was TLC and understanding.
“They can be judged easily, but you don’t know until you talk to that person, understanding like where they came from and how their circumstances ended up where they are now. You won’t ever know that until you talk to them," Fields said.
"We don’t really have a whole bunch of options, so to have this done, it makes us feel so much better. It gives us that, you know, there’s someone here to help you guys out, there’s someone here to look out for you girls," one client, Paige, said.
Even after they leave the stylists’ chair, there’s a rapport established and follow-up. Some of last year’s customers had good news to share.
"They call us to check in on us to see how we're doing, and it allows us to check in on them to see where they are," Fields said. "Last year we had job interviews onsite and we also had transitional homes, so I know a few of them got jobs."
And all of these customers leave feeling a little better than when they came.
“It makes me feel a little bit more confident and I feel like myself a little bit more,” Henderson said.
And the people who volunteered their Sunday to help will end the day with a sense of accomplishment that’ll be hard to rival come Monday.
“They get shampooed, they get their hair cut, they get it styled, and we know that we’re taking care of their health as well,” Fields said.