GLASGOW, Ky. – Back to school season means time for new opportunities and fresh starts. For some, this time of year is hard as it demands high financial sacrifices. For some area students, part of the stress was alleviated Sunday as an area salon provided free haircuts.
Owner of Serenity Salon and Spa Jennifer Bailey says she started providing free haircuts in her business three years ago. Bailey says she started the initiative because of her involvement in pageantry. She also says her childhood fuels her desire to give back to the community.
“My upbringing was quite rough,” Bailey says. “My mother and I were homeless at one point in time. So, at the point I am in life right now – being able to give back is something that is very important to me. I always say a volunteer’s heart is the biggest heart. That’s what started this free haircuts.”
While some of Bailey’s regular clienteles came to the Sunday afternoon event, several came that had never walked into the salon. Summara Deschesne says she brought her children in after seeing the event advertised on Facebook. Deschesne tells WCLU News even the cheapest haircuts in town make it hard to get her children’s haircut. She says she usually resorts to cutting their hair herself but decided to take the opportunity to get it cut by a professional for free.
“I don’t really get five dollars that often to, I guess, put it toward kind of a luxury,” Deschesne says. “If I really need to cut his hair, I usually could kind of cut it all off versus my daughter, who’s out there now – I don’t like touching her hair because I don’t want to mess it up.”
Bailey is working on starting a non-profit organization called “Cuts on Wheels.” She says she has experience cutting hair on the road as she used to go to back-to-school events and the area Boys and Girls Club.
“And, I used to go to the back-to-school bashes and set up and do the free cuts there,” Bailey says. “That was kind of hard. Kids are busy – they don’t want to sit down and get the free cuts. So, when I took ownership of Serenity three years ago, I decided to bring it to the salon. We also go to the Boys and Girls Club and do free cuts there.”
Bailey got her start in the business when she was 10-years-old. Her mother, Sharon Vance, was an inspiration for her to cut hair. Vance says she couldn’t be prouder of Bailey’s initiative and pageantry platform.
“It makes me proud that she follows in my footsteps, even though I wasn’t a hairdresser for that long,” Vance says. “She has found something she likes to do.”
Customer Tracy Lafollette says she frequents the salon, but she doesn’t get her hair cut there. She decided her bring her son Otto to the event.
“She’s always smiling. She’s just a wonderful lady,” Lafollette says. “We love coming in here. Otto comes in with me when I do my nails. The ladies are always kind and friendly to him. They’ve never said anything about when he comes in. He’s always welcomed in here.”
While Bailey leads the event, she doesn’t do everything alone. Seven stylists and a few queens also helped take on the crowd.
Emily Hume stood in a tiara and sash Sunday as parents and children walked into the salon. Hume says she met Bailey through pageantry and decided to help the initiative. Hume is a teacher in Spencer County.
“The pageant that we were sister queens through was Amerifest, and its motto was ‘it’s more than just,’” Hume says. “It’s kind of, it’s more than just about the crown and about the sash and the title you have. It’s about what you do with it. Even though I’m not a title holder with that system anymore, I still love serving my community. Of course, as a teacher you serve your community every day, and that’s your job. Any opportunity I get to serve children, in any capacity, is very heartfelt to me. It mans a lot to me.”
In total, 114 haircuts were completed Sunday. School supplies and shoes were also given out for children.
Area school systems are set to begin this week. Barren County students return Wednesday and Glasgow students return Friday.