When a Hairstyle Means More than Just a New Look

Last Monday, Patrice from CommunPR coordinated The New You Project at Randolph Cree Salon on Capitol Hill for the women at Calvary. A team of stylists, manicurists, and a make-up artist pampered residents of our programs for an entire day. One of the stylists had this Audrey Hepburn quote framed on his desk that accurately set the mood for the event:

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.”

As a stylist, he felt that this first step of change (on the outside) will open women up to seeing themselves, as well as others, in a new way.

For me, my hair has always been a part of who I am and how I see myself. It wasn’t until college that I chopped off my long, brown hair. For me it symbolized my youth, my sense of carefree living, and natural beauty. It was an emotional event when I went to a stylist and my friends convinced me to try a more sophisticated, chic hairstyle. I put up a bit of resistance, but in the end, loved the change and felt my new look better represented who I was at this point in my life.

There was a bit of hesitation in the salon last week as well. Some of the women had never had never worn makeup, others did not typically style their natural hair and were more accustomed to a wig or braids instead. But a bit of make-up, hair styling, and manicuring symbolized a greater message of overcoming fears and building self-esteem in the process.

“I do not wear make-up. This is not me, I’m a tom boy. Mary, this is not me. I can’t believe it,” said a resident after having makeup on for the first time. Still, she stared in the mirror, eyes surveying the new hairdo, made-up eyes, cheeks highlighted with blush, and sparkling lips with a smile. She was one of the women that had never had makeup on her face before. “Take my picture. I have to send it to my mom and my son. They’ve never seen me look like this before,” said another resident. I took photos of all the women so that they would have a photo to remember this day.

In the end, the women overcame their initial apprehensions. The Randolph Cree make-up artist, salon stylists, and manicurists did much more than impact the women’s outer looks. The women were happy with their updated looks, saw new side of themselves, and were able to trust the hands that were helping them.

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