Hair salon gives monthly haircuts to the blind

Published 7:33 pm Monday, July 17, 2017

Sarah Watson walked into the Blind Center last Tuesday with a smile and a pair of scissors, ready to cut the hair of her new clients.

“How does it feel?” the Capelli Salon hairdresser would ask them.

That’s because her clients couldn’t see what she was doing — most of them were completely blind.

Watson gave free haircuts for blind or low-vision clients as part of a new, monthly community partnership. Once a month, Capelli Salon will give free haircuts to the clients of the Blind Center.

“I’m a huge advocate for community involvement, and I believe we can all do more together,” Liz Liles, Blind Center executive director, said. “I saw an opportunity for partnership. It’s basically just bringing needs and skills together.”

Liles said there are many things that people with sight take for granted, including getting a simple haircut. Many of her clients, for various reasons, aren’t able to get a haircut, so this partnership helps satisfy one of the needs at the center.

Liles said not only do her clients receive a boost of confidence, but they also get to feel a sense of community.
“For them to know this salon is taking time to come out to the center, they are just appreciative. They are appreciative to be acknowledged and loved,” Liles said.

While Watson said the experience was unlike any environment she’s been in before, it still felt like she was just relaxing and cutting hair. She enjoyed the atmosphere and the friendly camaraderie between the women and herself.

“It was a funny crowd. The first woman sat down and she couldn’t see it, but she knew exactly what the haircut needed to feel like. When I got done with each section, she said she needed to feel it. She’d feel it, and say, ‘What about back here?’” Watson said.

A haircut can make someone feel brand new. It can be a confidence booster, and Watson said she’s sure that even though the women weren’t able to see the haircut, they still felt good about the change.

“When I get my haircut, it’s a boost in morale. It makes you feel good. You want to show it off. I definitely feel like it made them feel good. The smiles on their faces were huge,” Watson said.

The hairdressers at Capelli Salon will take turns giving haircuts at the Blind Center. The next haircut is slated for Aug. 8.