Victoria stylist’s ‘hair bank’ reaches people in need of a free cut
A Victoria hair salon owner and stylist is trading his tips for donations he’ll match to give people in need a free haircut.
When Jamie McCallum opened Community Salons on Meares Street in May, he wanted it to be a welcoming place for everyone.
“And maybe especially for people in need,” he says.
The ‘hair bank’ runs on the honour system – where people can book online or by phone and make a note they’re in need.
McCallum says it’s a concept he’s wanted to introduce for a while.
“It could be somebody who is displaced,” he says. “I’ve worked with women in transition, people in early recovery, youth at risk.”
For Lynn Edgett, it was a sandwich board on Cook Street mentioning the hair bank that pointed her to the shop. She’s trying to get back to work after a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in June 2020.
“It took my life right from under me,” she says. “It’s been trying. Stressful.”
She sat in the salon chair for the first time in months – eager and grateful to clean up the hair that’s growing back.
“It’s awesome because I wouldn’t be able to afford it right now. I just can’t.”
McCallum says that’s the case for many.
“It’s sort of a treat that not a lot of people get to experience,” he says. “I might not be able to relate to everyone in here, but as far as mental health stuff I’ve definitely had struggles in the past. It’s important to me that now that I’m sort of out of that to give back.”
People who want to contribute to the cause can call or stop in at Community Salons – and anyone looking to book a haircut can do so online or by phone.
“People are generally really grateful,” says McCallum.