Bronson salon is a cut above for the jobless

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

Spiraling downward.  Unending.  Stripes of red, white and blue.   

Was it really just a spinning barber pole outside a local salon?  

Or, was it a symbol echoing the feelings of so many Americans trying to get ahead, only to find they are getting further behind? Or maybe a helping hand?

The sign out front, sandwiched between an enormous pair of scissors and a comb, read “The Hair Experts.”

And the people inside, much like the canary yellow paint job on the outside seemed to suggest, were pleasant and welcoming.  And for the last four weeks, on Mondays, they’ve been volunteering and giving free haircuts to the people who need them most:  People with little money who are looking for work or children from low-income families.

Theresa Adams, owner of Shear Expressions, said she did it “to help the community.  Everything else is going up.  We thought we’d give them a little break…just because times are tough.”

Adams said her salon was giving about 15 to 20 free haircuts on Mondays—half of them to children—and then, after a local TV news channel did a piece on her business,  about 141 people showed for haircuts.

Adams said she’s no longer running the haircut special, but she admitted she has established a rapport with a few local schoolteachers who, on occasion, bring a needy child to her attention.

“I am glad to provide for any kid that needs a haircut,” she said.

Valery Clark, Adams’ daughter, also works at the salon and said she regularly gives free manicures to special-needs and handicapped children.

“It’s just something to make their day,” she said.  “They never get their nails painted.  They never get to go in a salon.  These little girls have never been pampered.”

Clark said she enjoys it because she gets to help impart a sense of self-worth and importance.

And as far as the haircuts go, she said the public has responded favorably, especially families with a lot of children.

She said she’s seen a lot of people suffering from unemployment. “Either them or their spouse or their adult child … pretty much everyone has someone out of work.”

But she also said she’s optimistic about the future.

“We’ve heard from more than a few clients about getting jobs.”