May 30, 2020

The hairdresser who helps the homeless

Random acts of kindness are more important now than ever before. As the world goes through trying times we need to focus on the positive things in life, and there are plenty around if we just open our eyes to see them. Too often we go through our daily lives and fail to notice the people around us, the good deeds taking place and the opportunity to do good ourselves. One recent example tried to solve all three problems.

Katie Stellar is a hairstylist in Minneapolis. She is a woman with a purpose. Although she runs her own hair salon she also takes the time to take one of her chairs to the streets. She takes a red chair from the salon and wheels it around the city, offering people haircuts. The reason she does this is to give back to her community, to get to know her community better and to give these people more self-confidence and pride.  Homeless people often say they feel invisible to the world and she wanted to make them visible again.

Her first haircut was an elderly gentleman who was wearing old clothes, had lost many teeth and was balding. He was sitting on the side of the highway when Stellar pulled up and offered him a hair cut. The man beamed a toothless smile that Stellar will never forget. He needed to attend a funeral later in the week and was hoping to get a haircut somehow. Stellar’s timing was perfect. She returned to her salon and grabbed a chair and started to cut the man’s hair on the side of the street.  He told her his life story about how he became homeless and why he lived in Minneapolis. He told her how he wanted to be closer to his kids and how he talks to his mother every day. She made him feel like a person again and he warmed her heart.

Since that day Stellar has done about 30 of these haircuts. She is also running a separate program in her salon where she offers free haircuts to anyone who is doing their own random act of kindness initiative. 

To date, Stellar has found that she has helped people reunite with loved ones, get new jobs, and most of all,  become visible again. One of the biggest issues these people face is loneliness and simply having the opportunity to be seen makes them feel like a part of the world and less of an outsider. The powerful work that Stellar does is an example to us all. While it can seem difficult at first, there are acts of kindness you can do every day. Give it a go and see what impact it has on your world.