Hair salon offering jobless a kinder cut on Tuesdays

Published: Monday, March 16, 2009
By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff

NORTH BRANFORD — With a recession in full swing, many local families have been scrimping on luxuries, perhaps cooking at home more, or swapping a night out at the movies for a rental.

Christina Pepe, co-owner of La Bella Hair Salons on Branford Road, said she has noticed another symptom: clients going longer between haircuts or skipping them altogether.

Pepe and her mother, Bernadette, with whom she owns the salon, decided to create a promotion for unemployed residents.

On Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., they are offering what are normally $55 haircuts for $5 each.

“We started noticing it a lot — people not coming to get their hair done,” Pepe said. “People are waiting months to get haircuts.”

Pepe said the salon will be asking customers for some proof that they are unemployed, but the discount can extend to family members as well.

The promotion has been going on for about two weeks already, and Pepe said that about 10 people have taken advantage of it.

Hairdressers at the salon have heard from some customers who have lost their jobs, and have also noticed fewer people coming through the doors. But Pepe said that people who are not already clients at the salon are also welcome to take advantage of the $5 haircuts.

“We’re really trying to help, so even if these people don’t come back, we want to help them,” she said.

She added that the salon could provide a relaxing environment for people dealing with economic stresses.

“We honestly feel so bad, so that’s why (we’re doing this) — at least haircuts still make you feel good and look better,” she said. “Just to get away from the stressful environment and come in for a $5 haircut.”

The salon, in the Central Shopping Plaza at 280 Branford Road, will be offering the promotion every Tuesday.

Its normal hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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