Love, Hair and Happiness warms up a winter day in Canton

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Love, Hair and Happiness warms up a winter day in Canton

Categories: News

CANTON, February 13, 2022

Tryston Ross remained motionless and face down on a small table while Barbara Jean Winston gently touched his skin.

Ross, a Canton South High School student, was receiving the Bowen therapy technique massage. He was among beneficiaries of free services like haircuts, manicures and massages Sunday at the YWCA’s annual Love, Hair and Happiness event.

The event provides grooming services to those who are homeless or living in shelters and supportive housing facilities. Several barbers and beauty salon workers donated skills of their respective crafts free of charge to the guests.

“The purpose is to show support and compassion to those who are homeless,” said Shana Smith, executive director of the YWCA, while cradling an infant whose mother is a YWCA emergency shelter resident. “This is my first time participating. I think they are anticipating about 100 people (guests) throughout the day.”

While Love, Hair and Happiness has been an annual event, Smith just completed her first year as executive director of the YWCA. The event was not held in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

As for Ross, he was the recipient of what masseuse Barbara Jean Winston refers to as “a soft tissue release.”

“I am just helping him heal himself,” said Winston, who operates Sacred Healing. “He is just a bowl of jelly. I am unwinding a lot of stuff (toxins)  that was caught up in his body.”

Ross, 15, said he arrived at the YWCA Sunday feeling tight from athletic activities. But after the treatment, he felt “really nice, relaxed,” he said. “I do (weight) lifting and stuff.;”

What is Love, Hair and Happiness?

The event is largely organized by Yvonne Reese, operator of Salon Yvonne in the North Canton area.

“This is the sixth year,” said Reese, who also is a member of the local YWCA board. “We have 82 volunteers.”

Along with haircuts and manicures, there was food served at the event. The treats included pizza, pasta, green beans, pastry and soft drinks. These were donated from various local food vendors.

One of the big supporters is Beaver Excavating. Volunteers wore white T-shirts with red lettering that said “Love, Hair & Happiness.”

“This is really a nice event,” Smith said. “I was amazed by the number of volunteers.

Some volunteers were minors, such as Emma Frazier, a student at Sandy Valley High School. Frazier spent much of her time at the arts and crafts table, which was set up to provide recreation for children who accompany a parent.

The event was “really nice,” Frazier, 16, said. “I think we will be back next year.”

Spreading the love

Reese said she hopes to use her connection with the YWCA to inspire others to hold such events.

“My goal is to have every city do something like this,” Reese said. “I would love for other YWCAs that have the facilities to do this every year. This is my way to give to the community.”

One guest was Leonard Barger, who got a haircut from barber Joe Ianni.

“I needed a haircut,” Barger said. “Free is always good.”

The event was expected to attract residents who live such residential facilities as the Refuge of Hope, Gateway I, Gateway II, New Beginnings and in the emergency shelter within the YWCA.

Reese deliberately schedules Love, Hair and Happiness to coincide with Valentine’s Day “to give them some love.”


Article from Canton Repository. Click here to view.