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Inspiring Stories
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The hairdresser who cuts hair for free for the most needy in her town


Gentileza María López.

María in her hairdressing salon in El Ejido

Merche Crespo - published on 03/06/23

Maria realizes that a simple haircut and a change of image can change and improve a person's future.

María López opened her hairdressing salon a few months ago after a lot of hard work and effort. In fact, before opening the business she was studying and working at the same time, cutting hair at people’s homes and packing vegetables at local warehouses.

She’s aware that to earn a living and have a minimum of economic stability you have to work hard. But she knows that there are many people who have a hard time.

A project at her school

Even when she was just studying hairdressing, she started a project at her school to help others. “There we had the idea of cutting the hair of the most needy. We wanted to support unemployed women and we contacted the Red Cross to carry out this initiative,” she says.

The initiative was very successful and María saw that many of the people who were helped were able to improve their lives. She’s aware that “changing your appearance is very important when looking for work.”

Giving makeovers

That’s when she decided to continue helping people without resources, especially after bumping into a woman in her neighborhood every day who was always on the street asking for something to eat. One day she decided to stop and talk with her.

“She told me that she couldn’t find work because she had no resources, so I gave her a new hairstyle and she promised to look for a job.” Maria assured her that she would also help her with makeup, photos, and a résumé so she could apply for a job interview.

Boosting confidence

Maria is aware that a simple haircut and a change of image can change and improve a person’s future.

With these small gestures, she can alleviate the needs of many people and facilitate their job search. In this seemingly simple way, she also manages to increase her clients’ confidence and sense of dignity.

She recognizes that this work “is very nice and the people she helps are very happy and grateful”.

Always welcoming

The only requirement she asks for in order for people to get a free haircut or to get their hair dyed is a document proving that they have no resources or that they are unemployed.

There’s no specific day for them to go to the salon. Her establishment is always open for all those who cannot afford it. One of her motivational phrases is, “Do it with passion or change your profession.”

Being a good person

Since her salon started with this initiative, she’s received constant kudos and congratulations. However, she knows “what it’s like to have a hard time; it’s happened to me. In fact, I still have to deny myself many things,” she says.

This is what drives her to help. The most important lesson life has taught her is that “you have to be a good person to be a good hairdresser.”

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