Homeless single mothers get special style

Homeless single mothers get special style

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MIDVALE, Utah — Dozens of single mothers at Life Start Village in Midvale, Utah, sport new haircuts for Mother’s Day, thanks to the generosity of a local hair stylist.

Yoshi Shiraki, who works at Kami Hair in Holladay, Utah, said he provided the free haircuts just because he wanted to do something nice for mothers who face hardship and challenges.

The mothers at the Family Support Center’s Life Start Village come from a variety of difficult backgrounds that included physical abuse, substance dependency and poverty. The village helps homeless single mothers and their children transition from dependency to self sufficiency. The village provides housing for 54 families.

“I think it is fantastic that someone decided to offer this kind of service,” said a mother who declined to be identified.

“This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this, although I have worked with kids in Special Olympics,” Shiraki said.

He said he discussed the Mother’s Day haircut idea with his wife, who agreed it would be a worthwhile project.

He said he originally planned to donate a single day of haircuts, but had an overwhelming response from women at the village. To accommodate the need, he scheduled cuts for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The women he clipped were not aware that Shiraki spent 18 years cutting and combing the locks of rich and famous clients in New York City who paid up to $500 for a single session. He trained at what is arguably the most prestigious hair school in the world, the Vidal Sassoon Academy in London, England. He then worked for Vidal Sassoon at its salon on Fifth Avenue.

His New York clientele included celebrities like Anderson Cooper, Joan Osborne and Mathew Broderick.

Shiraki grew up in Utah and returned here a little over a year ago to work at the Kami Hair Salon owned by his parents.

Flint Stephens has a Master's degree in communications from Brigham Young University. He is author of "Mormon Parenting Secrets: Time-Tested Methods for Raising Exceptional Children." His blog is www.mormonparentingsecrets.com.


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