CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — School supplies and a backpacks aren’t always the only things students need before they go back to school. Looking good is important to many students on their first day back too.
Meche Beauty and Boutique decided to give away free cuts to students going back to school in order to give back to the community during a pandemic that could be putting economic stress on parents.
“We didn’t want kids to go and we don’t want them to be made fun or look like 'wow I couldn’t do that' and so we just wanted to bring that smile and joy to them by offering these free haircuts,” Justin Melton, the owner, said.
The boutique and barber salon also knew that many students may be scared and nervous to go back to school after many weren’t able to attend in-person last year. That’s why they knew interaction with the kids was key to making the event successful.
“Last year everybody was at home and sometimes it’s kind of depressing to stay inside all the time. With this pandemic it’s just kind of like…just to give back and you know help the parents out,” said Mercedez Melton, Justin’s wife and also co-owner of the salon.
Right before the event, a few of their stylists caught the COVID-19 virus, and knowing they didn’t want to cancel the event, they decided to recruit students from Blessed Hands Barber Cosmetology College and Hair Expressions Barber School to give barber students real-world experience.
Mark Breon is one of those students. He attends Hair Expressions Barber School. He’s been attending the school for about six months but has been going to barber school for about two years because the pandemic forced him to switch barber schools. He said this kind of event is helping him to interact with other barbers, which helps him get the skills he needs for the job.
“You’re making the client feel better as a person after a good haircut. It’s just something I enjoy and that’s what I want to put on other people,” Breon said.
James Garcia is another student that attends Hair Expressions, and is also cousins with Mercedez Melton. He’s been attending the school since February and was motivated by his cousin to go to school to become a barber. He said this event helped him learn some of the skills he needed to join the family business.
“Like any other trade it’s tough learning the process, but once you get it down, then it’s just repetition from there,” Garcia said.
Mercedez Melton said she’s hoping that her son, who’s also in barber school, will also join the family business.