WALLINGFORD — Two female barbers are gearing up to host a hair cut-a-thon to benefit a suicide prevention text line and support service.
Local barbers Cass Quinn and Nikki Castillo met while they were students at Academy Di Capelli and formed Shear Alliance, a group of female barbers, cosmetologists and estheticians. Shear Alliance will host the cut-a-thon on Nov. 3 at the school, 950 Yale Ave., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds will benefit Lifeline Crisis Chat.
Lifeline Crisis Chat allows callers to text a counselor when they need guidance. Castillo said some people prefer to text because of anxiety.
“It felt like it is the right time and it felt so important to do,” Quinn said.
The crisis service offers free, 24/7 support for those in crisis by texting CT to 741741 from anywhere in the U.S. to text with a trained crisis counselor.
Both Quinn and Castillo said they lost friends and family to suicide and felt a connection to the cause. Quinn said the group wanted to raise awareness and money and make sure others know the resource is available.
“I feel like a lot of people don’t know that there are a lot of options in terms of people to talk to,” Quinn said. “We really wanted to put all of that out there, even if they didn’t want to come for a hair cut.”
‘One at a time’
For a $10 dollar donation, the all-female barber group will provide hair cuts, cosmologists will provide styling, and estheticians will provide mini facials. Guests will also be offered coffee, tea, cupcakes and the chance to win prizes. Prizes will be raffled off for $1 and will include gift baskets of hair and beauty products, themed gift baskets, and gift certificates.
The first event hosted by the group in February benefited True Colors Inc., an LGBT advocacy group. The event raised $1,300 and inspired the duo to continue the cut-a-thon events. The goal is to surpass the number of donations raised in the last event. Quinn said Shear Alliance is searching for a permanent location to host the events twice a year, benefiting a different cause each time.
“We have so many more to come. We’re just one at a time going to get there,” Castillo said.