Nova Scotia

Free haircuts make big impact for clients of Cape Breton's Ally Centre

Three Cape Breton hairstylists recently gave out free haircuts at Cape Breton's Ally Centre. The centre's executive director says it meant a great deal to their clients.

Hairstylists give more 80 free haircuts over three days

From left, Christine Porter, executive director of the Ally Centre of Cape Breton, Fliss Cramman, a client and volunteer, and hairstylist Katlin MacLeod. (Brittany Wentzell/CBC)

Three Cape Breton hairstylists spent some time recently giving back to their communities with the gift of a free haircut.

Katlin MacLeod, a hairstylist from Glace Bay, teamed up with colleagues Brittany Della Valle and Kendra Slade to give free haircuts at the Ally Centre of Cape Breton in Sydney and its support sites in Glace Bay and Sydney Mines.

The Ally Centre is a harm reduction agency that offers a variety of services to its clients, including a food bank and a health clinic.

MacLeod said she has accessed the centre's services in the past and wanted to give back.

"I knew that there was a lot of people who would love to get a nice, new trendy haircut who couldn't just make their way into the salons around here," said MacLeod.

Feeling good important

Clients came out in force at the Sydney location. All told, the women gave more than 80 haircuts over three different days, one day for each location.

For Fliss Cramman, who is both a client and a volunteer with the Ally Centre in Sydney, the gesture meant a lot.

She attends an art class at the centre and said part of the class included keeping a journal. Her's included a goal to get a nice pixie cut, so she stopped by to look for whomever could give her the best one.

"It's great, I love it, and I feel great about it," she said, adding she couldn't haven't asked for a better hairstylist.

Cramman said it's not easy to prioritize a haircut when you are on a tight budget but feeling good about yourself is important.

"Sometimes a haircut is not even a question," said Cramman. 

Lots of smiling faces

Christine Porter, executive director of the centre, said there were plenty of smiling faces leaving the centre. 

"It meant a great deal," she said. "People want to feel good, they want to look good, and sometimes they just can't afford it."

This won't be the last time clients get a chance to get a new do either. MacLeod said she enjoyed the experience so much, she plans on coming back to give out more haircuts around Christmas.

"So that everybody can go see their families and look their best when they go to see them," she said.


Brittany Wentzell

Current Affairs Reporter/Editor

Brittany Wentzell is based in Sydney, N.S., as a reporter for Information Morning Cape Breton. She has covered a wide range of issues including education, forestry and municipal government. Story ideas? Send them to