NAC Students Get Free Haircuts from Salon Lujon Hairstylists

It is not uncommon to converse with one’s hairstylist while getting a haircut. Often, these conversations allow hairstylists and their clients to catch up on the latest goings on in one another’s lives. It is less common, however, for such conversations to positively impact the lives of a large group of high school students. When Judy Mandel told her hairstylist, Jessica Gonzalez, of Salon Lujon and Day Spa in Fullerton, California, about the Nicholas Academic Centers, Jessica took an interest in the organization and offered to get involved. On Sunday, March 10, Jessica and a group of four other hairstylists from the salon headed to the NAC to spend their day off giving free haircuts to 39 NAC students.
According to Jessica, “In a conversation with Judy, the NAC came up, and with what they do for high school kids in the local area, I was pretty impressed.” When asked why she decided to volunteer her time to cut students’ hair, she responded, “I know what it’s like to be in high school, and maybe not have a job or any money, so I thought it would be a good idea just to come in and make people look beautiful because that’s what I like to do.”
Judy Mandel, whose talk of the NAC inspired Jessica to volunteer, mentioned that she “was very taken with the fact that [Jessica] volunteered and said she would get other stylists to help.”
Fortunately, the other hairstylists shared Jessica’s enthusiasm and were quick to volunteer. One of the stylists, Staphanie Tung, said she has volunteered her services in the past, cutting hair for homeless people. Krystal Michalski, another stylist, finds satisfaction in making others happy. “I like to help others, and it’s awesome that we get to provide this kind of stuff for [the students]; it helps them, and they get excited about it, and that’s awesome to me.”
Amanda Bond, one of the hairstylists donating her time and talent to help NAC students, said she appreciated what the NAC is doing to help students get into college. “When I did hear about [the NAC], I thought it was interesting.” She mentioned how she would have liked to have access to such a program. “I had no idea about any schools, so I had to figure everything out, how to do loans and how to get grants, so having programs like this is awesome, and there needs to be more of them.”
The delight of both the hairstylists and students was apparent. According to Judy, “[The hairstylists] were as excited as the kids. I watched the ‘before’ and the concentration of the stylists, and the ‘after’ of the kids, and the kids just all took on a different aura; they walked different, and they knew they looked good.” Daisy Espinoza, a senior at Valley High School and one of the NAC students given a haircut, confirms Judy’s statement. “I love my haircut. It’s probably the nicest haircut I’ve ever had, and my hair looks and feels great.”
Prices for haircuts in professional salons like Salon Lujon can range anywhere from $25 for a basic men’s cut to over $100 for a more complex hairstyle. Many of the students in attendance usually get haircuts from their parents or local barbershops. Some even wait for trips to Mexico to get a $5 haircut. Marilynda Bustamante, a senior at Valley High School, mentioned this was her first “professional” haircut, and she noted, “This was an amazing first experience.”
After receiving their haircuts, each student signed a “Thank You” card for his or her stylist, and at the end of the day, after cutting hair for eight hours, the stylists read their letters out loud to each other. They collectively agreed the day turned out even better than they imagined. Judging by the enthusiastic response to their haircuts, the same could be said for the students. Even still, as beautiful as the students look with their new haircuts, perhaps the real beauty rests in the hairstylists’ generosity.
(Click HERE to watch a video of the event on our Youtube channel.)

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