Stylists and barbers curled, snipped and shampooed hair for more than 200 children Sunday during the seventh annual Back 2 School N Style event in Gonzales.
Event organizer Ynohtna “Tona” Tureaud, of Sorrento, said hundreds of volunteers worked with children and parents to get them ready for Monday’s return to school.
In addition to hair styles and cuts, children and their parents could take part in several games and activities.
The event has substantially grown since its beginning in 2008, Tureaud said.
Tureaud hosted the first Back 2 School N Style at her hair salon in Sorrento, Anointed Hands Trichology Center for Hair Loss, a Christian-based organization.
“Each year gets bigger and bigger,” Tureaud said. “We need two buildings the size of this one (the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center building).”
Tureaud thanked a long list of volunteers and area businesses for helping make the event a success.
“Our mission is to build the kids’ self-esteem and to educate them,” said Marcia Tureaud, the mother of Ynohtna Tureaud. “The stylists here educate the kids on how to be sanitary, how to take care of themselves. We have all different kinds of background here. We service everyone.
“If you look good, you feel good,” said Tanosha Saylor, of Total Changes hair salon in Gonzales.
“In the beginning, people didn’t believe that we do it. This year, 10,000 fliers went out,” Saylor said. “Salon services are not cheap. This just gives the parents a break before school starts,” Saylor said.
Rob Taylor, of Donaldsonville, Season 8 contestant on “The Voice,” performed.
“In our community, we don’t have a lot for our kids,” Taylor said. “We need to have more things like this to give back to our community, to help kids get back to school,” Taylor said.
A mother of four, Josie Mendoza said the program builds up the kids’ self-esteem.
“By the time they leave, they feel like princes and princesses,” Mendoza said. “Parents need to know that these services are available. Kids and parents learn to take care of themselves.”
“Anytime we can give to the community — and this is our community, this is our village, and these are our kids — this is a no-brainer. These are different cultures but one people standing on the same ground,” said Ray Johnson, a barber at Infinity Hair by Jazz in Baton Rouge.