Free upscale hair cuts for the unemployed

December 2, 2009 4:04:18 PM PST
When people lose their jobs, they might scale back on non-essentials. And for some, that can include a good haircut.At one salon, they're doing what they can to help out, offering free cuts to the unemployed.

"I think that he is fabulous," Kathy Aranda said. "Really really great. He's got a really big heart."

Aranda is talking about Cristiano Cora, a man who is changing lives, one cut at a time.

"I said, 'Cristiano, help me. I have recession and unemployment hair,'" she said.

What started as a two-day event in Cora's West Village salon in November has now turned into an ongoing effort, a special promotion he says he will continue offering people until the economy levels out.

Cora normally charges $300 for a hair cut. But every Tuesday, as long as you can prove you are unemployed, he will cut your hair for free.

"My goal is to make you look good, so you can walk away feeling good and go for an interview and have energy and feeling will help you get a job," he said.

Aranda was laid off from her job as a corporate travel consultant in February. She used to spend about $150 for a hair cut every six weeks.

"It's like a little gift for yourself," she said. "The little candy you want to cheat on makes you feel good, especially being a mom and working, you want to look good."

Now that she isn't working, she was going without. Now, Kathy is ready for a big change.

Leslie Riddle was also laid off last November. She's in the process of interviewing for a new job and is grateful for Cristiano's generosity.

"It's great," she said. "It's very selfless, and I'm a big believer in the giving back program."

Kathy is back with a new look and a new sense of confidence. Cristiano is glad he could help and says he is overwhelmed by the response he's getting from people.

"It's hard to describe," he said. "It's do deep, profound, it makes me more than happy."

The salon is located at 3 West 13th Street. Free cuts are offered every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. People must bring proof of unemployment and valid state ID.

Requests should be sent to Leave your information, and someone will get back to you about scheduling.