Local stylist offering makeovers to homeless, people living in poverty

Donations, volunteers still needed

By Lindsey Kennett - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - Ian Frierson is on a mission to help everyone look and feel good, even if they can't afford a trip to the salon.

"There are so many people that are out here that are less fortunate," said Frierson, who owns his own salon, Firehandz Hair Lounge, in Roanoke.

The hair stylist is offering makeovers to the homeless and people living in poverty. He's hosting the first ever Roanoke Homeless Makeover in September and it's all for free.

"A lot of families out here, it's back-to-school time," Frierson said. "They can't afford to get their child's haircut or hair done or braided."

He first got the idea in July from a stylist in California.

"I thought about it. I said, 'Hey, I can do this in my own community,'" Frierson said.

The Roanoke community answered his call for help. Hair stylists, barbers, makeup artists, nonprofits, churches and businesses are all pitching in by donating supplies, food and services.

The event is going to be held at the Cultural Arts for Excellence Center (CAFE) in Roanoke. Donna Robinson runs the CAFE, which is an after-school program for middle school students.

She said homelessness is a huge problem, even for kids at the center.

"Who doesn't want to be pampered?" asked Robinson, the CAFE's executive director. "Doing an event like this, I think, will really show the love in the community and show these people that there are people that love them and that care about them and want to see them get ahead."

Frierson coordinated with local homeless shelters to spread the word, but he still needs more volunteers and donations. He wants to hand out "Blessing Bags" filled with makeup, toiletries and canned and packaged food. He also wants to give away makeup, clothing and shoes.

This event is more than just a physical makeover. Volunteers are going to serve hot meals and there will be nurses, Veterans Administration hospital representatives, voter registration and job readiness volunteers.

"It's a one-stop shop," Frierson said.

He added that when you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, anything is possible.

"It's all motivation. It's all just to help and push somebody and give them that oomph." Frierson said. "Give them that second chance."

The Roanoke Homeless Makeover will be held on Sunday, Sept. 8 from noon to 6 p.m. at The CAFE, located at 1707 Cove Rd NW, Roanoke, VA 24017.

To volunteer or donate, contact Frierson by calling 540-397-6307.

Donations list:

  • Lip balm
  • Tissues
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Combs
  • Soap
  • Small bottles of shampoo
  • Packets of razors
  • Sanitary pads
  • Trail mix
  • Granola bars
  • Crackers
  • Packs of gum
  • Bandages
  • Mouthwash
  • Hand wipes
  • Warm socks
  • Clothes (gently used)
  • Shoes
  • Coats 
  • Hats 

Vendor list:

  • Churches
  • Teams
  • Groups
  • Community services
  • Outreach Ministry  

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