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Women friends together at beauty salon

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Claudette Gayles, the owner of Essence of Beauty Salon in Mount Vernon is spreading the holiday cheer with a special present to some local girls in need.

Gayles gave free makeovers to 10 girls in the city’s foster care system.

“We picked a day right before Christmas because I wanted it to be right around the holiday where family get together…so they feel loved, welcome.”

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She says her goal is to boost their confidence now that it’s the holiday season; Gayles often sees women who struggle with self-confidence coming into her salon.

“From my travels, I’ve met a lot of girls that go through stuff. They sit in the chair and feel that they’re not loved. I just wanted to give back so they feel a little loved.”

The project was a “community effort” according to Gayles; clients and stylists donated items, while volunteers and Mount Vernon’s Chamber of Commerce pitched in to provide the girls with new hairstyles, hand massages, a makeover, a free meal and special gift bags.

One of the girls commented on how grateful she was for such a valuable present. “It’s exciting. I usually pay almost close to $200, so to get it for free is amazing.”

“It’s not about us,” Gayles said. “It’s about the kids and giving back because in our mind, the kids are our future.”



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