Stylists pamper men for Father’s Day

Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- Robert Hall, center, and Stan Lee talk while receiving a pedicure from Sue Hilliard, left, at the Father's Day free makeover event Saturday at Walker United Methodist Church.
Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- Robert Hall, center, and Stan Lee talk while receiving a pedicure from Sue Hilliard, left, at the Father's Day free makeover event Saturday at Walker United Methodist Church.

Shane Stafford exhaled as he placed his feet into the foot massager filled with warm water Saturday at Walker United Methodist Church.

Stafford, who attended last year’s Father’s Day makeover event, returned for the free perks while his wife and children went shopping, he said.

“I came here to take a break from the yard work, get out of the heat and take a break,” said Stafford, of Walker.

Retired hairdresser Jean Urdiales, of Baton Rouge, dashed around the fellowship hall on Saturday, checking on stylists and chatting with eager fathers.

“It’s outreach,” Urdiales said of the free event. “I came to help people and give of my time and talents.”

Urdiales was one of two stylists who volunteered at the Father’s Day makeover event designed to give area fathers a chance to relax and receive renewed confidence, both inside and out.

More than a half dozen dads lined up for the chance to receive a free haircut and style and a pedicure during the third annual event.

Sue Hilliard, the event organizer, has been hosting back-to-school haircuts, Mother’s Day make overs and Father’s Day makeovers for about three years.

Hilliard said the idea to provide pedicures grew from a childhood experience she had of washing other church members’ feet at Star Hill Baptist Missionary Church in Franklinton.

“It is a way of humbling yourself,” Hilliard said.

Marsha Barbari, of Marsha’s in Baton Rouge, clipped less than an inch off of Derrel Walker’s hair. As he looked into the mirror, he smiled.

“It gives him a lift,” Urdiales said. “You can just see it on his face. It’s relaxing and that’s part of feeling good.”

Walker’s next stop was the pedicure station, where he placed his feet into the foot massager.

This was the first pedicure for the 66-year-old Walker.

“I’m not good with keeping up with my toes,” he said.

Walker said his wife dropped him off at the event while she did some shopping.

Hilliard and the hairdressers will be back at work at the church in August for the annual back-to-school haircut event.

She said she hopes events like the free makeovers attract people who don’t belong to a church and make them comfortable attending.

“Some people have a hang-up about going to the dentist and then, they can overcome that fear,” Hilliard said. “And some people may have a hang-up about going to a church. But, maybe if they can go to a church for something like this then maybe they will feel more comfortable.”

“I think it’s nice that they do this for the guys,” Stafford said as he took his feet from the warm water and put his shoes back on. “You can definitely tell the difference. My feet feel softer in my shoes.”