DENHAM SPRINGS — Savannah Pugh shook her feet nervously Saturday as she waited for a haircut.
The 9-year-old, who will attend Lewis Vincent Elementary School, said she wanted her shoulder-length brown hair to be “stacked.”
In other words, layered.
“I’m excited,” Savannah said, adding that she doesn’t remember the last time she got her hair cut.
Students and their parents waited in line more than an hour Saturday at Christ Community Church to get a fresh look for the upcoming school year.
Retired hairdresser Patricia Causey, of Denham Springs, dashed around the fellowship hall on Saturday, checking on stylists and chatting with eager youth.
“It’s just a wonderful feeling that Christ is in me and working,” she said.
Causey, who closed her shop in Central years ago, was one of eight hairdressers Saturday trimming locks while the line for haircuts steadily grew during the four-hour event.
“Every time my chair would empty, they would send someone else,” said Causey, who lost track of exactly how many haircuts she had given on Saturday.
Hairdresser Erica Tate, of Denham Springs, clipped less than an inch off 6-year-old Naithan Arnold’s hair as he sat quietly in the chair.
“It’s just a great feeling giving back to the community,” Tate said.
Pastor Willis Easley and his wife, Shannon, offered the free back-to-school haircuts to help families in need.
More than 150 students lined up as early as 7 a.m., an hour before the event began, for a chance to receive a free haircut and style.
“It just makes you realize the need; that people are really struggling and they need help,” Shannon Easley said.
“If you have four or five kids that you’re putting in school like most of these families, it can be a (financial) burden,” Willis Easley said.
Shannon Easley said the goal of the event, which the duo have hosted for four years, is to share Jesus with the community.
“We believe church isn’t what happens in the building but what happens in the community, in the workplace and where they live,” she said.
The church also offered free uniforms and alterations, free items from its clothes closet, crafts for the youth, snowballs and popcorn.
Mary Ingalls, of Denham Springs, had altered about 50 uniforms from 8 a.m. to just after noon.
“We’re caring for people in the name of Jesus,” the seamstress said as she hurried to finish before the event’s end.
“People have a need and we try to fill that need,” she said.
Amy Robique came from Prairieville to get haircuts for her six grandsons, five of whom live with her, she said.
Robique, who lives on a limited income, said that by getting the boys’ haircuts for free, she will now have some money to buy them new shoes.
“That’s why I don’t get haircuts,” the grandmother said as she fiddled with her hair. “I want them to get theirs cut.”