Regina salon owner gives back to community with day of free haircuts

Stylists at a First Nations-owned hair salon in Regina spent Sunday providing free haircuts to clients facing financial pressure during the pandemic. 

Destinee Peter owns Tangles Hair Salon and is part of Carry the Kettle Nakoda Nation.

"I wouldn't be where I am today without my community," she said.

"I always know in my head that when I can, I give back, because those are the people that helped me get to where I am today."

Peter said the team at the salon sat down to figure out how they could help the community because everyone is going through a tough time.

"We decided that when the time was right, we were just going to give away our time to help families in need and especially families that are still not able to go back to work."

Last Sunday the salon offered free haircuts by appointment.

She said she also reached out to some clients she hadn't heard from since the salon reopened that she would normally see on a regular basis. 

"I know that they were financially strapped because they weren't able to come back to work," she said.

"So that was just a way for me to repay them for all these years." 

Kiriako Iatridis Photography

The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive and Peter said they are planning on doing another day of free cuts.

"I know that it put a smile on a lot of people's faces," she said.

"I had clients that were crying in my chair, and it was just very heartwarming knowing that we could make their day a little better."

'It means the world'

Jessica Lipka is one of Peter's clients who came for a haircut on Sunday. 

She's a student at the University of Regina and said she's been unable to find a summer job and is currently unemployed. 

"I was hesitant to reach out because it's kind of embarrassing to admit you are struggling, so it really means the world to me and is such a relief that she cut my hair for free," she said.

Getting her hair cut was an emotional experience, said Lipka, because she said she wants to support Peter, who is also a friend.

She said it's important to stick together in these times. 

"This pandemic has obviously been hard for her as business owner but she still is giving back to the community," said Lipka.

"She really is incredible and she deserves to be recognized for how amazing she and her Tangles team are."