The right look for the job: Hair stylists give free haircuts to Buffalo’s unemployed

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- As the weather turns colder, there’s a new effort to get Buffalo’s homeless and unemployed community off the streets and back to work. The Restoration Society wants their clients gainfully employed before the holiday season.

It’s no secret when you feel you look good, you also feel more confident. The Restoration Society is teaming up with local hair salons for free haircuts. They say this will give them that extra boost they need to get back to work.

People who come to the Restoration Society for help getting back to work, say it’s the right move. Michael Lavell said, “It’s just another tool that I could use to get that job. I’m looking for full time employment, so I can get out of the system and be a productive member of society again.”

So Monday they get free hair cuts from the pros. Stylists from Jonny the Barber and Ciao Hair Salon want to help now that times are tough. Owner of Jonny The Barber, Jon Palmeri said, “It’s always great to see someone sit down and feel one way, and look in the mirror and get a little cheeky smile in. It makes you feel good.”

A lot of the clients here have come a long way. Lavell recently lost 200 pounds and hopes this makeover lands him the right job. He said, “There’s so many needs when you’ve been looking for a job and unfortunately it’s based on looks and you go in there looking scruffy, they put you at the bottom of the list. But, i’m going to get that job!”

Joel Cybulski recently got laid off. He said, “Not having a high school diploma has been hard. His goal is to get off welfare. He said, “Yeah it’s kinda tough to find a job, i’m 58 years old, i’m up there. My God everybody’s gotta survive you know?”

They all say they are ready, now more then ever, to take on that challenge.

To learn more about the efforts through the Restoration Society head to their website. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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