Salon on wheels to provide comfort, therapy to those in need - WSMV Channel 4

Salon on wheels to provide comfort, therapy to those in need

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Many people may take getting a haircut for granted, but one Nashville woman says it's an experience that can really help someone just trying to get their life back on track.

That's the inspiration behind her unique new campaign now coming to Middle Tennessee.

In a few months, Heather Ballard plans to open a full-service salon on wheels called Hairdressers United 4 Hope.

Ballard will take the bus throughout Nashville, offering haircuts free of charge to those in need.

"Creating that experience - making them feel like there is still hope - that's what we're going for," Ballard said.

She has partnered with the Paul Mitchell School, whose stylists will donate their time and skills.

Ballard said the act of receiving a haircut is therapeutic.

"That physical touch really does make a difference," she said.

For now, Ballard is getting the bus ready, but just arriving to this point even brings to light another example of someone paying it forward.

Ballard's church saw a need and jumped in to help by donating the bus.

"It's about love and hope, where you are at in your life. We think this bus will go out to bring smiles to people's faces," said the Rev. Phil Gruita, pastor of Victory in Jesus Church. "It's a great oldie, but wonderful vehicle to do what she is going to do."

The Hairdressers United 4 Hope bus should hit the road this summer. Initially, Ballard plans to work with homeless shelters around Davidson County and she hopes one day to have a fleet of buses across the state.

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