South Side salon provides free prom, graduation hairstyling



Brigette Maxwell, owner of Total Look Beauty Salon, 7849 S. Loomis Blvd., will provide 100 high school seniors with free hairstyling for prom and graduation.

By Blair Paddock

About 100 high school seniors in Auburn Gresham will receive professional  hairstyles for  prom and graduation season—at no charge.

To celebrate its 15-year anniversary, The Total Look Beauty Salon, 7849 S. Loomis Blvd., will provide free prom and graduation services starting May 6 until the end of the school year. As part of this celebration, owner Brigette Maxwell will be hosting an anniversary party on the starting day with food, music and poetry honoring her clients, business and community.

“I’m doing this to serve my community, and I just love to help the youth,” Maxwell said.

While the services are free for students, Maxwell is asking for community donations to help cover the costs of services and supplies. Community members can sponsor a student: Girls’ hairstyles, including shampoo and styling, are $35, and boys’ haircuts cost $10. Typically, styling a girl’s hair for prom is nearly 10 times this amount with the inclusion of sew-in extensions, she added.

Arionna Moss, senior at Morgan Park High School, is a regular customer at The Total Look and plans to use these free services for prom. She said providing free hair services is significant to Auburn Gresham high schoolers because they might not be able to afford styles otherwise.

“They will feel more confident about themselves, more ready for the future—prom, graduation and life afterward,” Moss said.

Prom holds significance to students in the community because many do not have the opportunity to participate in other coming-of-age ceremonies such as a Sweet 16 or a quinceañera, Moss said. 

“I’ve never had a birthday party or graduation, so this will be the first time I get to dress up formally for an event besides a wedding,” Moss said. “[Prom] is pretty much me growing up to a young adult.”

DeAndre Hawthorne, who goes by the stage name Blaq Ice and will be performing spoken word poetry at Maxwell’s anniversary party, said she has been a pillar of stability in the community. While the neighborhood is often portrayed as violence-ridden, Maxwell is using her resources to change Auburn Gresham’s image, he added.

“Young students are the most vulnerable and at-need for something, and I think what [Maxwell is doing] is beautiful,” Hawthorne said. “It changes the mindset of those in that community.”

Besides helping students financially, Maxwell said she hopes to build their confidence. Giving the students these styles will help them express their individuality, she said.

“It will [benefit the girls] by giving them somewhere convenient to go,” Maxwell said.”Hopefully it will help them emotionally as well as just looking beautiful.”