As your Love Your Hairdresser Week comes to a close, it’s a great time to turn the spotlight on a stylist who continues to make a difference in our community.

Just Cuts Campbelltown Macarthur Square owner and stylist, Joanne Ashkar has provided hundreds of free haircuts for the homeless at monthly We Are Community dinner services, bringing her team and her tools along to local car parks whenever needed. 

Her passion for the Macarthur community was recognised at the franchise’s recent conference, where she won the national award for Community Contribution.

“We just farewelled a Client of 7 years recently in her 70s and it was like saying goodbye to a family member,” Ms Ashkar said.

“Denise was moving to Noosa which was a big change for her. When she came in for her final cut we took a photo and posted it on our Facebook page and tagged Just Cuts Noosa.”

“After she moved, we saw Noosa took a photo with Denise and tagged us back. It was wonderful to see she had her favourite Style Cut and she was being taken care off over 1,100 kilometres away. Denice has messaged us to say how happy she is as well.”

Love Your Hairdresser Week was launched by the Australian Hairdressing Council to encourage customers Australia wide to show their hairdressers and barbers appreciation and to celebrate the diverse role they play in our communities. This year’s theme is ‘How long have you been making your community beautiful?’

Ms Ashkar is one of 2,500 Stylists across the global Just Cuts network who continues to support their clients through major life events, building emotional resilience in the process.

“One client I’ll never forget was a lady I’d looked after for years who was unfortunately diagnosed with breast cancer,” she remembers.

“I offered to shave her head at her place to try and help ease the impact of chemo, but she wanted to bring her family into the salon. So she brought her boys and her husband and they held her hand while I shaved her head.”

Ms Ashkar admits that sometimes her job can weigh heavily.

“I had one stylist ring me who was upset after she cut a lady’s hair who had beaten cancer, but unfortunately found out the cancer had returned. This woman was at a stage where treatments weren’t going to work and my Stylist was devastated for her,” she said.

“I said to her that her role is to listen and give her client the best style possible. I asked her if the client left the salon feeling happy, because that’s the role we play in our client’s lives. It’s hard to hear about our clients struggles multiple times a day and it can get heavy.”

Through it all the commitment to client and community has kept Joanne Ashkar going for 35 years. She says, “Clients come into our salon to make their day and leave looking and feeling great. Providing that experience is the only reward we need and what matters most to us.”