It’s well-known that a good haircut and style can increase the confidence of just about any man or woman. And this is actually true for kids, too. But unfortunately, kids can be a bit more sensitive when it comes to not feeling so great about themselves, especially when you consider the pressures of fitting in and being liked by your peers. Well, Natasha Brown is on a mission to help just that. She recently started the Kutz 4 Kidz Project, a non-profit whose mission is to provide local youth with hair care and education. Along with Thomas “Mr. T” Allen, owner of the NuAttiudes Unisex Salon, the duo are giving haircuts and self-esteem to kids in Jersey City and the surrounding communities. Keep reading to learn how this project started and how you can support it.
While working at Precious Learning Center in Jersey City, one of Natasha’s students, a nine-year-old girl, said to her, “I hate myself and I hate school.” Upon further questioning, Natasha realized that her student was being bullied in school due to her parent’s inability to maintain her hair properly. That was the moment that launched the idea behind Kutz 4 Kidz. “I knew I had to do something to make a difference. I took my idea to my friend and business partner, Thomas J Allen of Nu Attitudes, who had a local business in Jersey City for almost 20 years. Together we devised a plan.”
Salons and barbershops are not always affordable, especially for a family with multiple children. This project makes it possible for kids to get the proper care they need, helping them feel good about themselves when they go to school. Thanks to this project, children are provided with a voucher of $20 for a boy’s haircut and $30 for a girl’s haircut, which they can use at any participating vendor registered under The Kutz 4 Kidz Project, which include Dreamcutters in Bayonne and Jersey Clippers in Jersey City. Maintaining proper hygiene and routine haircuts are important aspects of a child’s well-being.
The Kutz 4 Kidz motto is “Building confidence and self-esteem with an emphasis on hair care, education, and COVID 19 awareness.” The community has stepped in to help by signing up their children for the program. Kids ages 4-16 are able to participate and the program is based on need. Parents have to provide an ID for themselves, a birth certificate for the children, and Medicaid, food stamps, or WIC folder to qualify.
Natasha is a Jersey City native who realized at a young age that she was passionate about children and seeing them succeed and have opportunities in life. Natasha now has six children — four biological and two adopted. “I’m a resource parent for DCP&P and have fostered over thirty children. I’ve been working with children in a child care setting for over twenty years now.” Natasha and her siblings were raised by a single mother who instilled hard work and dedication into all of her children. This helped shape Natasha’s career as she felt it was important to ensure all children feel loved, cared for, and feel good about themselves.
Now that Kutz 4 Kids has gained popularity, the team is continuing to grow. Any barbers and beauticians who are licensed can join in and help. All you need to do is download the Wix app and enter ‘Kutz 4 Kidz Project’ to register and get started. They are also accepting monetary donations, which can be mailed to Nu Attitudes/ The Kutz 4 Kidz Project, 186 Danforth Ave, Jersey City.