1:21 PM PDT, August 17, 2021
When Brittany Starks offered to braid the hair of a few kids on their way back to school for free, she had no idea how great the need for her services would be.
“It was supposed to be five to seven kids,” she explained. “I had a lady, she had five kids, she was living in a hotel, and she needed her kids’ hair done. I kept getting stories like that, and I’m like, ‘I can’t, I can’t stop!’”
Parents and guardians all over Nashville have reached out to Brittany on social media, asking for her help. There was so much demand that she’s enlisted other braiders to donate their time — and it is a lot of time.
Depending on hair length and the intricacy of the braiding pattern, getting a braided hairstyle can take several hours.
Parents of school-aged kids get that time back by having four to eight weeks of not having to style their child’s hair every morning before class.
Professional hair braiding can cost anywhere from $100 to $400 or more per style. So far, Brittany and her team of braiders have saved dozens of parents thousands.
Brittany’s generosity stems from knowing what it’s like to receive. She says she was inspired to offer her braiding services when someone gave her children a backpack full of school supplies and clothing.
Braiding can take a physical toll. “Sometimes your back hurts, your legs hurt, your hands hurt, your feet hurt, ” Brittany said. But she pushes through and continues for the kids.
“I was a struggling single mother,” she added. “I’ve been homeless before. It meant something to give back.”