March 3, 2024 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

A cut above: St. Joseph resident and hair stylist Milt offering free haircuts for students

Nicole Milt wants to help kids feel good about themselves.

So Milt has volunteered to do free haircuts for students in St. Joseph. She was inspired to offer the free service by a Facebook post.

“I thought to myself I would love to get involved in something like that,” she said.

A friend asked Milt if she could tag her in the post and Milt took that as a sign that she should be doing it.

“God is good,” she said. “So I decided to make a post and see how many I could help.”

Milt said those interested in a free haircut for their child should message her on Facebook. She will perform the haircuts in St. Joseph so families won’t have to travel far.

“I’m trying to juggle times and fit everyone in,” she said. “I want it to be people truly in need.”

Milt said she loves helping people.

“This service doesn’t cost me anything but my time and makes me feel so good to know that I have helped a kids’ self-esteem,” she said. “I am very big on allowing them to be able to pick their cut, but also be respectful and compromise if their parents don’t agree 100 percent. I know that some kids have to do without or get a short buzz cut because they don’t have the means to get a real cut by a professional. Their self-esteem can be so strongly affected by that and sets them up for a tough first day.”

Milt said she loved school as a child and had perfect attendance.

“You get to see your friends all the time, play sports and just be a kid,” she said.

Milt said she was motivated to participate in the free haircuts because she loves the community.

Milt said she and her husband Zach moved to St. Joseph because they wanted a community that they could let their son go play for hours without worry, but also be surrounded by kids with values and accountability.

“I grew up in a small town and you can not find better values,” she said. “The kids in our community are all wonderful.”

Milt has been a hair stylist for 11 years. She worked in a salon for three years before managing a salon for eight years. Recently, she became a small business owner and works out of a private studio in Champaign inside Sola Salons.

“I love it because I can focus completely on the guest in my chair and take the time to make them feel special and relaxed,” she said. “It’s my oasis.”

Milt said she never tires of her job and creating a special look for her clients.

“I love making people feel good,” she said. “I’m also very knowledgeable about what I do, so I love teaching and letting people know how to make their hair even better.”

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