By JOHN T. WARD
In the days after Hurricane Sandy hit, Red Bank hair stylist Christine Zilinski jumped in as a volunteer to help residents of Union Beach cope with the aftermath.
It didn’t seem like enough, though. Zilinski said she wanted to do more. She wanted to use her strongest skills.
Of course, the answer to what that might mean was right there in her mirror. And it came with a sexy catchphrase: “Cheat on your hairdresser.”
Zilinski, who owns Salon Concrete on Broad Street, has done charity cutathons in the past in her own hair studio and others. But her idea for what’s been dubbed “Scissors for Sandy Relief” was to tackle a massive problem with a massive solution: dozens of hair stylists, all working in the same place in this case, the Berkeley Hotel in Asbury Park at the same time and donating their earnings to a common cause.
More than that, though, the effort is nationwide. Zilinski, a widely traveled educator in styling trends and techniques, plumbed her contacts to enlist the aid of salons across the United States, each of which will contribute a day’s worth of bookings to Sandy relief efforts.
“I started to think about it, that we could do something bigger,” she said. “So many salons around the country wanted to help.”
When she put out word on social media, “we got 50 hairdressers to say ‘yes’ in a matter of minutes,” she said.
“Hairdressers are very giving,” Zilinski said. “They want to make people feel better. That’s what we’re all about. So when you put something like this together, there’s no resistance.”
In fact, while redbankgreen was interviewing Zilinski, the customer in her chair, Maritza Soler of Port Monmouth, chimed in that she was also a hairdresser and would be interested in participating.
Zilinski hopes to have 100 hairdressers at the Berkeley. The bigger challenge will be to get butts in the chairs, and toward that end, Scissors for Sandy has adopted the cheeky approach of encouraging clients to cheat on their hairdressers, just this once, for a good cause.
Scissors for Sandy is scheduled for Monday, December 10, from noon to 8 p.m. at the Berkeley. Clients will be asked to donate $40 each, every dime of which will go to the Hometown Heroes Restore the Shore initiative in New Jersey and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation in New York City. Though clients are encouraged to make time-slot appointments, they’ll be randomly assigned to hairdressers as available. For more info, call 732-219-6558.
Proctor & Gamble, the personal care products giant, got wind of the effort and decided to get behind it with promotion, products and an event of its own in New York, Zilinski said.