in ,

Los Angeles Beautician Offers Free Makeovers To Homeless Women: ‘I realized that at their core, they’re still women.’

When Shirley Raines first began working with the homeless, it was through a charity that provided Los Angeles’ Skid Row with food. She then began to notice the women were more interested in her colorful hair and makeup than anything else.


In an interview with Insider, Shirley said: ‘As we passed out food, the women were more interested in my hair color and my makeup. And they used to compliment me, going “oh my god, we love your makeup” or “we love your hair color” or “you smell so good.”‘

After a few months, Shirley realized she could have even more of an impact.

‘After a couple months, it hit me, that “wow, women are still interested in these things”, and I realized that at their core, they’re still women.’

Shirley soon realized she had the skill and compassion to take matters into her own hands. She then started Beauty2thestreetz, an Instagram account for her business. The bio reads: “Not all Queens live in castles, some live on the streets.”

With the help of her group of loyal volunteers, they provide the homeless with makeovers, new hairdos, and pampering sessions.

‘When a woman comes to my chair and she says that she wants to get her hair done, she’ll sit down and it’s almost like she’s apologetic for her hair being dirty, or apologetic for her hair being matted together. And I’m like “it’s okay”, that’s why we’re here. We’re here to help you change your look if that’s what you want.’

View this post on Instagram

Mother's Day is NOT about our strengths or weaknesses as a's not about our rights or wrongs. Mothers are human and make mistakes! We always have and we always will. What we honor is the fact that despite all of our flaws we were chosen to bring other souls into this universe. The homeless women are DESERVING of this honor. Their families and kids might be hurt by certain things (understandably) but that doesnt mean we can't or shouldn't honor them. ????????? We remember the forgotten, we love the broken and we support those in need. #humaninterest #respect #stayhumble #wefeedthehungry #mentalhealth #helpingothers #helpingthehomeless #skidrow #payitforward #nonprofit #change #people #worldhunger #wakeupandmakeup #help #humanity #donate #hoodlove #dotherightthing #ghetto #endhunger #themarathoncontinues #photooftheday #helpinghands #streetlife

A post shared by Shirley Raines (@beauty2thestreetz) on

‘I can see the confidence building as they’re in the chair, and the process isn’t even complete. I can see as their hair color is changing, or as they have the plastic cap on their head they just feel special. They feel like there’s something other than the circumstances and the situation that they’re in at that time.’

The 51-year-old mother of six believes basic self-care like makeup, hairdos, and even showers can completely change a person’s outlook.

‘I think like anyone, when your self-esteem is high, you feel like you can do anything, and getting off the streets has to be one of the hardest things that they’re going to face in their life or encounter in their life. So feeling good is the first step to healing.’

The people of Skid Row are exactly that. People. They deserve the basic respect that comes with it.

‘The men and women of Skid Row are not just all drug addicts and alcoholics. These are actually people who fell on hard times.’

‘I think it’s important for people to understand that just because someone is without a home doesn’t change who they are at their core. Women are still women. Everyone wants to feel beautiful. Everyone wants to feel special. Every woman wants to look in the mirror and see something different than their circumstances and their hardship and their situation.’

Ill run this race nestled safely in amazing grace...I love the lyrics but its not always a safe race! Every Saturday we are able to provide a safe space for the homeless of skid row but more needs to be done. I want my children safe 24/7...the homeless are ALL someones children. #humaninterest #respect #stayhumble #wefeedthehungry #mentalhealth #helpingothers #helpingthehomeless #skidrow #payitforward #nonprofit #change #people #worldhunger #wakeupandmakeup #help #humanity #donate #hoodlove #dotherightthing #ghetto #endhunger #themarathoncontinues #photooftheday #helpinghands #streetlife

Posted by Shirley Raines on Thursday, May 16, 2019

It goes without saying, but the world really would be a better place with more people like Shirley Raines in it. For most of us in major cities, we can get so desensitized to the poverty surrounding us. We look right through people on the streets, and the only times we notice them are when something bad happens. Shirley is reminding us those are still human beings, and it only takes one simple act of kindness to make a difference.

Written by Mike Primavera

Mike Primavera is a writer and comedian based in Los Angeles. He lives comfortably off of his family's pasta fortune.