03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Giving Haircuts & Hope To The Jobless

Many small businesses have recently decided to step in and offer jobseekers discounts and freebies to boost their confidence, such as complimentary dry-cleaning and shoes. The New York Times reports that a Greenwich Village salon, Cristiano Cora Studio recently offered free haircuts to anyone who brought proof of unemployment.

Cora and his stylists tended to the locks of those who showed up on Sunday and Monday to offer hope and change for the unemployed, many of whom have already sacrificed many nonessentials such as dinners out and hair color services:

Mr. Cora and his staff, as well as some other stylists he had trained, were trying to help the clientele, many of whom worked in fashion or theater or marketing, sidestep this conundrum. Call it the good-hair school of economics. "We're trying to prepare them so they can get working and feel good and come back into salons," said Jeanise Aviles, a stylist working on Ms. Ramirez's hair. "Our business has slowed down, too."

The idea is that helping someone look their best will help them find better employment. As The New York Times puts it, "one has to keep up appearances."

Free haircuts for the jobless are popping up across America, from Southern California to Florida.