MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA Miami's Chalk Ping Pong Lounge was overflowing with characters on September 22. Usually, the crowd inside consists of after-hours tournament teams, but instead the venue hosted its first-ever Hair Raising Films event in collaboration with Locks of Love—a charity that supplies hairpieces to disadvantaged children suffering from hair loss—in conjunction with Miami’s members-based Indie Film Club.
“At Chalk, we like to do all sorts of events that feature fashion and music, while benefiting a good cause,” Chalk Ping Pong Lounge marketing coordinator Michael M. said of the production. “We didn’t want to do a typical boring fashion show.” According to Michael M., hair shows were all the rage in the '80s and '90s, and he was inspired to bring the trend back into the spotlight. “We thought the salons would have the most fun with the theme and provide the visual drama that would entertain our patrons, while giving the stylists room to express themselves.”
Local salons and hair schools including Contesta Rock Hair, Luxe Color Spa, Bleach, Paul Mitchell Hi-Tech the School of Cosmetology, and Hair Design Institute styled hairdos representing a handful of cult film classics. Looks from The Fifth Element and Corpse Bride were evening favorites. Movie clips provided by the Indie Film Club adorned LED screens, while models strutted the looks in the hair show. Guests who did not participate in the hair show or on-site donations were invited to get styled at the BLO braid bar or the True Hair extension station.
A $10 suggested donation provided patrons with an hour of complimentary cocktails, with proceeds solely dedicated to raising funds for Locks of Love. A volunteer stylist from True Hair Miami was on site to perform the night’s only hair donation, a lengthy ponytail provided by a male attendee.
Planning the event, which took about two months, included other aspects in addition to conception and promoting. One major task was the recruiting of Locks of Love as an official sponsor. The nonprofit required an event request form. Following approval, in exchange for use of Locks of Love’s name and logo, Chalk Miami signed on to raise money and collect hair donations for the organization. “All events to benefit our charity are planned and organized on the local level,” said Pia McCarthy, director of volunteers for Locks of Love. “Chalk Miami developed the concept for this benefit event and hosted it. Locks of Love is the grateful beneficiary of their efforts and generosity.”
A raffle of gift baskets, gift certificates, and hair products from participating salons closed the night. Following Saturday’s success of Hair Raising Films, Michael M. and his team are already talking about planning their next hair show event. “We’re tossing some dates around as we speak,” he said. “Everyone wants in; it’s a great problem to have—all for art and charity.”