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ABC Action News | WFTS

Salon owner offers Polk County inmates hair braiding, entrepreneurship class

By: Rebecca Petit

BARTOW, Fla. — Alisha Hinton, owner of Lisha Lou Salon in Lakeland, has been doing hair for two decades. She specializes in natural styles like braids and locs.

“I love braiding, I love helping people feel beautiful. I love helping people feel good about themselves,” said Hinton.

Hinton is now taking her passion out of the hair salon and into the Polk County Jail in Bartow. She is teaching hair braiding to female inmates who are serving time there. Hinton’s class not only teaches hair styling but also focuses on entrepreneurship.

“I teach them how to create a business model. How to identify who their target market would be and we build a business for whatever they want to do,” said Hinton.

Each class starts with writing down positive affirmations on the board. The new skills being taught are changing the way the inmates view themselves.

“I’m learning to have a relationship with myself, to have more confidence in myself. To know that I'm actually good at something. This class is teaching me that,” said Spring Evans.

Hinton said the goal is to reduce recidivism and allow the inmates to contribute to society when they are released.

“Teach these women how to be an entrepreneur and how to braid hair so that when they come home, they are able to have a job, build a business, and have more confidence,” said Hinton.

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