Local hairstylist helping spread ‘sunshine and happiness’ to foster care children

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Whether it’s a braid, a ponytail, or even a perfect hair bow, Delia King, says every child deserves a little sunshine.

The Kansas City metro hairstylist for more than 15 years has found her niche as a children’s hairstylist.

“I kind of lived my happiness through others, based on when I handed them the mirror they were happy,” King said.

However, through her own personal life experiences she’s found purpose.

“I was adopted when I was seven,” King said. “ My mom that adopted me, she was 67 at the time, so she worked with my hair as much as she could.”

King said growing up in foster care and as a child, she remembers feeling unhappy about the way she looked.

“I would notice the other children with hairstyles that where just a little bit more hip and better than mine,” King said.

It’s a feeling she doesn’t want any foster or adopted child to ever experience.

I’ve been in that position where I’ve had someone who loved me and cared about me but didn’t but just didn’t know what to do with my hair.

After reaching her dream of own her own hair salon. She realized something was missing.

“It’s way more important that the children are happy, so that’s why I took the pay decrease, because I can get paid a lot of money but, I would rather the joy in my heart be for filled when I style a child,” explained King.

After much thought and research in 2020, King launched Sunshine’s Hair Haven- a non-profit organization that focuses on hair care services for only foster and adoptive children and families.

Her goal is to create a safe haven where the children and parents can come receive hair service and leave her chair feeling loved.

It’s the sunshine that can brighten any cloudy day.

King added, “I hand them the mirror and they light up, they’re excited! They feel good and they walk away usually they have better behavior they’re smiling they’re just more upbeat versus even when they arrive and that’s the most important part because that’s self-love.”

Arlena Blum grew up in foster care too, she’s now a foster mother.

“I’m hoping that they feel great about themselves,” Blum said. “I had opened up my personal home last summer to foster kids because we were in need of more homes to take in kids.”

Blum is caring for three sisters ages 5, 4, and 19 months. She said she’s not familiar with how to do their hair, and she struggled.

She as able to connect with King, and learn proper hair care.

“We would ask her different questions about hair care, things that we should be doing for the girls,” Blum explained.

The non-profit also offers free hair care lessons to teach about hair care, proper products, and hair care styles.

“The adoptive and foster parents can watch via zoom and actually learn the technique.” Kings says, “I would rather teach you the technique of what I do so you’re able to do that for your children.”

CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates advocated for the best interests of children removed from their homes for their safety due to abuse and neglect.

Natalie Julien, President and CEO for CASA Johnson and Wyandotte Counties says the organization advocates for about 1,750.

“A child who has been removed from their home due to things like abuse or neglect has already had so many negatives things, that we find any positive interaction, anything to help them see the value they have and feel better about themselves or make a significant impact or outlook,” Julien said.

She adds, community resources that uplift children helps build them up. “That connection of knowing that there’s someone out there in the community that really care what happens to them, and wants them to have that kind of positive experience that really matters to them.

King says the goal of her non-profit is open a salon that will offer all kind of hair services for foster and adopted children, which includes a play area, and classroom to teach lessons.

It’s a mission that will give a ray of hope and a haven of sunshine.

“It’s a blessing, because the children are able to go to the mirror and see themselves, that’s the biggest part, not anything they’ve been through, not where they come from, just themselves in that moment, it’s about you in that moment,” King said.

For information about becoming a CASA volunteer, click here, call CASA of Johnson & Wyandotte Counties at 913-715-4040 or Jackson County CASA at 816-984-8200.

For more information about becoming a Sunshine’s Hair Haven donor or volunteer, click here.

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