HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — Valerie Jones is ready for a new summer look, and there’s no one she trusts more with her hair than Ingrid Riley.
“She’s like one of God’s angels right here on earth,” Jones says. “When I come to her shop, I feel pampered. I feel loved.”
Riley has been a hair stylist since 1989, but she added special outreach about ten years ago when more and more clients fell on hard times.
“Some of them are transitioning and some of them, they lose their jobs and stuff like that and you can’t go on a job interview if your hair is not done,” Riley explains.
What started as free hair care for a few clients evolved into her foundation, LuvnbeauT.
“It’s something I believe in,” Riley says. “Beautiful, it’s about being you and the huge piece I think a lot of times we don’t do the things we need to do because of our self-confidence.”
Riley empowers LuvnbeauT clients sitting in her chair at Studio 1012.
Shirley Underdue is in for a LuvnbeauT appointment and says each cut and curl comes with conversations about facing the world without fear.
“She told me you are beautiful don’t ever doubt that,” Underdue remembers one particular interaction with Riley. “That’s about it. She just helps people.”
It is a gift Riley chooses to give at a time when many women need a nudge in the right direction.
“Just blessing them with the different things that they need for daily living,” Riley says why she connects with clients in this way.
Adds Jones, “When your hair feels good, your whole body feels good.”
Riley also takes LuvnbeauT on the road through a mentorship program. She and other volunteers work with Martin Luther King Middle and Armstrong High School students to help them reach for the stars to do anything they want.