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Cutting for a Cause: Salon Helps Out

Besides being a master hairstylist, Becker Chicaiza doesn't just like to make people look fabulous at his salon, he likes to help them lead better lives. "I love kids," said Chicaiza, 34. "I want to do what I can to help them." He has been involved with a number of charities since the salon's opening in 2007. "When I visit the kids, I like to tell them my story," said Chicaiza. "I came here with nothing. It was hard at first but here I am."

Before he came to the United States, Chicaiza dreamed of opening up his own salon and making people feel great. Chicaiza spent time in London and Paris perfecting his skills through various styling and coloring classes. After leaving his home in Ecuador, Chicaiza moved to the United States to join his father in Greenwich and begin a hairdressing career.

He worked with a number of top hair stylists and also styled models for New York's Fashion Week before starting his own salon. "I think of myself as a creator," said Chicaiza. "I like to experiment with cuts and color."

Even when Becker offers the season's latest hair treatment–the Brazilian blowout–at Becker Salon at 268 Mason St. he tries to help others. Ten percent of the $399 cost of the trendy haircut is going to Kids in Crisis, Connecticut's only free, 24-hour agency that provides emergency housing, counseling and educational activities for families in need.

Chicaiza motivations behind his charity work goes in hand with his father's death from cancer and strong relationship with his niece and nephew. He hopes to open his own kids' cancer charity in the future. "Kids are just starting their lives," said Chicaiza. "They need a little more help than adults."

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