AUGUSTA — Hair stylist Patrick Lomantini is going to be moving pretty fast cutting hair at Visage Salon and Day Spa today — way faster than the usual, pampering pace of the downtown salon.

However, he has to move fast if he’s going to reach his goal of giving at least 50 haircuts in each of the 50 states, in just 50 consecutive days, to help homeless animals by raising cash and awareness.

Lomantini drove 33 hours straight from Kansas, where he owns a hair salon, to get to Augusta to start his “50 State Tour.” The nationwide fundraising tour kicks off at 9 a.m. today at Visage on Water Street in Augusta, where he will spend about 15 minutes per haircut to stay on pace to reach his 50 haircut goal.

He then moves on to Vermont on Thursday, New Hampshire Friday, Boston Saturday, and on across the rest of the country, one state and day at a time.

Last year, Lomantini’s tour involved some 2,300 haircuts, raising about $47,000 to help homeless animals in shelters. This year, in the tour’s second year, he hopes to double those figures.

In most states, 100 percent of money raised from the $20 suggested donation for each haircut will go to a local animal shelter or rescue organization. However, the Augusta stop will raise funds for BarkAid, which will help fund the costs of Lomantini’s tour.

Lomantini, describing himself as too busy to have pets of his own, said he grew up around dogs and he thought some members of his own family didn’t treat their animals properly, which bothered him. He said the fundraising tour is his way of giving back to animals and raising awareness of their cause, because they can’t speak for themselves.

Frank Coco, co-owner of Visage with his brother, Anthony, said they responded to Lomantini’s request for them to participate by providing time and space in their salon because Lomantini and many at the Augusta salon share dual passions — they love animals and hair.

“Most of us are animal lovers; we share the same passion Patrick has,” Frank Coco said Tuesday. “And we’re a family business, so this is a way for us to give back. We thought we should be doing more.”

Coco said Visage is usually about pampering its clients, and a hair appointment usually takes an hour or more. He said assistants at the salon will help Lomantini stay on his 50-haircut a day pace.

Last year the effort in Augusta fell just short of the 50-haircut goal, but Coco is confident they’ll make it this year.

Those looking to get a haircut to help the cause may make an appointment by calling 623-6209, or simply walk in between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. today.

Those who want more information on the tour or want to make a donation may visit www.barkaid.org or search for 50 States Tour on Facebook.

Lomantini said the 50-day trip is hardly a vacation, with some consecutive stops along the way nearly eight hours apart.

“You do 50 haircuts at each stop, on average, drive to the next state, maybe get a few hours of sleep, and get up and do it again,” he said. “Last year, in the pictures of the tour, you could see I was getting skinnier as I went.”

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.