Hundreds of women gathered at the Hip Hop Culture Center in Harlem Saturday for free mini-makeover sessions and professional photographs. The event, entitled Picture of Strength, was created by SoftSheen-Carson as a way to celebrate the community, SVP and General Manager Angela Guy, said. For each attendee, the beauty brand donated $5 to the Harlem Children’s Zone. Participants had their edges straightened and their ends bumped by professional hair stylists who used products from the SoftSheen-Carson Roots of Nature Remedies line. Makeup was applied by professional Maybelline New York makeup artists. They were then given the opportunity to take a photograph with their family or friends by a professional photographer. “This is our tenth year as a brand and we didn’t get there by ourselves,” Guy said. “We got there through the community and the consumer base. What better way to celebrate our anniversary with the people that made us the number one brand than to create an event right here in Harlem where our roots make us strong?” And it was that idea of giving back to the community that attracted actress Sherri Shepherd and singer Michelle Williams to host the event. Shepherd, who boasted of her own tight-knit family connections, said that the whole event was just like a family reunion to her. “I come from Chicago where my family is loud and they like to laugh,” she said. “I’m also a single momma. If it weren’t for the help of my family and my girlfriends, I wouldn’t be able to make it.” She was also excited about her styling session with hairstylist Johnny Wright, whose top client is First Lady Michelle Obama. “I asked if he could give me the First Lady look,” Shepherd said while smiling and patting her neatly coifed curls. Wright, who also serves as Artistic Style Director for SoftSheen-Carson, said that the Roots of Nature products are always in his bag; which we’re sure are responsible for that healthy, lustrous shine that First Lady Michelle Obama sports. Although Michelle Williams also shared that she loves to use the products, she was more concerned about providing a positive experience for the youth of Harlem and their families that were present at the event. “When I found out that Softsheen-Carson was benefiting the Harlem Children’s Zone and that [the Zone] is working to get rid of poverty through education, I was all for it,” she said. “Knowledge is power and once you realize that you don’t have to stay in the situation that you’re in, you can touch the sky.” Related stories: