Students from Paul Mitchell the School, located at 2285 Grant Ave., were at Weber State University spreading positivity and handing out hugs yesterday. Holding signs that read “free hugs” and sporting smiles, the group sought to spread cheer on campus.
“We’re just out here loving people,” said Paul Mitchell student Sydney Barnett.
Their positivity was met with some hesitation from passersby. Paul Mitchell student Samantha Felix said there only met one person who was adamant about not exchanging an embrace with any of the group members. Most Wildcats were happy to stop for a quick hug between classes.
Although interaction with others might be easier behind the glow of a laptop screen, hugging releases a chemical called oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone.” Oxytocin is known for increasing bonding, social behavior and developing closeness within relationships. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego’s School of Medicine are studying ways to utilize oxytocin to help patients with schizophrenia, social anxiety and many other disorders.
“Over here at Paul Mitchell, we’re super into making people feel good about themselves,” Felix said. She said it was a great experience and that she and her fellow soon-to-be hair stylists had a blast giving out hugs on Wildcat turf.