MAN

Winter 2018

MAN—the business of men’s grooming—is for barbers, hair stylists, skincare specialists, barber supply store owners and other beauty industry professionals that provide men’s grooming services or retail men’s grooming products.

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The beauty industry and giving back have long been synonymous. Think of all the charities and causes that the industry supports: cut-a-thons for breast cancer awareness month, hair donations for Locks of Love, raising money for victims of domestic abuse—the list goes on and on. And while it may be reductive to think of it this way, it can appear that the majority of these efforts have been put forth by female stylists for female causes. Luckily we've entered an era where gender roles aren't so defi ned and compassion is a cause that everyone can get behind. All of that came clear just over three years ago, when a barber named Mark Bustos made international headlines for offering free haircuts for the homeless in New York City. His #BeAwesomeToSomebody campaign proved that not only could one person make a huge difference, but that the bad boys of barber-dom could also do these do-good acts of kindness. We reached out to him as well as several other leaders in the barbering community to talk about their initiatives, how they got started, and why they can't imagine doing anything else. #Haircut4Homeless Finding Purpose in the City of Brotherly Love In 2016, after 11 years cutting hair, Brennon Jones left the world of barbering and became a wardrobe stylist. But little did the 29-year-old know that a chance encounter with a homeless man in early 2017 would forever change his direction. After giving the man a few bucks and a banana, Jones later realized he'd missed an opportunity to give something more meaningful to them both: a haircut. So he drove around the streets of Philly and looked for someone to help. Armed with clippers and a power inverter that hooked up to his car's battery, he began doing fi ve, then seven, then 10, then 20 cuts a day. He posted his efforts on social media, @haircut4homeless, which caught the attention of local media and Sean Johnson, an area barbershop owner. Now, more than 1,000 complimentary cuts later, Jones' kindness is being repaid tenfold. Johnson fi rst offered him a job at his shop, but Jones politely declined. But with the cooler months approaching, Johnson came back with an offer Jones couldn't refuse: his own shop. Johnson had a second location that he'd been trying to get off the ground. "I decided what other way to help a brother out than to donate the shop," Johnson says. Now, the new Phenomenon Perfection Barber Lounge has partnered with local shelters to offer free haircuts and food on Mondays. And just to prove these haircuts make a difference, look no further than Jones' fi rst client, Braden. A few days after giving him the cut, Jones went back to check on him but couldn't fi nd him. "I was hoping nothing bad happened to him," Jones says. "When we did catch up weeks later, he said he got offered a full-time job." #BeAwesomeToSomebody Inspiring Random Acts of Kindness on the Street Mark Bustos, founder of #BeAwesomeToSomebody and barber at NYC's Three Squares Studio, has been cutting the hair of homeless men and women for several years now. The idea to give back was born in 2012 when he and girlfriend Lucille Javier visited the shop in which her father used to get his hair cut in the Philippines. They rented a chair for the day and offered free cuts to local underserved children. "The feeling was so rewarding that I decided to bring it back home to NYC and every other destination we travel to on vacation," Bustos says. His story went viral in 2015 thanks in part to his powerful posts on Instagram, and since then his do-good attitude has only increased. He's spoken on panels across the world, shining the spotlight on the importance of what hairdressers and barbers do on the daily. He has cut hair for people in the slums of Mumbai, the alleys of Cairo, the trash heaps of the Philippines. And through it all he's maintained his positive outlook and encouraged others to do more for their fellow humans. "From fancy hair salon chairs to park benches, milk crates, city hall steps, tombstones, bamboo slats above sewage water, and even a cinder block acting as a child booster seat," Bustos recently posted, "you name it, I've been there. If you want something to be done, stop making excuses, work with what you have and just MAKE IT HAPPEN." 44 I M A N I W I N T E R 2 0 1 8 DEVIN MASGA These images from 2014 helped bring awareness to Bustos' movement, #BeAwesomeToSomebody Bustos says of Gabe, 27, "he's got as much heart, dignity, and self respect as anyone that inspires us— he just happens to be at a place in life where the only place to go is up."

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