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Instagram barbers give back with free haircuts for homeless

Updated March 20, 2023 - 7:10 pm

Aspiring Las Vegas barbers — all of them teenagers — set up foldable chairs on a sidewalk near downtown last weekend as people experiencing homelessness lined up to receive a free haircut.

For the last year, more than 10 Instagram barbers from across the valley have come together for a day of giving back, for those in the community who need it most.

On Saturday, March 11, on a sidewalk by the Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, near Main Street and Owens Avenue, people gathered around the barbers to ask if they could be next to get a haircut.

The barbers — all between the ages of 13-19 years old — cut hair from their homes and advertise their services on Instagram. Many plan to work toward getting their occupational license to become certified barbers in Nevada.

Still, they’ve come together every three to four months for the day of service to their community.

Christopher Ramirez, a 19-year-old barber, said he and his fellow barbers didn’t have a similar service growing up, so they try to give back to people who need it.

“I feel like we’ve all been through the struggles and it feels good to give back when you can,” he said.

‘We have it all’

In the past, the teens have set up shop by the Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada building or by the Fremont Street Experience. They’ve even worked with community partners to provide showers for the homeless, according to lead organizer Armando Geraldo Gil.

Gabriel Lopez, a 13-year-old barber, says he feels good about giving back to people who are happy to get a haircut.

Jose Rodriguez, who lives near downtown, remembers the last time the teenagers gave haircuts in front of Catholic Charities, and said in Spanish that he’s happy to receive a free haircut.

“This is a blessing, they got these young cats out here helping the community,” Junis Davis, 44, said of getting a haircut. “It’s a real good feeling to know that someone cares.”

Carlos Arechiga, 18, cuts the hair of Martin Borunda, a 65-year-old man from Juarez, Mexico, who tells him in Spanish how he makes his living on the streets.

“It’s sad to know their story as to why they’re in the streets,” Arechiga said. “No matter what they go through, there are still people that are really positive, loving and love talking to people.”

Borunda tells the teen nothing is free, and that at his age he makes money by asking to clean up the trash in front of businesses.

The last time he got a haircut was six months ago.

“I’m very thankful for these guys,” Borunda said, brushing the excess hairs from his head.

Contact Jimmy Romo at jromo@reviewjournal.com or call 702-383-0350. Follow @jimi_writes on Twitter.

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