Mark Bustos is doing something great for the homeless population living on the streets of New York city. On Sundays the hairdresser takes the day to roam the streets of the concrete jungle he calls home, always in search of the next homeless person that needs a haircut but can’t afford to come into his barbershop Monday through Saturday.
In 2012, Bustos traveled to the Philippines to visit with his family. During this trip he thought up a way to help the needy children flooding the region, all in need of a fresh haircut and style. He rented a barber shop and set up a booth open for free haircuts. The results of this idea changed him in unexpected ways, as he met a collection of people he couldn’t forget. His journey in the Philippines inspired him to do something similar for the people in his hometown of New York.
On Bustos’ Instagram page he uploads new photos weekly of the people he meets. With a simple haircut he is able to help change their attitude and outlook on life. Check out some of the touching and inspirational photos here.
Bustos’ most memorable client is a man named Jemar Banks, the man was quite throughout most of his haircut, but when Busto handed him a mirror to check out his finished results, the man said: “Do you know anyone that’s hiring?”
When your down on your luck and not looking your best it’s easy to get discouraged and fall into a trap of negativity. You can’t always blame homeless people if they develop a hopeless mind set. Judging by Jemar’s reaction, sometimes all that it takes is a little care and compassion, and a good looking haircut, to breathe new confidence and hope into someones’ day.
There are so many people thankful for Bustos’ good deeds, in fact he takes care of about 6 different haircuts on any given Sunday–that’s got to be around 6 hours of his day. On his Instagram account, markbustos, regularly posts photographs of the people he meets and helps transform with a great haircut.
No matter how wrong we know it is, it is basic human nature to judge others by their appearance, at least at first meeting. The brain relies on apperances to categorize people, to decide who is dangerous, who is safe, who is friendly, and so on. Unkept or messy hair can literally turn someone into an outcast, but for those that are penniless and homeless, getting a haircut becomes an unaffordable luxury.
Overgrown hair isn’t necessarily a choice, but an only option for those trapped living on the streets. Without employment or money, how is one supposed to pay for a haircut? Although a haircut makes a huge difference in ones’ appearance, and can be the difference between a second chance at employment, and life in general.
Bustos’ Instagram account has grown to 132,000 followers, largely thanks to the many media outlets that have shared his incredible story. So what does the humble barber have to say about all of the positive attention now surrounding his good deeds?
Clearly he doesn’t let any of it go to his head, as he shared on Instagram about a week ago, “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of The Lord your God which He had given you.” Deuteronomy 16:17 #BeAwesomeToSomebody #TheMovement” Now that’s someone inspirational worth following!
As Bustos walks the streets each Sunday in search of a new spirit to lift, he starts off with these simple words: “I want to do something nice for you today…” In Bustos’ footsteps we should all aim to follow.