Joshua Coombes had no intention of becoming a hairdresser to the homeless. It all started coincidentally, he said, but his first trim inspired him to keep going. Since then, he has cut countless hobos’ hair, and he’s taken his styling kit around the globe, giving fresh looks to those without a roof over their heads. And you won’t believe some of the jaw-dropping transformations he’s achieved...
Once upon a time, Joshua Coombes worked at a hair salon in Devon, England. But for him, the job itself wasn’t necessarily his dream career. He told good cause website Movember.com, “I didn’t get into hairdressing as my passion initially, I loved the creativity, but it was the people I came back for – the human connection and creating spaces where people feel comfortable to talk.”
And life behind the salon chair gave him that opening, he said. “Cutting someone’s hair is quite an intimate thing and you really see someone come out of their shell and they start talking to you a bit deeper about their life and their situation,” Coombes explained.
Initially, Coombes was connecting with his clients in England’s West Country. But eventually his profession would allow him to build a rapport with a range of people across the globe. And how did he make the transition? It all boils down to a one fateful off-the-cuff decision to style someone’s hair after he’d clocked out of work, which by now was in a London salon.
Coombes told Movember.com, “It just happened one day. I had all my gear on me and I was walking past people on the streets and seeing the poverty that was on my doorstep. I ended up buying this homeless guy a coffee and offered him a haircut – it felt natural, I didn’t overthink it.”