New York City hair stylist offers free cuts to the homeless

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News

"I want to do something nice for you today."

Mark Bustos wants to restore dignity to New York City's homeless residents.

A stylist at the high-end Three Squares Studio, Bustos takes his haircutting tools to the streets of New York every Sunday, offering free haircuts to those who can't afford them.

He posts photos of the homeless makeovers on Instagram with the hashtag #BeAwesomeToSomebody.

Sometimes a simple haircut is inspiring. Accompanying one photo, he wrote:

"First thing he said after this haircut was, 'Do you know anyone that's hiring?'"

He elaborated on the photo to HuffPost.

"Jemar Banks -- I'll never forget the name," Bustos said. "After offering him a haircut and whatever food he wanted to eat, he didn't have much to say throughout the whole process, until after I showed him what he looked like when I was done...the first thing he said to me was, 'Do you know anyone that's hiring?'"

On Mother's Day, he offered a trim to a homeless woman.

"Best Mother's Day gift I ever gave anyone," Bustos wrote.

Bustos first started cutting hair for the needy when he traveled to the Philippines to visit his family. There, he rented a chair at a local barbershop and offered haircuts to poor children in the area.

"The feeling was so rewarding, I decided to bring the positive energy back to NYC," Bustos, 30, told The Huffington Post in an email.

Since then, he's also given haircuts to the less fortunate in Jamaica, Costa Rica and Los Angeles.

"Meet Jim, 52 years old from Long Beach, CA.... was just released from prison 2 weeks ago after serving 10 years. Every human life is worth the same. We all deserve a second chance," Bustos wrote next to a photo of a grinning man.

Last spring, we shared the story of Anthony Cymerys, or "Joe the Barber," a retired 82-year-old barber in Connecticut who has been giving haircuts to the homeless for 25 years. Every Wednesday, he sets up his chair under a tree in a park. He powers his clippers with a car battery.

His clients line up patiently nearby.

"It really is love. I love these guys. That’s what it’s all about," Cymerys told the Associated Press.

He charges his clients a flat rate for each haircut: one hug.