How important is a haircut? It’s a rather ordinary thing that we experience occasionally and think little of.
But once you walk out of the salon, or the barber shop, or your talented friend’s home studio, you feel better, brighter and cleaner.
That is, assuming you like the cut and aren’t having major regrets. And even though the physical act of taking scissors to hair isn’t hard (ask any kid who’s found scissors and alone time), doing it well is an art form.
For P. Michael Boone, it’s also a gift. The haircut is a starting point, but he uses his skills to bring people confidence and to serve his community.
Boone’s been in the business for a quarter of a century and has participated in all sorts of giving-back programs: cutting kids’ hair before the school year starts, cutting homeless people’s hair, and even starting his own short-term courses.
“I wanted to teach young men to be self-sufficient and cut their own hair when they went away to college,” Boone said in an interview with Yahoo. “My students learn the fundamentals of men’s haircuts — safety, cleanliness, clipper control, and hair strokes.”
Although he was teaching the fundamentals of men’s haircuts, when a 7-year-old girl named Neijae Graham-Henries showed up and was interested, he welcomed her. And it was a good thing he did: She’s proven to have a real knack for the job.
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So proud of all my students that came through the “JR Barber Academy” and s/o to @countrycookin1 for the post about my the class ,that’s where the students parents seen the program.My youngest student Neijae made @cbs_philly news last night.(((Checkout the video in my bio))) #youngestfemalebarber #barber #barbershopconnect #philly #jba
“I never expected to see a young lady in my class,” Boone said, “but she was eager to learn, and I gave her the same guidance I’d give my older students.”
Being both the youngest and only female to grace his class, Boone could have been skeptical that she’d stick with it — but Neijae showed up for every class, and once she finished the course, she wanted to follow in Boone’s footsteps of giving back.
“I put on a back-to-school event in Philadelphia where 300 to 400 kids show up for free haircuts,” Boone said. “And Neijae came to help me. She even brought her own clippers!”
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I believe It’s much easier to take the time to teach a child then to try and correct an adult ….. Fall classes for the #juniorbarberacademy will be starting soon…Please fill out the form in the link in the bio and I will be emailing out all the details about the orientation…Please share or tag anyone that might be interested #barber #philly #barberclasses #youngestfemalebarber #barbershopconnect
“I am very proud of her,” Boone said. “She was a great student, and I am excited to see where this will take her.”
It’s not about to stop there, either. Boone is looking forward to having his youngest student, now 8 years old, help him out in other outreach efforts.
“I’m going to be cutting hair for the homeless in November, and I already asked Neijae to come along,” he said.
Already so talented at such a young age, the future is bright for Neijae. Having developed a skill that many adults struggle with, she’s not just using it for her own benefit: She’s using her gifts to serve.
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