This Barber Gives Free Haircuts To Young Men With Good Grades And Upcoming Job Interviews

"I always want them to leave feeling motivated, like they can take over the world.”

There are plenty of barbers in Washington, D.C., but one is a cut above the rest.


Rahaman Kilpatrick, a Maryland resident, travels to the nation's capital regularly to mentor a community men's group and a group of teenage boys and young men at Horton's Kids, a nonprofit organization. Self-taught with nearly 30 years of experience, Kilpatrick offers free haircuts to young men with improving grades and adult men preparing for job interviews.

"I started giving free haircuts for any teen who could come up one letter grade or who could bring in a test where they got a C or better," Kilpatrick told HuffPost via email. "…Teens are always dealing with self-esteem [issues]. Having a fresh haircut for school, prom, graduation, etc., makes them feel so much better about themselves." 

The one-on-one time also provides Kilpatrick with a unique opportunity to impart some life lessons on the young men. He considers the haircuts a kind of "truth serum," allowing him to have open and candid discussions about "everything from how to treat women and the importance of good grades to safe sex and making better day-to-day decisions" with the young men.

But good grades aren’t the only way to score a new do from Kilpatrick.

He also helps the adult men in the community group put their best foot — and head – forward at job interviews. Realizing that "one of the biggest struggles the men have is finding employment," Kilpatrick first started helping them with their resumes and interviewing skills. "Sometimes during the meetings, I could sense if one of the men was feeling down," he explained. "So I would offer a haircut to make him feel better about himself."

While Kilpatrick has done a lot of good already, he aims to extend his positive impact beyond the barber chair with the hashtag #TheGiveBack. Since he posted the above tweet incorporating the hashtag on June 7, it has received nearly 15,000 likes and almost 10,000 retweets. Using the power of social media, he has not only spread the message of his good work, but has even inspired many others to use their skills in serving their communities as well.

Kilpatrick would love nothing more than to see any of those Twitter users volunteer offline, especially if they're handy with a pair of clippers. Living with fibromyalgia, a physical disorder that causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness, standing for hours on end while "cutting everybody in the neighborhood's hair" is a daily obstacle. 

Still, Kilpatrick is happy to make the sacrifices necessary to overcome this obstacle — and any others that may come his way — because he sees the differences his haircuts to each individual every day. "I give free haircuts to motivate people, to help them to want more and work harder at doing better," he concluded. "…I always want them to leave feeling motivated, like they can take over the world."

Kilpatrick is hardly the first hairdresser to change lives with the snips of their scissors. In fact, he's in good (doer) company with Utah-based Ave Salon hairstylist Mandie Barnes, Nasir Sobhani, also known as "The Streets Barber," and Courtney Holmes, a barber in Dubuque, Iowa. With all their combined efforts, many communities are in good hands — and even better hair. 

(H/T: HuffPost


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.