By Hannah Phillips
A generous barber proved he was a cut above the rest by closing his shop doors for the day to give out free haircuts on the street to homeless people – and the transformations are incredible.
Sohail Ashfaq, known as Ash, decided to get involved with homeless charity, Halifax Homeless and Community Kitchen (HHCK) after noticing an advertisement on Facebook.
The dad-of-four, who runs Kings Turkish Barbers in Halifax, West Yorks, offered his services as a barber and spent the day on the street cutting and styling the hair of seven rough sleepers.
Barber of 10 years Ash, 36, said: “I love to help people. Putting a smile on people’s faces is an amazing feeling.
“Everyone is donating money, food and drink. I thought I would do something different and give them a free haircut and shave.
“One of the guys told me his story, he used to have a wife, a house, cars and he just lost everything and ended up on the streets.
“It could happen to anyone, anytime, you just never know.
“When you change a person’s look, you see the smiles on their faces and that they are feeling better. They looked completely different, it was amazing.
“When women go to the hairdressers, they can spend hours there and they keep looking at it and they feel good. Everyone should experience that.
“It definitely made a difference to them, you could see it on their faces. They were all commenting on each other saying they looked like different people.
“The results were amazing. They looked completely different in themselves, you could see a sparkle in each individual’s eyes.
“They looked clean, fresh and neat. It was a job well done.
“Health was one reason for the haircuts. They can go out in the community looking good so people don’t judge them or make silly remarks and they can go for job hunting.
“I think it made them feel excited, smart, clean and best of all, the smile on their faces were a bonus.”
At the event, Ash had requests for different styles including short back and side and skin fades and now plans to hold the stunt again every week with a tent so he can run electricity more easily.
The men didn’t want to be identified, but Ash is now encouraging his children Usman, 15, Haleema, 12, Subhan, 11 and Faizaan, 2, to help people in need.
He said: “My daughter, Haleema, is 12, she’s so excited asking when I’m going to do the next one. I can’t wait to do it again.
“I’ll close my business to spend a couple of hours with someone who needs me, it’s such a good cause.”
The event was organised by HHCK, who hand out food and essentials on the street to Halifax’s homeless every Sunday.
After the event, a spokesman said: “To see these guys faces after receiving a fresh haircut was truly amazing. He made them look and feel so much better in themselves, they were beaming from ear to ear.
“A truly wonderful thing to witness!”