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Meet the Nomadic Hairdresser Helping the Homeless

Meet the Nomadic Hairdresser Helping the Homeless

Meet Joshua Coombes, hairdresser to the homeless, who travels the world cutting the hair of people living on the streets.

Meet the Nomadic Hairdresser Helping the Homeless

It’s not uncommon to feel a sense of helplessness when it comes to those less fortunate than us – but Joshua Coombes has shown that you can put your own expertise to good use to better the lives of others.

Coombes is a hairdresser to the homeless, who has helped transform the lives of thousands of homeless people around the world  by offering them free haircuts, and subsequently, a friendly ear and the chance to feel seen. The former musician has been heading out and about with his scissors for years now, offering those less fortunate than him a brand new look with a fresh trim.

And while Joshua’s expertise may lie with his scissors, it also sits with his willingness to stop, talk and listen to the stories of those living on the streets. After he’s finished cutting someone’s hair, the hairdresser asks if he can share their story on Instagram using the hashtag #DoSomethingForNothing, a practice which has seen him grow a following of 160k. Joshua’s movement isn’t just about raising awareness; it’s also about raising compassion, and encouraging others to realise that they too have the ability to change someone’s day simply by doing something for nothing.

And while awareness is at the forefront of his #DoSomethingforNothing campaign, so too is empathy, humanity and kindness. In a recent interview with UniLad, Joshua said of his movement: “For me it’s not about whether someone’s deserving or undeserving. We’re all human, we all make mistakes.”

“It’s about trying to get rid of that thick layer of stigma that surrounds people who live on the streets in most cities and painting it literally in a new colour, which is not just statistics.”

The Do Something For Nothing (DSFN) movement encourages people to realise there is no ‘us and them’ when it comes to people living on the streets, and that a moment of compassion can go a long way.

Although the hairdresser often completely transforms his customers by giving them a new look, he explained how the impact doesn’t just come from the haircuts, but from the time he spends chatting with those who are often ignored by society, and this his goal is to make them feel seen and heard during a time when they feel invisible to many.

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