Breaking News
More () »

Local barber goes viral for giving out free haircuts to people in need

When Jay Da Barber gave out free haircuts to people in need Tuesday across from the Cherry Street Mission, he gave people more than just a fresh, new look.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Right across the street from The Cherry Street Mission on Monore and 15th streets is where Jayon Hughes, better known as Jay Da Barber, cut hair for free. He has been cutting hair for a little over four years, and even though it's how he makes his living, he decided one Tuesday to just give his services away.

"The money will come. It's not about the money," Hughes said. 

On that slow Tuesday, he went out across the street from the Mission, posted his sign, laid out his tools and began cutting hair for anyone who wanted it, free of charge

"Seeing everybody out there, just in distresses ... I knew I had to help them," Hughes said. "Me giving a haircut, knowing that they're satisfied with their haircut, that's something money cannot buy."

While his customers were not serviced in his typical manner inside a barber shop, they didn't care. He was told by them that his gesture helped change their lives.

"I cut like 10 people," Hughes said. "Four of those homeless people had interviews the next day. So yes, I got them interview-ready."

He said he wasn't doing it for recognition, he just wanted to help. However, Tanya Marria Murphy said she just happened to be driving by Hughes and was inspired by what she saw. 

"I do #TanyaWitThaTee and it's some accidents and sometimes negative. I want to bring positive and I love community involvement, so I had to get that," she said.

Not only did she get it, her story has been viewed over 45,000 times on Facebook in two days. For Murphy, Hughes' story is close to home for her. Her son, Ulysses Gray, owns a barbershop called 1stDibz Barbershop Boutique. As a seasoned barber himself, with more than 16 years cutting hair, he said he is not surprised his mother highlighted Hughes' work. 

"Seeing him do it, it's like, that's what I'm talking about. That's how you put the map out there," Gray said. "That's why my mother sees stuff like that and captures it because that's the type of stuff I've been doing. That's how she sees me as well."

Murphy said the best part about Hughes helping those in need is that he gave them a sense of self-worth.

"To see the smile on his face," Murphy said. "They could be panhandling, people will say, 'Get out of here. I don't want it. Don't talk to me.' And for him to be praised like that, that's going to give him an oomph."

While Hughes does not have a set date on when he will cut hair for free again, he said he will continue to help out his community in any way he can. 

"I tried to cut as many people as possible, and I hope to do that again," he said.

Before You Leave, Check This Out