Nationwide — Jayon Hughes, an African American barber from Toledo, Ohio also known as Jay Da Barber, has gained widespread attention after providing free haircuts to people in need. Even though he relies on haircuts for his livelihood, Jayon decided to give back to his community for 1 day.
“The money will come. It’s not about the money,” he told WTOL.
Setting up on the streets of Toeldo, he displayed a sign, arranged his tools, and began cutting hair for anyone who approached him, free of charge.
“Seeing everybody out there, just in distresses… I knew I had to help them,” Jayon said. “Me giving a haircut, knowing that they’re satisfied with their haircut, that’s something money cannot buy.”
Although the haircuts took place outside, instead of the typical barber shop setting, the customers were grateful for his gesture. They expressed how it positively impacted their lives.
“I cut like 10 people. Four of those homeless people had interviews the next day. So yes, I got them interview-ready,” he shared.
While Jayon only wanted to help without seeking recognition, a local community activist named Tanya Marria Murphy happened to see his act of kindness as she passed by and found it inspiring. Known for her community involvement efforts, she shared his story on social media using the hashtag #TanyaWitThaTee. The post quickly gained traction, garnering over 45,000 views on Facebook within 2 days.
The story resonated to Tanya whose son Ulysses Gray owns a barbershop called 1stDibz Barbershop Boutique. As an experienced barber himself, her son wasn’t at all surprised that his mother put a spotlight on Jayon’s work.
“Seeing him do it, it’s like, that’s what I’m talking about. That’s how you put the map out there,” Ulysses 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.”
For Tanya, the most rewarding aspect of his actions was the boost in self-worth he provided to those in need.
“To see the smile on his face,” Tanya 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.”
Although there isn’t a specific date for Jayon’s next round of free haircuts, he expressed his commitment to continuing to support his community in any way he can.
Be sure to follow Jayon AKA Jay Da Barber on Instagram at Jay_Da_Barber22
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