Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Hairdresser travels around the world to give the homeless free haircuts

Toting a backpack with scissors, a razor, clips, a comb, and a styling cape, Joshua Coombes is traveling around the world, giving free haircuts to homeless men and women.

The 30-year-old London hairdresser gets to know his homeless clientele as he works, and he shares their stories on his Instagram stream, tagging them with #DoSomethingForNothing. "When you cut someone's hair, it is about trust," Coombes told The Washington Post. He's found that clients get comfortable and "tell us everything. And that role translates to the street really well." He has cut the hair of hundreds of people, and earlier this year he gave haircuts to the homeless in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Coombes says he believes in the power of forging connections between people, and his aim is to make a positive impact through conversation and haircuts. On Instagram, he shared what it was like cutting the hair of Thomas, a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran who has been homeless for 10 years. Thomas stared at the mirror for a long time, and asked Coombes why he chose to do this for him. "I told him the truth — I loved hearing his story," Coombes wrote. "I never want to stop learning. Every time I go out and do this, I get so much also. ... Fulfillment is different for everyone, but for me, connecting with others is what makes me tick."