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A hairdresser is giving free haircuts to the homeless in London

Isabelle Aron

A photo posted by Joshua Coombes (@joshuacoombes) on

London gets a bad rep for being an unfriendly city, so it's nice to see someone doing something selfless in this city for a change. Hairdresser Joshua Coombes has been giving free haircuts to the homeless in London, as part of his #DoSomethingForNothing initiative. He was inspired after giving a homeless man a haircut in Exeter, his home town, and now gives around ten free haircuts a week in London.

He's been documenting each person's haircut on Instagram, showing before and after shots and sharing each person's story.


This is the lovely Michelle. She has been homeless for the last four years now. Back in 2012 she lost her husband and told me that things spiralled out of control for her when this happened. Emotionally torn, she turned to drugs, drink and anything to ease that pain. She was really open and honest with me, saying that drugs have always played a role in her life but after this event she lost control of when she used. I could tell she is still trying to pick up the pieces and to move on with her life but she's struggling. It was lovely to see the change in confidence during Michelle's haircut, with each snip of the scissors she was more talkative and let her personality shine. When I was cutting her fringe, face to face she said "We're usually invisible out here, but today I feel like people can see me" We parted with big smiles after spending an hour getting to know each other. Your time is the most precious gift. #DoSomethingForNothing

A photo posted by Joshua Coombes (@joshuacoombes) on


This is Andrew, 25. Andrew approached me after a day of street hairdressing just as I was packing up my things. He was a really shy character and I could tell he'd waited for a quiet moment to talk to me. The battery on my clippers had ran out but I didn't want to say no to him. So, we decided to arrange a time to meet the next day. Andrew has been homeless for almost 4 years. After a youth spent in foster care he told me "I never knew my Parents, I had 5 different foster families so I was never settled" When Andrew came to London he got a job at the Olympics in merchandise, which he really enjoyed. But this of course was only a temporary role and when it ended Andrew struggled to find more work. High rent in London mean it wasn't long before he had to move out of his shared place. With no family to rely on the streets were his only option. I was so happy to see him waiting for me that day. While I cut his hair, @noorunisa_ brought him some some food and cup of tea. It was great to spend some time listening to him and showing we care 👊🏼 #DoSomethingForNothing

A photo posted by Joshua Coombes (@joshuacoombes) on


This is Zack, 36 years old. This guy has got a smile on his face whenever I see him, so it was really nice to let it shine through with a beard trim! 👍🏼 Such an amazing personality. I was so happy to do this for him, every time I've seen Zack around The Strand in London I always speak to him and offered him a haircut. His response is usually 'Thanks man, but I'm growing my hair out!' Each time I've said 'Hey Zack, is today the day??' And this time he said 'It's time for the beard trim' Zack is one of those people I can tell everybody loves having around. There's a real sense of community to some of the people I meet down in the Charing Cross area and Zack is a constantly bright soul in that party. He has been homeless for years now and smiles like he hasn't got a worry in the world. Makes you question the small things we worry about each day. #DoSomethingForNothing

A photo posted by Joshua Coombes (@joshuacoombes) on

Check out Joshua's Instagram or find out more about the #DoSomethingForNothing campaign 

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