What makes a hairstylist great isn’t just their skill with the shears — it’s also their ability to fill the role of occasional therapist and superhero. That might sound like a lot to ask, but time and time again, stylists have proven that their compassion extends further than just giving you a haircut you don’t hate. Donncha O’Connell, of the Baldy Barber in Blackpool, Ireland, recently showed his willingness to go above and beyond for a client, and the touching story quickly went viral.
16-year-old Evan O’Dwyer, who has severe autism, has been visiting Donncha for regular haircuts for the past 14 years. But during a trip to see O’Connell on May 29, he became anxious and refused to stay in the salon chair. “The haircut had started, so we had to finish it,” Evan’s mom, Deirdre O’Dwyer, told Yahoo Beauty. Without hesitation, Donncha suggested that they move the entire operation to the family car, which O’Dwyer called Evan’s “happy place,” so he could feel more relaxed.
Donncha and his brother Dylan helped Evan back into the car, and Donncha got to work giving Evan his trim while Dylan held his hands to make him feel comfortable and at ease. Once all was said and done, Deirdre told Yahoo Beauty, “He had his haircut, and he was fine and happy.” The story was also shared by Ireland AM, and it’s since garnered over 13,000 likes and 600 shares.
Needless to say, the brothers are receiving tons of well-deserved praise for their actions. “This is the level of understanding and empathy we all need,” one Facebook commenter wrote. “Well done to this barber who went out of his way to ensure this boy was comfortable and relaxed and went home with the lovely hair cut he wanted.”