For a lot of people, scheduling a hair appointment cut comes with excitement, anticipation, and a Pinterest board-worth of inspiration pictures. But for others, a trip to the salon or barber shop can illicit very different feelings — like paralyzing fear or apprehension.
Children with autism are often hypersensitive to the sound or sensation of scissors or blades snipping around their heads, making haircuts (especially for those with shorter styles) a challenge. But one Canadian barber has made a special accommodation for his 6-year-old autistic client, and photo of it is going viral.
Franz Jacob has been cutting hair since the age of 12, giving his friends mohawks and hair spikes until deciding to open up his own barber shop in Quebec, Canada two years ago. In the time since, Jacob has had several customers with autism come into the shop for a haircut, and he's learned to get creative and adjust his cuts to fit their individual needs.
His youngest client, however, is 6-year-old Wyatt Lafrenière. Wyatt's mother, Fauve Lafrenière, told CNC News that Wyatt is both hyposensitive and hypersensitive, meaning he doesn't feel pain from his hair being touched, but the sensation that happens when he's in the barber's chair can be unbearable.
''Hairdressers sort of panicked when they saw Wyatt arrive, so it was really exceptional to meet Mr. Jacob,'' Lafrenière told the publication. ''He welcomes him like his best friend — to see that he accepts these differences is just fantastic." At his most recent appointment, Jacobs ended up finishing Wyatt's haircut while lying on the floor with scissors in hand.
''I understood that with Wyatt I have to follow him around the salon with my tools to finish the cut,'' Jacob said. Lafrenière snapped a photo of the moment, sharing it to her personal Facebook page — and the photo and story spread like virtual wildfire.
Lafrenière calls Jacob "an everyday hero" for Wyatt— and it's easy to see why.
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