Even children understand quality haircare is provided at a premium, so if boys and girls can trade skills for trims, they'll take those deals.
Barber Courtney Holmes devoted a day to providing kids haircuts under one condition: They must read to him while he snips.
Holmes told USA TODAY,
The kids would come in, and I would say, 'Go to the table and get a book you might like, and if you can't read it, I'll help you understand and we can read it together.'
Rather than spend a busy Saturday providing haircuts for profit at the salon he works for, Spark Family Hair Salon, the father of two welcomed little ones to his booth at an annual back-to-school community event.
The idea to add a little education into the mix didn't strike Holmes until he saw a youth organization handing out free books at a booth nearby and decided to pick up a couple.
The Dubuque, Iowa native said,
To be honest, I was amazed. The line started with four kids, and next thing I knew it was like 20 kids, all waiting for a haircut and eager to read.
The success of Holmes' bartering left a handful of children still waiting for haircuts at the event's end, so he awarded the stragglers vouchers for free haircuts back at his salon.
Holmes said he plans to bring books from home with him to work, but he also said the media attention caused people to contribute books to his cause.
The barber shared,
I'm looking forward to keeping this going.
Continuing the program should be an easy feat as the owner of Spark Family Hair Salon is entertaining the idea of offering free haircuts to kids monthly -- provided they come ready to read.