LUMBERTON — Mastaphalis Cuts and Styles in downtown Lumberton will offer free haircuts to students across Robeson County on Sunday as part of its 12th annual Back to School Haircut Bash.
Shown Richardson, who runs the hair salon, believes that taking a little off the top can go a long way for needy children.
“When a student gets a haircut, they feel more refreshed and confident,” he said. “It gives them an extra boost to start them on the right track.”
A native of Tar Heel, Richardson has been cutting hair since he was 15 years old. After opening Mastaphalis in 2001, he began offering free trims each summer as a way to “show the community we care about them.” The salon normally charges $8 for a haircut.
“The main thing that inspired me was I know that we have a lot of single parents in the community who can’t afford to get haircuts for their kids,” Richardson said. “I thought it would be a big help to those parents.”
According to Richardson, about 50 students turned out for the first bash in 2002 and last year it drew a record 150
To help his staff of eight keep things moving at a steady clip, Richardson began enlisting the aid of his own students from Fayetteville Technical Community College, where he teaches barbering classes.
The gift is welcome by parents.
“We have some who bring us food and drinks because they’re so thankful,” he said. “One woman had tears in her eyes last year. It’s a blessing to see that a parent is so grateful.”
Despite losing more than $1,000 during each bash — not counting the hundreds of dollars spent furnishing guests with free school supplies and door prizes — Richardson’s charity doesn’t appear to have hurt his business. In January, he opened a second Mastaphalis location in Fayetteville, which will also offer free haircuts on Sunday.
The event will run from noon until 5 p.m. at both locations. Free food will be provided by the LMC Children’s Service. The Lumberton barbershop is located at 509 W. Second St. and can be reached at 910-739-5357. The Fayetteville location is located at 6085 Raeford Road and can be reached at 910-491-3287.
Students in the Public Schools of Robeson return to class on Monday.