Mark Bustos may be a high-end New York City hairstylist during the week, but on weekends he dedicates his time to giving free haircuts to the local homeless population.
“There is so much negativity in this world today, and I just simply wanted to bring some positive energy and hope into this world,” said Mark, who works for Three Squares Studio.
He was first inspired by a trip in 2012 to his family's native Philippines where he rented a barber's chair and gave free trims to underprivileged kids. One child in particular stood out to him.
"He was 12-years-old, and so shy, and rarely made eye contact with anybody. He had no shoes on his feet and looked extremely rough and callused," Mark recalled.
"During his haircut, he looked upset the entire time and didn't look up once, until the cut was complete. One man in the shop said, ‘Now you look like you're from NYC!’ He looked up and cracked the most unforgettable smile.”
Since then, Mark has spent most of his Sundays roaming the streets of NYC looking for recipients. He has also continued the tradition with visits to Jamaica, Costa Rica and LA.
He believes a fresh, clean look can do a lot for a person's confidence. “I do believe people with a proper, professional haircut receive more respect than those who do not have a proper haircut," he shared with Today.com.
Mark's posted a few of his customers' new 'dos on his Instagram account, including a video of a Jamaican reggae singer who serenaded him with an original tune.
“I've decided to have photos taken in an attempt to inspire others to do great things for fellow human beings,” he explained.