Until Sunday, Owie Bowen is inviting children four-12 to come and get a free haircut at his Fresh Cutz GQ barbershop in Sobo Village, La Brea.
The initiative is a thanksgiving to celebrate the first anniversary of Bowen’s shop.
But he’s also doing it to boost the morale of children returning to school, even if they are still doing online classes.
Bowen, 27, told Newsday, “I took the initiative to give back to the community by doing free haircuts for kids.
“It doesn’t matter how far you come from or what area of Trinidad and Tobago, you’re welcome to get a free haircut.
“It’s also just to help out the parents. I know that they have to hustle to get books and uniforms and haircuts is the last thing (for them to study)…so I said, why not help out parents?”
When barbershops were closed in March 2020, during the first set of covid19 restrictions, Bowen began experimenting with barbering by watching YouTube tutorials and cutting his own hair.
As time went by, he practised his new skills on his nephews and friends.
“Along the way I would make little mistakes and stuff. But gradually, as I continued practising, I improved.
“I also tried to influence one or two of my friends to get a haircut. They eventually came and from there on, I continued.”
Bowen opened his barbershop on August 7, 2020, as he felt confident in his abilities at that point.
But he didn’t just want to open a shop, he wanted it to be unique. So he designed a logo for the barbershop to promote it on social media.
He even made face masks.
“I started taking before-and-after pictures of the haircuts I gave and people saw the improvement. I also started to get to know other barbers.
“I started here at a small table in my yard and I had a computer chair, as my barber chair was wearing out. Thanks to my friend Richard of Richie Fades Progressive Cuts, who donated this (barber) chair for me,” said Bowen as he related the journey of getting his shop up and running.
As he celebrates a year in business, he knew he wanted to give back and couldn’t think of anything better than the feeling of a haircut.
When Bowen gets a haircut, he feels confident and brand new.
So it’s a feeling he wants to make sure all children have especially as they return to school in the coming week.
“I do this because I like to see people feel good about themselves. Knowing that I could change people’s perspectives of how they look and feel is important.”
Bowen started giving free haircuts to children four-12 on August 26 and will continue doing so until Sunday.
To date, he’s already given eight free haircuts, but is keen to give more.
Even though he’s catering for children of a specific age, he’s willing to do children a little older once they’re returning to school.
Parents interested in Bowen’s free haircuts can visit his shop, message its Instagram page @freshcutz_gq.tt or call 323-9826