(FOX) — There’s nothing that a fresh hair cut can’t fix.
One Ohio family is feeling grateful after a local barber went above and beyond to accommodate their young son who has autism, opting to cut the 7-year-old’s hair outside, where he felt more comfortable, after the shop had closed for the day.
Last week was picture day for Brycen Juby, and his mom, Ashley, wanted to make sure her child felt ready for his close up. The photo op would mark the start of an extra-special new chapter, as this is Brycen’s first year in public school, Fox 8 reported.
“This is a new start for Brycen, being at the public school. He has worked so hard to be in a bigger school and was so ready, the proud mom told Yahoo Lifestyle.
“For the last roughly four years my husband has been cutting his hair at home,” she continued. “[Brycen] would still meltdown every time.”
Ashley and her husband, Joe, recently decided their son might be ready to try sitting in a real barber’s chair again, as he has lately been more accepting of haircuts.
The parents scheduled an appointment at Marky Fresh Barbershop in the city of Mentor, where co-owner Marco Conti reassured them they would accommodate however possible to make Brycen feel comfortable.
“We try to make it an equal playing field for everybody and we try to adapt to that, you know, person, and try to make it a personal experience for them,” Conti told Fox 8.
The stylist agreed to cut the child’s hair after the barbershop closed for a calmer ambiance, though the youngster began to feel overwhelmed when he and his father arrived at the shop, Yahoo reports.
“He was comfortable outside so why not just bring a chair outside and do the hair cut outside,” Conti recalled, and set up his chair outside to get to work.
An emotional image of a teary Brycen, supported by his father, who cradled his son’s face while Conti trimmed the boy’s hair captured the powerful moment that Ashley said her family truly cherished.
“[Conti] was so accommodating and reassured me that everything would be great and it was,” she told Fox 8.
The barber, meanwhile, said he feels it’s the “duty” of his business – the largest barbershop in town – to make customers feel comfortable however they can.
“I feel that it is our duty to open our hearts and to accommodate everyone as best as we can with whatever resources we have available with action over intention,” he told Yahoo. “I just wanted him to feel loved and comfortable and safe and that there was nothing to fear.”
Moving forward, Conti said he hopes other parents of children with special needs will learn of the story and book their kid’s next haircut at his shop, confident that the stylists will do whatever it takes to accommodate them.
“This has opened doors for those parents that were silent and those that just didn’t know that we are more than willing to help,” he mused.