- Fil-Am celebrity hairstylist Mark Bustos is gaining international fame for his charitable act
- Bustos walks around the streets of New York on his days off to give free haircuts to the homeless
- He started giving free haircuts to the less fortunate during a visit to his parents’ hometown in Pampanga
He may have styled the crowning glories of the rich and famous like Norah Jones and Marc Jacobs while working at a trendy upscale salon in Manhattan, New York that charges $150 per haircut, but instead Mark Bustos, 30, is gaining international recognition for his humanitarian acts towards the less fortunate.
The Filipino-American hair stylist would wander the streets of New York on his days off to find people, often homeless, who could use a free haircut and might otherwise not be able to afford to get one.
In an interview with ANC, he revealed that his charitable mission started when he was visiting his parents’ hometown in Pampanga in 2012.
“From the moment I did it in the Philippines, I knew that I could do this anywhere. I could just bring my scissors with me anywhere and make people happy. That’s what I do for a living — I make people happy,” he said.
Bustos shared an uplifting story about the first homeless man he gave a free haircut to, Jemar Banks, and his reaction after being given a new look.
“He looked in the mirror and the first thing he said was ‘Do you know anyone that’s hiring? I want to get a job.’ It was then that I knew I was doing the right thing,” he recounted.
Bustos said he found joy, not in the money he rakes in from working in a lucrative salon, but from the conversations he’s had with the homeless.
“Even a simple smile can go a long way,’ he said. “You see their shoulders rise up and you see a little bit of a change in their smile even if they’re shy.”
“It’s about giving back the dignity they lost,” he told CNN.
He documents his travels and photos of his works in his Instagram account with the help of his friend and photographer Devin Masga; hoping he could inspire more people to do random acts of kindness to those in need with his #BeAwesomeToSomebody.