Articles > Haircuts > Mark Bustos and BTC Give Cuts to the Homeless with the Industry’s Biggest Hairdressers at COLOR, Cut and Style 2015
Last updated: November 28, 2017

Mark Bustos and BTC Give Cuts to the Homeless with the Industry’s Biggest Hairdressers at COLOR, Cut and Style 2015

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By now, you’ve probably heard the name Mark Bustos. You might have seen him in The New York Times, or People Magazine or even the June issue of BTC’s On Paper Magazine. Mark is the incredible hairdresser who spends every Sunday, rain or shine, walking the streets of New York City giving haircuts to the homeless—all while documenting their deeply emotional stories on his Instagram account. He’s also the founder of the #BeAwesomeToSomebody Movement.



When BTC met Mark, we knew we wanted to be a part of his mission. So during BTC’s COLOR, Cut & Style Show in New Orleans, we assembled a group of some of the biggest stars in the industry to join Mark at the New Orleans Mission, a homeless shelter located just a few blocks from the COLOR venue.  


“What an honor it was to work with some amazing stylists and have everybody be a part of what I’ve been up to for the past couple of years,” Mark said. “As hairstylists, we just want to make people feel good. That’s our job—it’s so simple.” 



In two and half hours, eight stylists;  Robert Cromeans and Lee Caro of Paul Mitchell, Ricardo Dinis of Aveda, Joel Torres of TIGI and Samantha Tripp of Kenra Professional, as well as Lucille Javier, a colorist at Sally Hershberger Downtown (and Mark’s girlfriend) and VJ Moscaritola, owner/creative director of Gumdrop Hairdressing, gave haircuts to 49 shelter residents. Some didn’t even remember the last time they had their hair cut.



“It was an emotional experience,” shares Aveda Global Artistic Director for Haircutting, Ricardo Dinis. “I think [living in New York] with such a big population of homeless people, we’re all guilty of becoming kind of numb to it…but to be given the opportunity to come up to these people and speak with them and make them feel like human beings has been life-changing.”



TIGI’s Joel Torres gave seven men’s haircuts at the Mission—talking with each of the men in his chair about their personal stories and getting to know them all as he worked. 



“I was talking with one guy…It was an interesting conversation, and I shared with him a story about my family. I guess he was pretty emotional, and he ended up asking for my phone number. So I gave him my phone number. ‘I’m going to call you whenever just to say thank you,’ he said. ‘I’m going to call you and say, ‘This is the guy from New Orleans. Your client. Your friend.’”


Joel also cut and styled a man named Chase, who proved just how powerful a good haircut (and a smile) can be. 



Check out all the pics from this amazing day here!


The trip to New Orleans Mission wasn’t the only project Mark is currently involved in—it was also the third stop on a cross-country tour Mark and Lucille are taking—cutting hair for the homeless at each stop along the way. 


During the COLOR show, BTC invited Mark to the stage to share his story and help inspire other hairdressers to find ways to use their talents to give back. Moved by Mark’s selflessness and compassion, BTC’s Mary Rector-Gable presented him with a $20,000 donation to help fund his tour. “I cry maybe once a year,” said Mark on stage after he heard about the donation. “This might be it.”



If there’s one thing Mark wants other hairdressers to take away from his journey, it’s that they only need themselves to make a change—it’s simply to #BeAwesomeToSomebody.


“Hairstyling is a universal language,” Mark says. “It’s a beautiful thing. And to be able to do this…to hear people’s stories from all different backgrounds, it just puts things into perspective and helps you appreciate everything you have in your own life. I encourage all stylists to get out there—wherever you’re from—and do something. Just go out and make a difference.”



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