CINCINNATI — Volunteers are trying a different way to help kids with special needs. They’re cutting their hair for free. 

What You Need To Know

  • Vernon Jackson with Noble Barbershop in Cincinnati has been cutting hair for special needs kids for the last year

  • Jackson teamed up with volunteers from Cincinnati Children's Hospital who try to help soothe the kids during their haircuts

  • He plans to continue to do the free haircuts for kids with disabilities once a month

It might seem like a simple haircut, but for A.J. Lucas, 7, it can be a struggle sometimes.

His mom, Melissa Lucas, knows that struggle all too well.

“I tried to do it at home. It was awful. We tried to go to a different place. I would leave crying, claw marks on my arms,” said Melissa.

She said A.J. suffers from autism, ADHD and sensory issues.

“It wasn’t so much the sound of things, because we would try to desensitize. It was the hair on him, I think," said Melissa. 

It’s part of the reason she brought him to the Noble Barbershop in Cincinnati and let Vernon Jackson cut A.J.'s hair. 

Jackson’s been a barber for 20 years, but this past year, he’s been coming in on his day off and cutting hair for free for kids with disabilities. 

“There were kids that needed a lot more time than I had allotted, and I didn’t wanna be in the position where I stopped accepting those clients,” said Jackson.

He teamed up with volunteers from Cincinnati Children's hospital who work with special needs kids. 

They come in during the haircuts to help kids relax while he patiently cuts their hair.

“Sometimes kids are afraid to sit in the chair, so if I gotta sit down on the floor with them, stand up and cut their hair, squat down if I have to, whatever is needed,” said Jackson

He said he plans to keep cutting hair for special needs kids every month during what he calls the "Gifted Event."

“Parent receives a gift by giving their kids a haircut, kid gets a gift by getting a haircut, I get the gift by being a part of the experience,” said Jackson.

For moms like Lucas, she said it truly is more than a haircut. 

“Almost makes me wanna cry. It’s so simple to the average parent to the average kid, but for somebody that has sensory issues or other kind of struggles, it’s like a real blessing,” said Lucas.

If you or someone you know has a special needs child who needs help with a haircut, you can find more info here about the "Gifted Event."