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Linda Mah
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Barbers Help Students Look Their Best

Area Barbers Donated Their Time to Lincoln Students

Sometimes a man just wants to look sharp — even if he’s only 5 years old.

About two dozen students at Lincoln International Studies School, starting with kindergarteners, got spruced up for summer in the last week of school thanks to volunteers from the West Michigan College of Barbering and Beauty.

Barbers Jathan Carter, Chamika McIntosh, China Campbell and Dre Patterson transformed the Lincoln gym into a barbershop for one morning and gave free haircuts to students before the end of the school year.

“I think it’s a necessity for the kids,” Carter said. “It always made me feel good as a kid to get a haircut.”

For several hours, the barbers snipped and clipped and trimmed. Some boys had definite thoughts about fades and high tops, and some wanted neat lines carved into their hair. Some were just interested in the lollipops that sat on the tables — for especially patient students who could sit still during a haircut.

Carter owns International Profyle Barbershop and was serving as a representative for the West Michigan College of Barbering and Beauty, owned by Jackie Rush. McIntosh is a student at the college. Campbell and Patterson are barbers with Ennovy’s Beauty Bar.

The project was inspired by Lincoln paraprofessional Elaine Willis, who brought two students to the college for lunchtime haircuts in the spring.

“People were just commenting and complimenting them when they came back to school,” Willis said. “It definitely was a positive thing for them. Their mom saw them and said, ‘Oh! My babies!”

Willis and Carter talked, and Carter thought that Lincoln might be the perfect place for him to give back to the community. “I grew up on the Northside,” he said. “This is a way to say, ‘Hey I care about where I came from.’”

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