Watch: Free haircuts give ‘renewing feeling’ to people experiencing homelessness in Salt Lake City

(James Seo | Amplify Utah) Barber Cameron Dean gave free haircuts to Alex and other people experience homelessness in downtown Salt Lake City in the spring of 2021.

This story is jointly published by nonprofits Amplify Utah and The Salt Lake Tribune, in collaboration with Salt Lake Community College, to elevate diverse perspectives in local media through student journalism.

When Cameron Dean was learning to become a barber, a friend took him on an excursion to Salt Lake City’s streets. Together, they offered free haircuts to men living in encampments and other homeless communities.

It was a small gesture, but the impact was immediate, recalled Dean, who works at Hair Lab+ Studios in Millcreek.

“To see how happy these cuts can make people,” he said, ‘it’s truly amazing.”

Recognizing the barriers COVID-19 brought to those experiencing homelessness, Dean saw an opportunity to bring his shears back to the streets earlier this year.

Salt Lake Community College journalism student James Seo joined Dean. Watch Seo’s video, produced in partnership with Amplify Utah.