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The Rolling Barber provides free haircuts to those in need

By Taymaz Valley on July 26, 2018


What is the point of a haircut? Why not just let it all grow, out of control, giving you that eternally in-vogue dishevelled and unkempt air? Well, as I am told, and can confirm for myself, it is not just a matter of the latest fashion and style. Sometimes, getting your hair cut can mean feeling better about yourself. Sometimes, you just need a human touch. Sometimes, you need to feel so fresh and so clean. Sometimes, you need to lift the weight of the world off of your shoulders.

The above-mentioned reasons for getting a haircut are even truer for those in need of assistance. The Rolling Barber is an initiative founded and established by Anne Donovan and co-founded by Francois Thibeault that launched on Sunday July 22 in Ottawa. Using a refurbished school bus as a portable hair salon, the Rolling Barber will be rolling out to several carefully chosen spots. The organization aims to give members of our community complimentary haircuts, and they have volunteers and partners from all over the city helping to do so.

Whether wanting to feel good about themselves, or seeking an interview for a job or housing, being presentable and feeling positive is very important.

The Rolling Barber is being supported by many local businesses and institutions: the bus was donated to the cause, hairdressers are donating their time, and local businesses have donated products and funds.

On Sunday July 29, The Rolling Barber will be at Cornerstone Housing for Women, highlighting how gender also play a role in aiding and assisting those in need. Hairdressers who specialize in women’s hair will be on hand, helping to make this stop as successful as possible. Other dates this summer include:

  • Friday August 3 from 10am-12pm at St. Joe’s Women Centre (women only)
  • Friday August 3 from 3-5pm at John Howard Society on Russell Road
  • Sunday August 12 from 10am-12pm at Daly Avenue, near King Edward

Initiatives like The Rolling Barber are an example of a local grassroots operations that is working to help members of the community who are less fortunate than many. You can support them by donating to their GoFundMe campaign, volunteering, and following their progress on social media.


The Rolling Barber launched Sunday July 22 next to Centre 454, providing hair cuts to those who need them. You can help support them by donating online or following them on Facebook or Instagram.