GRAND CROSSING — The Rev. William Crowder Jr. said he got tired of leaving his 600-member church during the week and seeing men, both young and old, walking around with ungroomed hair.
So the pastor of Park Manor Christian Church, 600 E. 73rd St., is sponsoring a free Haircut Day from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday at the church.
Crowder said one of his members who is a licensed barber will provide the haircuts.
“I want to see men lined up waiting to get a fresh cut. This is the first time I have done this, but it won’t be my last,” Crowder said. “The average haircut costs $20, and that can be steep for some people in these trying times. This event is for those who cannot afford a haircut, but of course, we will not turn anyone away.”
Depending on how well the event goes Wednesday, Crowder said he would like to repeat it next month for Father’s Day and again in August for youths headed back to school.
“Mother’s Day is Sunday, and I want everyone looking good for mama,” he said. Besides, "having your hair nice and groomed can boost your self-esteem, and that is what a lot of men around here are lacking.”
Morris Stewart, 45, said he doesn't lack self-esteem but does lack the money to keep his hair up to par.
“I could use a haircut. I used to wear my hair short, but now it is growing all over the place,” Stewart said. “And it’s not that I don't want to keep my appearance up. It’s just when money is tight some things you have to cut back on, and a haircut is one of them.”
The free haircuts aren't for men only.
"There are a lot of [black] women who wear short hairstyles and go to the barbershop to get cuts, too," Crowder said. "Women are welcomed to come as well. If you go back to our ancestors in Africa, women wore short hairstyles all the time."
Crowder jokingly added: "Me, I prefer to wear a bald head. It saves on haircuts."