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Halifax mobile barbershop gives back with haircuts and humanity


Mohammad Alnabelsi knows how a quality haircut can transform a person’s confidence.

“I think a haircut is a good feeling,” said Alnabelsi.

The Halifax barber gives back on his day off by providing free haircuts and fresh shaves to those less-fortunate in the city.

“I wanted to give back [to those experiencing homelessness] but I put all my money into my business,” said Alnabelsi. “So I can offer this. It’s what I can do.”

It’s something he’s able to offer since opening Alnabelsi Mobile Barbershop in November - transforming a trailer into a travelling trade.

“I thought to myself that this city needs a mobile barbershop,” said Alnabelsi.

Clients are able to book appointments online where Alnabelsi will come right to their doorstep.

The van has a similar feel to a traditional barbershop, but in tighter quarters. A generator is hooked to the front of the vehicle to power a TV, heater, and festive Christmas lights.

Alnabelsi came to Canada in 2019 from Syria with his parents and siblings.

Living through the pandemic and experiencing the harsh Maritime winters, Alnabelsi says accessibility was a big factor in his decision to go mobile for his clientel. This included installing a wheelchair lift in the vehicle.

“Some people with disabilities will stay home for two or three months and not leave their home,” said Alnabelsi. “[One of my clients] told me he couldn’t get in the truck. I said ‘no problem I have a wheelchair lift for you.’”

Julie Slen, manager of The Housing Hub for Shelter Nova Scotia, said having Alnabelsi on-site to service their clients is a partnership they hope to continue in the future, as long as there is demand.

“As people who can go and get a haircut whenever we want, I think we take those things for granted,” said Slen. “Being able to come to [The Hub] for a shower, then go and get your haircut or beard trimmed, helps give people a sense of dignity.”

“It means the world,” said Michael Belland, who received a haircut from Alnabelsi. “You feel lost. You feel like a second-class citizen, so to be treated how they treat us here makes you feel human again.”

Giving people haircuts and humanity, Alnabelsi hopes to give back to the community that has welcomed him with open arms. Top Stories

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