Aptly named the ‘Benjamin Button Special’, the haircut involves shaving the crown of the head and leaving the sides long to make them resemble a balding elderly person. The service is offered free of charge three times a week by Russell Fredrick and his team at their suburban salon A-1 Kutz.
Fredrick, co-owner of A-1 Kutz, said that he realized the potential of the technique after he tried it on his own 12-year-old son, Rushawn. He said that Rushawn’s grades, which were quite low, had “dramatically skyrocketed” after Fredrick gave him an ‘old-man haircut’. Ever since he started advertising the service, Fredrick, 34, said that one parent has tried it out. But ever since he posted ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of his ‘Benjamin Button’ haircu online, several others parents have displayed interest. The images have been shared many times over on Facebook and Instagram.
According to Fredrick, reactions to the photographs have mostly been positive. Supporters say that it is the perfect punishment for children who want to act grown up. “There are a few people that are saying it’s emotional abuse; but on average, everyone is applauding the mother that brought the child in – and applauding me as well,” Fredrick said.
He also mentioned that the haircut is a harmless technique to discipline children, instead of resorting to spanking and other painful methods. Would you agree?