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Barber Gives Misbehaving Children "Old Man Haircut" for Bad Behavior

Lauren Salapatek | February 26, 2015 | 9:49 AM
Here's the "old man haircut" look thought up by barber Russell Fredrick, co-owner of A-1 Kutz. (photo credit: Russell Fredrick )
Photo By Russell Fredrick

Getting your child to behave may be as easy as giving them a new haircut — but wait a second, not just any haircut — a “Benjamin Button Special?”

The haircut, created by Russell Fredrick, co-owner of A-1 Kutz, has erupted on media channels from the Washington Post to USA Today. It involves shaving hair off a child’s crown until he begins to resemble a balding citizen.

Fredrick came up with the idea after trying all different techniques to get his 12-year-old son to study and behave in school. According to an interview with Fredrick from USA Today, Fredrick showed his son a picture of an old balding man (like the character in the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and told him that if he kept up the bad behavior, that would be his next haircut.

To avoid the shame of going to school looking like an old man, the boy shaped up, started doing his homework and behaving in school.

Frederick advertised the disciplinary haircut with clients, and one took him up on the offer. One mother came in with her 10-year-old son and asked Fredrick to give her son the haircut.

Fredrick told The Washington Post, “I hope that most people won’t have to do this unless it’s an extreme circumstance and nothing else works,” he says. “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.”

There’s also been some backlash about the haircut, and some believe that this “shaming” disciplinary action is ineffective.

According to Psychotherapist Xanthia Bianca Johnson (interviewed by The Washington Post), "There's lots of research that supports the fact that when a child is blamed or shamed it triggers their nervous system, and when the nervous system is shut down, it is directly connected to the brain,” she says. "The part of the brain that processes logic gets shut off and it can actually stunt physical and emotional growth."

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