Man Overcomes Homelessness and Addiction, Opens Own Barbershop, Gives Haircuts for Free to People in Need

The Little Barbershop of Horrors

The Little Barbershop of Horrors might sound like a questionable place to get a haircut at first. But when he was trying to decide what to call his new business, Daryl Bidner couldn’t help but name the shop after his favorite childhood film. “You got Bob’s Barbershop, Joe’s Barbershop…I wanted [my shop] to be different,” Bidner says. And while the classic 1968 movie Little Shop of Horrors is about an impressionable young man overcoming a maniacal human-eating plant, Bidner also had to confront his own personal monsters to get to where he is today.

As a teenager, Bidner dropped out of school and struggled with addiction—events that eventually led him to experience homelessness. For years, he tried to get clean, but nothing ever seemed to work. That is, until one night he decided to get a tattoo. His decision to get inked was impulsive and spontaneous, but ultimately, it changed his life.

“I came home and didn’t use that night,” Bidner recalls. “I felt great. I was stoked to look in the mirror and look at my new tattoo.”

From then on, he started getting a new tattoo every few days. And by the time he made it to his 40th one, he had completely stopped using. “Some people need [Narcotics Anonymous], some people need [Alcoholics Anonymous],” Bidner reflects. “Tattoos seemed to work for me.” His experience even made him consider becoming a tattoo artist himself. But in the end, the newly recovered young man ended up reconnecting with a creative pastime from his youth—cutting hair.

“I used to be able to cut my own friends’ hair. I’d do Mohawks, shave heads,” Bidner relates, recalling a time when he himself rocked a bright orange mohawk that seemed to defy the laws of physics. Though he doesn’t sport the same hairdo now, he thought that his former hobby might be a good outlet for him. So, he decided to train to become a barber. Enrolling in barbering school was intimidating at first, especially after failing to finish high school many years before. But Bidner overcame his fears and did his best to continue improving his life.

“I’d never had much education,” Darryl explains. “I knew if I didn’t put in the work, I’m not going to be in the place I want to be. I’m trying to keep growing. Trying to be the best person I can be.”

And after being drug-free for more than five years now, Bidner is living up to that aspiration. Not only does the dedicated entrepreneur now own his own one-chair barbershop that’s been going strong for the last three years since it opened, but he also makes sure to dedicate time to give back to his community. In addition to supporting local bands by playing their albums in his shop, the generous barber also offers free haircuts every month to people living in a nearby homeless shelter.

“It makes them feel better,” Daryl says, coming from a place of genuine empathy after having experienced homelessness himself. “Hopefully it gives them a little inspiration…Becoming a barber changed my life completely. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

This man experiencing homelessness and addiction got a tattoo and it changed his life. Now he owns his own “Little Barbershop of Horrors” and gives free hair cuts to people in need.

The Little Barbershop of Horrors: WebsiteInstagram
h/t: [CTV News]

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Arnesia Young

Arnesia Young is a contributing writer for My Modern Met and an aspiring art historian. She holds a BA in Art History and Curatorial Studies with a minor in Design from Brigham Young University. With a love and passion for the arts, culture, and all things creative, she finds herself intrigued by the creative process and is constantly seeking new ways to explore and understand it.
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