For most, the anxiety related to getting a haircut revolves around what the outcome will be, rather than how the process impacts you.
Individuals on the autism spectrum may be hypersensitive to the sound or sensation of scissors, razors or blades snipping around their heads. This sensation makes haircuts, especially for those with shorter hairstyles, a challenge. But one local barber made a special accommodation for his 6-year-old client with autism, and photo of it is going viral.
Franz Jacob has been cutting hair since the age of 12, giving his friends anything from mohawks to high top fades until two years ago when he decided to open up his own barber shop in Quebec, Canada. In the time since, Jacob has had several customers on the autism spectrum come into the shop for a haircut. With time came experience, and he’s learned to get creative and adjust his cuts to fit their individual needs.
His youngest client is 6-year-old Wyatt Lafrenière. Wyatt’s mother, Fauve Lafrenière, told CNC News that Wyatt is both hyposensitive and hypersensitive, meaning he doesn’t feel pain from his hair being touched, but the sensation that happens when he’s in the barber’s chair can be that of an unbearable experience.
”Hairdressers sort of panicked when they saw Wyatt arrive, so it was really exceptional to meet Mr. Jacob,” Lafrenière told the publication. ”He welcomes him like his best friend — to see that he accepts these differences is just fantastic.”
The now viral photo above that Jacob shared to his Facebook was from Wyatt’s most recent visit to the barber, where during the last few minutes Jacob moved to the floor to finish the cut. ”I understood that with Wyatt I have to follow him around the salon with my tools to finish the cut,” Jacob said. Lafrenière snapped a photo of the moment, sharing it to her personal Facebook page — and the photo and story spread like virtual wildfire.