Neijae Graham-Henries is arguably the world’s youngest barber. The eight-year-old from Philadelphia has recently become a certified barber, giving free haircuts to kids in her community.
After going with her brother to visit the Junior Barber Academy, she became interested in haircuts, even though her brother passed on the school. “She wasn’t intimidated because she was the youngest student and she was not intimidated because she was the only female,” Neijae’s mother Jamie Graham says.
The second grader is being mentored by local barber P. Michael Boone, who has been in the business for 25 years. Boone decided to design the six-week program at the academy for young men. “I wanted to teach young men to be self-sufficient and cut their own hair when they went away to college,” he says. “My students learn the fundamentals of men’s haircuts — safety, cleanliness, clipper control, and hair strokes.”
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7-Year-Old Becomes Certified Barber So She Can Offer Free Haircuts To Kids in Her City. She may be only 7 years old, but she has already found her calling in a pair of scissors. Before Neijae Graham-Henries ever even started the second grade, the youngster became a certified barber and started giving free haircuts to kids in Philadelphia as a means of community service. She first became interested in cutting hair when she followed her brother to check out the Junior Barber Academy. Though her sibling wasn’t interested in hairdos, Neijae certainly was. “She wasn’t intimidated because she was the youngest student and she was not intimidated because she was the only female,” Neijae’s mother Jamie Graham said. #barbers #juniorbarberacademy #neijaegrahamhenries #goodnews #goodnewsonly #breakthenews @pmichael_
Though the veteran barber never expected to see a young woman in his class, he was impressed by Neijae's eagerness to learn and offered her the same guidance as his older students, he said. The young girl, who never missed class, completed the program and began immediately working as a volunteer. Boone organized an event for kids in Philadelphia and roughly 400 youngsters showed up for free haircuts. Neijae came along to help out, even bringing her own clippers.
“I teach my students to give back and do community service, whether it’s haircuts for young kids their age or older folks,” Boone says.
When Boone was growing up, there often wasn’t enough money for the family to get haircuts. After being repeatedly bullied for not having a fresh cut, he decided to trim his own hair with his friend’s dad’s clippers. He was soon making his own money from cutting hair, which surprised his mother, who at first thought he might be involved in something illegal.
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Determined!!!! #Repost @theshaderoom ・・・ TSR STAFF: Christina C! @cdelafresh ____________________________________ I’m living for this young boss and the #BlackGirlMagic she’s giving, #Roommates, before starting the second grade, 7-year-old #NeijaeGrahamHenries of #Philadelphia learned how to cut hair and even passed barber training school. But now she’s doing it for the neighborhood as community service! _______________________________________ Her interest sparked after tagging along with her older brother at the #JuniorBarberAcademy in North Philly to learn about training, @cbs_philly reported. It turns out he wasn’t interested, but Neijae was. _______________________________________ “When we came back home, she saw some of the information on social media and she said, ‘Mom, he doesn’t want to do it, I’ll give it a go,’” said Neijae’s mother, Jamie Graham. Michael Boone, who is the owner of the barber academy, says Neijae is-read more at TheShadeRoom.com. Via @cbs_philly
To prove her wrong, she insisted that he cut his hair while she watched. Impressed with his skills, she bought him a pair of clippers for Christmas. After he turned 18, he paid his way through a private barber school. Unfortunately, he failed the theoretical part of the exam, despite passing the practical part. Discouraged and disappointed, he cut hair for 14 years without a license. However, after he started his own family, he was motivated to go back.
“The power was going back to school, learning all the things that a barber can do,” the father of three says. “And when I learned that a barber can do facials and can do more things than just cut hair, I started adding those things to my shop."
Inspired by Neijae’s dedication, Boone will offer another training program this fall. “I am very proud of her. She was a great student, and I am excited to see where this will take her,” he says. He has already asked the young barber to join him at an event for the homeless that he will sponsor in November.