Haircuts By Children

Would you trust a 5th grader to cut your hair?

Would you trust a ten-year-old to cut your hair?

Haircuts by Children (HBC) trains 5th graders to cut hair, and then, in partnership with a salon, the children offer free haircuts to any interested adult as a two-day performance. HBC is a whimsical performance that playfully engages with the enfranchisement of children; trust in the younger generation, and the thrills and chills of vanity. HBC invites the consideration of children as creative and competent individuals whose aesthetic choices can be trusted.


Fusebox is bringing this unique performance to Austin in November 2011, to give at-risk youth access to an experience that will give them a better understanding of themselves as confident and creative individuals. Trust from an adult stranger is empowering for children; and this project can give children the self-confidence to make positive, constructive, decisions. 


The students will train everyday after school for one week with professional artists and hairstylists. Following the training, the performances will take place at the Peacock Salon on E. Cesar Chavez on Saturday November 12 and Sunday November 13 for four hours each day. After the weekend performance, the youth will reconvene with the artists, the students’ teacher, and hair stylists reflect on the experience.


The performance is free and open to the general public of all ages, although the free haircuts will only be given to consenting adults on a first come-first serve basis. Participation in the project is free for the students, but parental consent is required. The students will perform every role in the salon, rotating between jobs of managing reservations, cutting hair, and operating a lemonade stand where 100% of the profits will go to charity or project of the students’ choosing.


Canadian performance company Mammalian Dive Reflex (MDR) developed HBC in 2006. Since its introduction, the work has been presented over 50 times, to critical acclaim, all over the world including Canada, Australia, Ireland, UK, Italy, Los Angeles, New York City, and Portland, Oregon. 

What We Need

Your financial contributions will directly support the following:

  • Provide transportation for the participating students,
  • Help Fusebox purchase necessary supplies for the training workshops, and
  • Provide stipends to the students.

Fusebox needs your help to make sure Haircuts By Children reaches as many youth in our community as possible. the project can accommodate up to 50 students. To reach the goal of 50 5th graders, Fusebox is partnering with two of east Austin's most underprivileged schools: Pecan Springs and Norman Elementary schools. Because we are working with multiple schools Fusebox will need to rent vans to shuttle students to and from the after school workshops and weekend performances.

Secondly, Fusebox needs support for purchasing supplies for the training and performances. Critical supplies like mannequin heads ("Judys"), spray bottles, clips, hair product, brushes, combs, etc. are essential (and more expensive than you might think).

Finally, the students are paid $10 for each haircut they complete over the two day performance. This is an important element of the project because it places tangible value on the work, and aesthetics, of the children. The haircuts are free for adult clients, so Fusebox will pay the youth directly. 

What You Get

Contributions of any size are a huge help and appreciated, but as added perks, Fusebox is offering some special incentives for larger gifts like free shirts, priority scheduling and tickets to great events. Details are to the right.

Other Ways You Can Help

Help us get the word out about this wonderful project and our modest fundraising campaign! Social media, talk it up at parties, write thoughtful letters to family and friends.

Also - if you have leads on getting vans or some of the supplies donated - thats as good as a cash contribution - let us know!

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