ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - People often treat their hairstylists as their therapists, sharing news and personal details with them. A pair of barbers in St. Martin are taking those relationships one step further, acting as mentors to their clients.
Brian Newton and Justin Johnson are brothers in business at Studio 601. They are barbers by trade but they say cuts, shaves, and hot towel treatments are not the only services they provide.
“For the most part, all barbers are some sort of counselor,” said Justin.
One day, a young customer came in, seeming to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders.
“He sat down in my chair, we kind of chopped it up a little bit,” said Justin remembering the day.
In the 20 minutes it took to shave that young guy's head, a bond was formed. A mentorship was created.
“One thing kind of led to another and I was kind of able to impact this guy’s life and change his whole goal and his route that he was taking,” said Justin.
Not long after that, another young person came in for Brian. The two realized that maybe they were being called to do more than make hair look good.
“It made something trigger in both of our brains, like hey we really got some sort of, it’s not like power, but we got some sort of ability to change,” Justin said.
Now, whenever a child or teenager sits down in a chair, the barbers ask questions and see if there’s something important that’s missing or needs to be worked on in their life.
Speaking at the same time, Justin and Brian said the ultimate goal is not just to cut hair but to change lives.
And they even venture outside the barbershop to support the boys they take under their wings, attending school events and going to church with them, becoming big brothers and even father figures to some.
“In an area like this, in Mississippi, you really don’t see a lot of things like that,” Justin said.
They love their jobs so much, the barbers sometimes forget that this is a job.
“We honestly don’t feel like we work," said Brian. “It’s like we are living life.”
The pair say they wish to open a school that trains young people to be barbers. Knowing how to style and cut hair may turn out to be a profitable skill in some people's future.
For now, the brothers say the money they make from the haircuts is an incentive, but money isn’t everything. Coming to work, enjoying what they do all while positively impacting lives is what makes the barbers at Studio 601 South Mississippi Strong.
To contact Studio 601 or follow the guys on Facebook, click HERE.