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Barber helps kids get spruced up for first day of school

Andrew Wesley 8 gets haircut from CamerColeman Sunday Head Quarters Community Barber Shop where kids go free haircuts for first

Andrew Wesley, 8, gets a haircut from Cameron Coleman on Sunday at Head Quarters Community Barber Shop, where kids go free haircuts for the first day of school on Monday. | Alex Wroblewski~Sun-Times

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Updated: September 27, 2013 6:28AM

More than 60 excited, nervous youngsters lined up for free back-to-school haircuts Sunday afternoon at a South Austin barbershop.

“A lot of these kids would not have been able to afford this,” said Kevin McIntyre, owner of Head Quarters barber shop, 5131 W. Madison. “Some kids stay home from school on the first day because the don’t have a haircut. This gives everyone an even playing field.”

McIntyre normally charges $15 per cut. He also handed out 72 book bags he purchased out of pocket.

“You can have fun in school, and I want to learn new stuff and get to have new friends and participate in everything,” said Willie Anderson, 9, who’s entering fourth grade at George Leland Elementary School in South Austin.

Leshan Petties, who clipped hair for six kids Sunday, said a 13-year-old-boy who attends Dvorak Technology Academy in Lawndale shared concerns he has about encountering trouble while walking to school.

“He said he doesn’t like to walk to school when he sees guys standing outside drinking and smoking weed and how he prefers to be driven to school by his parents.”

When asked if she was in for a haircut, 9-year-old J’lah Brown said “no” and emphasized that she does not get haircuts: “I get my hair done,” said Brown as she waited with her mother while her brother received a trim.

“I am nervous because of all the new people I am going to meet,” said J’lah, who attends Ella Flagg Young Elementary.

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