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Dad Irate After Barber Refuses To Shave His Own Head In Solidarity For Daughter With Cancer

barber cuts a customer's hair
Linka A Odom/Getty Images

Social media has changed how people interact online and in real life.

In the past people might react to an accident by trying to help or calling emergency services. But now they’re just as—if not more—likely to get out their phones to get a video to post online.

Social media has given rise to the era of influencers and clout chasing. Many people are looking for their chance to go viral.

But not everyone is a willing participant in the social media antics of others.

A barber found himself in conflict with a father he felt was looking for viral fame and willing to use his child to get it.

After refusing to participate in a video, the barber took to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Eastern_Aardvark_610 asked:

“AITA for refusing to shave my hair for a client who’s a cancer patient?”

He explained:

“I (21, male) currently own a barber-shop and have found myself in a very weird situation. I was scheduled for an appointment by a father of a cancer patient who is currently under-going chemotherapy and feeling very saddened by the situation.”

“I decided to refuse any payment and give the girl her haircut for free however that’s not the problem.”

“Once they arrived, I helped the father pull the daughter out of the wheelchair and onto the chair but then I saw him go outside to his car only to arrive with camera equipment.”

“I asked why he was doing this and he leaned in to my ear and whispered how he’s gonna record this for his daughter and tell me about how I’ll shave my hair for the video so they can publish it on their Instagram page.”

“I refused and calmly explained how I wasn’t informed about this during the scheduling and that I wasn’t gonna shave off my hair just for some stupid video.”

“The father then visibly got angry towards me (for some reason?) and yelled at me explaining how I don’t get it and how much work he went through to even go to my barber shop and schedule an appointment.”

“He called me a rich piece of sh*t that feeds off of the poor and constantly degraded me throughout for no reason.”

“I told him to get out and take his daughter out of here because he’s been kicked out. I explained how I don’t tolerate disrespect, which he left whilst looking at me with a disgusted facial expression as if I did something wrong.”

Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided the barber was not the a**hole (NTA).

“NTA – he’s just trying to use his daughter to get views and mad he can’t use you too.” ~ Sparky81

“When OP said he walked up to him and whispered the plan in his ear… can’t get that mental image out of my head.”

“Nasty behavior, like a random STRANGER whispering what’s legit a command at this point, into OP’s ear. Not a question or a request, but a command that he fully expected OP to follow through.”

“Hair is so personal, and this random man expected OP to get rid of his. This is gross.” ~ Sparklingemeralds

“Hair is literally OP’s business. It’s an advert for his business.”

“He was basically asking OP to destroy his shop window. Delusional. NTA.” ~ Beth21286

“He is also very happy to volunteer OP to shave their head—I would think the Insta crowd would be a lot more interested to see the actual Dad show support by shaving off his hair!”

“Why anyone should care what a random hairdresser does is beyond me.”

“This guy is getting angry because a stranger won’t do what he as direct family is not willing to do for his daughter.” ~ pinzi_peisvogel

Redditors took a harsh stance against content creators who don’t understand consent.

“Everybody everywhere needs to understand that nobody on this planet is obligated in any way to cooperate with you for your social media bullsh*t.”

“Nobody will ever be an a**hole for telling you ‘No’ when they don’t want to go along with your little plan to become momentarily famous.” ~ Val_Hallen

Others had doubts about the father’s story.

People have used social media scams for money or viral fame.

“NTA. These people are entitled and unhinged.”

“You sure the kid actually had cancer? It wouldn’t shock me to see some turds faking something like this for Instagram clout.” ~ glacius0

“I was thinking the same thing.”

“Why would a girl with cancer want some random hair stylist to shave their head in solidarity?” ~ Usrname52

“Because there was a viral video where multiple staff in a barber shop shaved their head when a cancer patient came in to get her head shaved.”

“It’s the dad trying to recreate this video for views.” ~ MineturtleBOOM

“NTA, the father is exploiting his daughter to get video likes.” ~ 007_half

“This is giving me The Act [true crime miniseries] vibes. What parent would publicize their child’s suffering for ratings.” ~ AmphibianChemical309

“I mean, if they’re relying on GoFundMe (GFM) donations to pay for cancer treatment, then… people do.”

“And this kind of gimmicky clickbait exploitative nonsense is the kind of thing that gets random strangers outside your circle of friends to maybe realize your kid’s GFM exists.”

“Not saying this is definitely what’s happening here, but it’s a strong possibility. OP is definitely NTA tho.” ~ SomethingMeta42

“As someone from a country with mostly free healthcare, I find it baffling that people have to resort to crowdfunding for life-saving treatment.” ~ Fiesty_tofu

While others pointed out that shaving your head “in solidarity” is problematic.

“Non-narcissists with cancer would never expect someone else to shave their head in solidarity. And many, many of them actively don’t want people to do so.” ~ thebravelittlefridge

“I’m a cancer patient. First of all, had my brother help me shave. I didn’t want a stranger to do it.”

“Secondly, my brother asked if he should shave his hair too. And if I wanted him to. And I said, no. There’s no point in that. I like your hair.”

“And that’s my brother, who I love dearly. Who offered. I would NEVER ask a random stranger to shave their head. Absolutely not. NTA.” ~ PepperyCriticism

“It’s slacktivism. How does shaving your head support cancer patients?”

“I was the only person in my family to get my head shaved, and that was because the chemo was making it come out in big handfuls anyway. Shaving got it all over with at once.” ~ TheFilthyDIL

“It’s something very sweet when done with the right intentions, but it’s also something that can become performative very quickly.” ~ CaroAurelia

Most felt the father was very entitled, even if his daughter was ill.

“This mofo expected to walk into a random barbershop and expected to strongarm someone into shaving their head? What a pr*ck. NTA.” ~ blanketstatement5

“NTA. You were kind to offer to do it for free for her, but he never mentioned it, and you never agreed to your cutting your own hair off nor allowing it to be filmed.”

“I get he’s going through a hard time watching his child undergo this illness, but it’s not fair to you to have gone off like this.

“He should have asked ahead of time if there was someone willing to cut her hair off and do their own, too. That can be a big ask for a stranger.”

“You don’t owe them your hair.” ~ fallingintopolkadots

“Offering a free service is above and beyond. Offering to cut the father’s hair would have been a nice touch.”

“Refusing the action being filmed within your business is NTA territory.”

“Refusing to shave your own hair is also NTA territory.” ~ Over200Times

“NTA. I’m sure you guys have seen the clip where an older lady with cancer goes to a barber, and he ‘spontaneously’ shaves his head too along with one of the other barbers.”

“There just happens to be a camera set up filming the whole exchange.”

“Dad is trying to ride that clout. You owe him nothing, and he needs to get his head out of the internet for a while.” ~ ClimbaClimbaCameleon

“NTA I had cancer (life was never in danger), and I cannot imagine trying to force people to shave their head for me or modify their body in any way.” ~ FinnFinnFinnegan

“NTA. You were put in a crappy situation, but certainly under no obligation to shave your head on a whim because of some stranger.”

“Even if you wanted to do it, the way he went about it was an a**hole move on his part.” ~ hybridoctopus

“NTA. There are two possibilities, both of which are disgusting:”

“1. The girl really does have cancer, and her father is exploiting his child for Instagram likes.”

“2. The girl does not have cancer, and her father is lying that she does for Instagram likes.”

“Either way, you’re not obligated to shave your head for anyone.” ~ New-Number-7810

“NTA – The very idea that you would be roped into his little production by shaving your head with her takes entitlement to a whole new level.

“And then to get mad when you won’t? Who does this fool think he is?”

“You know what you should have done? Tell the daughter in a loud voice that daddy will be shaving his head instead because he just loves her to pieces. Turn it back on the AH.” ~ mustng66

Redditors were decisive.

The barber was under no obligation to be filmed or shave his head without his consent.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.