Kevin Davis

Barbershop owner Kevin Davis. (Courtesy Photo)

In the five years that the Pro Cut Family Barbershop has hosted its annual Back to School Cuts, the program has become a favorite of the Congress Heights community. Barbershop owner Kevin Davis said his decision to offer free haircuts to children returning to school comes from an experience he had as a boy. While attending Hampton University in Virginia, Davis said he used to work in his father’s barbershop during the summer.

“I remember a kid coming in on a Wednesday (before school opened). He said he didn’t have money for haircut. That stuck in my mind so now I give children free haircuts,” said Davis. “We had a total of more than 100 kids on (August 23), the Sunday before they go back to school.”

He said he doesn’t have to publicize the event. “Believe me, in the neighborhood, if anything’s free, it spreads like wildfire. You don’t have to do anything,” he said with a chuckle. “Parents and families have been very gracious, to the point where some of the clients become regulars. They’re very thankful.”

The Maryland resident praised Matthew Hicks, a patron he said donates money every year to help. Davis also credited barbers, Armani Sloan, Keisha Lee and Anthony Ford with doing a yeoman’s job.

“At Back to School Cuts, we give out books too,” Davis said. “We want to promote literacy. We have videogames but I want to make sure that the young people enjoy books too. I want people to look at the shop as a community shop. After five years, we’re at that point.

“I want the barbershop to be the cornerstone of the neighborhood, a place where people can feel comfortable enough to know the shop is part of the community,” he said.