Barbershop Makes Kids Look Like Senior Citizens for Free

A-1 Kutz

If you’re a parent with a misbehaving kid, you’ve likely had to come up with different forms of discipline. Now, parents in the Atlanta area have a new option, thanks to a local barber.

Russell Fredrick of A-1 Kutz in the Atlanta suburb of Snellville came up with a creative solution for parents who have reached their wit’s end — the Benjamin Button Special. (The special is named for the 2008 film and the F.Scott Fitzgerald story upon which it is based, about a man who ages in reverse.) Three days a week, parents can bring their misbehaving kids into the barbershop for a special haircut, free of charge.

The haircut involves shaving off the hair at the top of the child’s head so he resembles a balding senior citizen. It’s a creative and ironic punishment for those kids who want to “act grown” as Fredrick put it on Instagram.

Fredrick first used the haircut as a form of discipline for his own child, whose grades had fallen. But after the haircut, Fredrick tells the Washington Post that the 12-year-old’s grades “dramatically skyrocketed.” He evidently wanted to avoid another Benjamin Button special.

After achieving these results, Fredrick decided to offer it to his barbershop guests. He posted a photo of his next Benjamin Button special on Instagram with the following caption:

“So u wana act grown…well now u look grown too: The grown-up kids special. Bring more bad kids to @a1__kutz for this kut.”

Fredrick tells The Post that the reaction to the special has been mostly positive. But some have criticized the disciplinary measure as being emotionally abusive.

Still, Fredrick, a father of three, said he’s noticed a lot of parents just need a creative way to deal with misbehaving kids. And he thinks his hair-cutting solution should be used as a last resort. He explains:

“I hope that most people won’t have to do this unless it’s an extreme circumstances and nothing else is working. First, you talk or implement your restrictions. But when the conventional ways don’t work these days, you have to get creative.”

In addition, the special has brought a lot of attention to A-1 Kutz. And the local parents who have benefited from this unique form of discipline could be more likely to send actual business to the barbershop as well.

Image: A-1 Kutz

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.