ALBANY, NEW YORK (NBC) — Self esteem can be raised many ways.
There’s a man in Albany, New York who knows it can come from a haircut and a shave.
He calls his effort, “shaving lives.”
Myk O’Kane makes a living working wonders with the clippers. But on Wednesday’s he makes a life.
That is when he packs his tools of the trade and walks the city streets looking for men, most of us pretend not to see.
Anywhere he finds a fellow who is down and out, Myk sets up shop to give him a haircut and shave wrapped in tender respect.
“A haircut, I think, is extremely powerful. I think just in general we want to look good, feel good,” says Myk. ” “It’s my way of showing that I care about you, the person, appreciate you and you’re important.”
Myk understands these men. He spent some time on the streets when he was 16 and “unruly,” as he describes it, and it opened his eyes to the world.
He reconnected with his parents, whose love never wavered during his rough patch.
Now he is a dad and about to be married.
The haircut is just an opening to let these men know someone is on their side.
“Muhammad Ali had a quote,” said Myk. “Service to others is the rent we pay for our room here on earth. So I’m just trying to pay for my room here on earth.”
And by the time the barbering is done, their hearts have been eased and the men are reminded that their lives matter.
Myk said the first haircut he gave was the toughest, mainly because he wasn’t quite sure how to offer it and he wasn’t sure how it would be received. But it went well and that first “client” is someone Myk still sees.