At Authentischen Barbier in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Canada, a very special person is hard at work: the owner, Franz Jakob. The barber has been cutting hair since he was 12 years old, and the old-fashioned setup of his shop is an attraction for many. But it isn’t his experience or his decor that has caused him to gain internet fame. Nope, he’s gained recognition after a photo of him laying on the floor in order to cut an autistic boy’s hair went viral.
The photo depicting the touching scene has gotten over 850,000 views on Imgur.
This was not the first time Jakob had cut the little boy’s hair. In fact, Wyatt Lafrenière is a regular of Jakob’s. It turned out that other hairdressers felt unequipped to cut the hair of a child who really struggles in the barber’s chair. So Wyatt’s family is happy they found Jakob.
“He welcomes him like his best friend,” said his mom, Fauve. “To see that he accepts these differences is just fantastic.”
Jakob also serves other individuals with special needs, scheduling these unique appointments at the end of the day when he’s under no time constraints and can really take his time and work with his clients. Unsurprisingly, Wyatt’s family has referred some special needs’ families to Jakob’s business!
Jakob also serves terminally ill patients for free, which he explains is an “indescribable” experience. “Everyone is crying, it’s really something. I’m really proud to be doing all this,” he said.
Wyatt’s mom says that Jakob is an “everyday hero,” and that title certainly seems to fit him.
Thank you for all that you do, Franz Jakob!
For another story about a fantastic barber who went the extra mile for an autistic client, check out the touching story on the next page!
A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.