Deer Park barber gives 100 kids free haircut for first day of school – Houston Chronicle

Joe Kane, the owner of Barber Joe’s Chop Shop on Center, and his staff devoted one Sunday (Aug. 15) to making sure students of all ages started the year off by giving free haircuts to 100 students in Deer Park ISD.
Dozens of fades, tapers, braids and trims for boys and girls were performed by the staff, including Kane’s wife, Olivia who owns the adjoining salon and spa, Do or Dye.
Using a voucher system, the business reached out to local churches and the school district to identify students in need. A good haircut goes a long way, said Olivia Kane, who owns the salon and spa adjacent to Barber Joe’s.
One Deer Park business provided 100 kids with a new haircut to kick off the new school year.
Joe Kane, the owner of Barber Joe’s Chop Shop on Center, and his staff devoted one Sunday in mid-August to making sure students of all ages started the year off with some confidence.
“This was on the house,” Kane said.
Dozens of fades, tapers, braids and trims for boys and girls were performed by the staff, including Kane’s wife, Olivia who owns the adjoining salon and spa, Do or Dye.
The 3,000-square foot business also received donations from customers and the community for a jump house, tents, extra chairs, and food to make the event a family-friendly day of fun.
Kane, 40, has been a master barber for more than 20 years and worked in Miami and Los Angeles before returning to Deer Park seven years ago to be near his family, including his mother.
Growing up in southwest Houston, it was Kane’s mother who kick-started his passion for cutting hair, and his mother who reminds him of his humble beginnings.
“My mom was a single mother of three kids, and she worked two jobs while trying to keep food on table,” he said. “Mom couldn’t afford to get us haircuts, so she bought me clippers when I was 11 years old and told me to figure it out.”
Kane learned to cut hair by experimenting on his siblings and friends.
Before I graduated high school, I was running my own barber shop out of the garage,” he said.
Following graduation, Kane went to San Jacinto College with the plan to work in the petrochemical industry. But his heart wasn’t in it.
“I just followed my passion but because I didn’t want to work at a job that felt like it was work,” he said. “I enjoyed cutting hair.”
Kane opened Barber’s Chop Shop in 2017 in Pasadena and relocated to Deer Park in March of this year.
The free haircut event operated on a voucher system and the business had worked with counselors at DPISD to connect with students in need.
Kane’s wife, Olivia, opened her salon to join the effort and by late Sunday, 100 students were ready for to go to school.
In addition to the schools, Kane reached out to local churches and the Bridge Over Troubled Waters, a facility that houses women and children transitioning out of domestic violence situations.
The goal was to find those kids that could use a motivational push to return to school.
“It makes a major impact and makes them look forward to going back to school,” he said.
Whether it’s a trendy cut or just a trim — a good haircut can go a long way in how kids feel about themselves and about school, said Olivia Kane.
“One of the best things about this job is being able to give someone a smile and some confidence,” she said. “To do that for kids in need was an amazing thing to me. It gives them confidence and gives them a little boost to go in there (in school) and not be shy and ready to take the day.”
For Kane, the event gave his business a chance to connect with the community in a way it hasn’t before. While Joe’s Barber Chop Shop and Do or Dye has become a popular salon and barber, this was the first free event.
“It felt good,” he said.
Barber Joe’s Chop Shop is located at 2816 Center St. in Deer Park. Do or Dye Salon and Spa is in an adjoining building.
yorozco@hcnonline.com
Yvette Orozco is a reporter with Houston Community News in Conroe.
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