Meet the Melbourne barber giving the homeless a clean start at life

A former drug addict, who has turned his life around, now spends one day off a week helping those less fortunate than he is.

Just four years ago Nasir Sobhani was heavily addicted to drugs, stuck in a downward spiral and using whatever he could get his hands on.

Now he’s been sober for more than three years and takes time out from his full time barbershop job one day a week to provide haircuts for the homeless.

Working as an apprentice barber for the Medusa Hair Salon in Melbourne, the 26-year-old has started his own Clean Cut, Clean Start initiative.

“A homeless person doesn't get the respect and attention needed,” Mr Sobhani told The Daily Mail.

“So letting them know that they are worthy of human interaction is actually the main purpose here”.

For the last year Mr Sobhani has hit the streets of Melbourne offering his barber service to the homeless for free.

His first client was a heroin addict who used to wash the windows outside the barber shop where he works.

“One day I saw him and he told me he was off the drugs for a month – I couldn't believe it! He wanted to get a haircut... his hair was very long and he had dirty dreadlocks in the back,” he told The Daily Mail.

“I asked him to let me cut his hair, so we sat down together and we shared our stories about our past.

“After I was done he loved the way he looked and his mum even came in and was taking photos and was in tears”.

Mr Sobhani, who was born and raised in Japan before moving to Canada, where he ran into trouble with drugs.

“I was a drug addict, luckily I had a home to always go to, my mum loved me too much to kick me out on the street,” he said.

“I wasn't homeless but I was a heavy drug user, I was going from house to house and some of the people I was spending my time with were homeless”.

But in March 2012 he kicked the habit and has remained sober ever since.

A short time later he moved to Melbourne and followed his passion for cutting hair.

While he said it was difficult hearing the stories of hardship, he cherished the connections he had made with the people he had met so far.

“When they're my client, whether they're in the street or in my barber shop they're my sole focus,” he said.

“The only difference is the connection I get from these guys”.

Follow Nasir's Instagram to read the stories behind his haircuts @TheStreetsBarber.
Watch the film which tells his story here.