Get a Free Haircut - Fashion Styling 2.0 - Crowd-Sourced Hairstyling




About: Bilal Ghalib is interested in doing things that surprise him and inspire others. Let's create a future we want to live in together.

It's a dog-eat-dog world. Nothing comes for free in this world. So they say...but they clearly haven't been on the internet, where creative common licenses, knowledge sharing, yelp, and open sourced programs reign.

Web 2.0 seems to have a lot to share with life 1.0. This project is an attempt to show people that they should open up a bit and get out of their personal bubbles; there's no buddy list online. So get off your iphone, quit texting, and look around you, there may be a free haircut, and friends waiting.

How to get a free hair cut in San Francisco, short video:

Directors Cut

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Step 1: Gather Your Materials:

For this instructable you won't need much:

1) A pair of haircutting scissors. I bought some nice ones from the corner store.
2) Some combs.
3) A printer and some paper.
4) Yarn.
5) Eye protection
6) A friendly smile.
7) Too much hair.

8) (optional) A friend to accompany you.

You should also make a sign so people understand what's going on... At least a little. I've attached my sign below, you could even use this if you'd like... Print it off and tape it to the floor near you. I put a limit on the number of snips people could take to allow more people a chance at my head.

Step 2: Sit on the Floor.

Once you've gathered all your materials and you've tied the scissors around your neck it's time to hit the road. Find a busy intersection in the nearest major city. I chose the Victoria's Secret near Union Square in San Francisco as it's a popular destination. Tape your sign to the floor and hold our your scissors as in picture 2.

You //will// need to be vocal about why you're sitting there with scissors around your neck. So have a script planned. For me it was, "Hey would you like to take two snips?" The fact that it was a limited number showed people that it was not a long term commitment, and the word snip did not imply immaculate haircut so more people were inclined to go for it.

Step 3: Troubleshooting

You're sitting on the ground getting cold and your hair is not getting any shorter:
You may need to prompt people by allowing your assistant/friend to take a few snips to show people that it's OK to mess with your head.

The Police come and ask you to get off the sidewalk:
Move over a ventilation grate.

Your hair is irregularly cut.
You need to be vocal about where people need to cut. Let them know that the front of your hair is still too long. Also you might need `to be cool with this bit.

Your haircut is patchy.
Wait, you'll probably come across a hairstylist.

The final haircut looks bad.

Step 4: Let It Happen

Now that you know how to set everything up and how to solve problems should they arise, just sit back and enjoy your haircut.

If you find yourself in this picture stream. Please comment or write me. I'd love to hear about your experience. Thank you for cutting my hair!

Step 5: Enjoy!

Enjoy your new haircut. Best part is you'll always be reminded every time you look in the mirror!

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99 Discussions


3 years ago

Here you can find the material for Hair Cutting, Scissors / Shears


3 years ago

A "safer" way would be to post a note at a barber school offering yourself as a subject/model for training on. I get my hair cut at a local cosmetology school (for $4.50) as a senior female.


5 years ago on Introduction

Why all this fear of the cutters? They are more likely overcoming their fear of getting involved and worried about giving a bad cut! Then I'll bet they are happy they stopped and did it and smiled and laughed. People with bad vibes are not going to get involved, especially in a case with a camera running, but even if people walking by are going to watch the show.


6 years ago

This is awesome! Probably one of the best articles I've read! Love it! I have to agree with Plo Koon though. What's to keep someone from giving you a severe bald spot? Lol. But again dude! AWESOME instructable!!! Very much enjoyed reading it and looking at the pics!

Plo Koon

6 years ago on Introduction

This dont seem like a very gud idea to me. wat if u get some nut who thinks its funy to CHOP CHOP on ur head and leave u with 2 bald spots? or worse, chop ur ear?


7 years ago on Step 4

Dude, you are a total babe magnet. Let me know if you ever need a wingman.


8 years ago on Step 5

I LOVE THIS IDEA!!! if anyone has thought of how you can crowd source anything else like this plz PLZ plz PLZ tell me cause I don't have enough hair to cut and I JUST LOVE THIS IDEA!!!

2 replies

you could crowd source a massage or perhaps any board game, you can set it up and have people play for a move or too and see if you or the crowd wins or a painting/street art, ask people to make a few marks on your medium and see the end result lol or even some soup (ever heard of the story stone soup? :D


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I suppose stone soup is the first crowd sourcee xample assuming of course that there was some fact in the folk tale I dont think it would work around here except prehaps in brighton people are slightly less uptight there and may not run a mile when confronted by someone carrying a sign let alone pointy sharp sissors the art sounds good though


8 years ago on Introduction

I LOVE IT! I may seriously consider doing this in the future if I can ever convince my partner that I don't need the long hairs. >^_^<


9 years ago on Step 5

This is great. I wish I had some hair to cut.

i just had the best idea. i was thinking in taking on the worlds greatest shave, and i could do this like the day before i do the final shave (complete thing). do like a two snips two bucks. and if i end up getting agood haircut out of it i could take some pics and just hand them to the hairstylist when my hair comes back

thanks for the idea bro

2 replies

To be honest, if I saw someone with a sign that said 2 snips for 2 bucks, I'd pay just to take the longest two snips right at the roots. Because I would be mean like that if you're asking me to pay you to do something for you. Haha. :)

how fun!! I would love to sit there right next to someone that did this and watch people's reactions. As a woman, I wouldn't dare let just anyone touch my hair... its difficult enough to find a great hair stylist. But as a guy, its easy for you guys to wing it, have fun with it, because it'll grow back soon enough! Hey, worst comes to worst, buy a set of clippers and buzz it all off! Haha. LOVE the free spirit you had to do this!!! Wish I could've seen this being done in person.


9 years ago on Introduction

Well, glad it worked out for you, but I wouldn't do this if you paid me. Way too risky.