Mr. Dow was 26 when he executed his first haircut for a lifeless consumer. In that circumstance, it was an older male who experienced died of normal leads to, situations that Mr. Dow claimed had been much a lot easier to take care of than those people of a shooting sufferer. He has ongoing to consider on the complicated job of supplying haircuts for clientele who have been killed, for what he considers a uncomplicated motive — “because I lower their hair even though they ended up alive.”
As his business enterprise has expanded, Mr. Dow has hired other barbers who have figured out the trade of put up-mortem hair chopping.
Quant’e Boulware, 24, has labored for Mr. Dow the earlier 4 yrs and has slice the hair of two consumers who were no for a longer time alive. A single was a 2-year-previous kid who died in a car or truck crash — his godson. “I rather me lower his hair than anyone else,” he stated softly.
When consumers depart Mr. Dow’s shop, he explained, he tells them to “please be protected.” But he appreciates that can be difficult in a town like Baltimore. He estimates that as many as 8 of his consumers were murdered final year.
Dontae Breeden, one particular of Mr. Dow’s youthful customers, stated that he and his peers often sense invisible in a metropolis where by violence is so prevalent, and that some youthful adult males change to gun violence out of desperation. “People just want to be identified for something,” stated Mr. Breeden, 22. “They just want recognition.”
Rashad Jones, 29, has been a consumer of Mr. Dow’s for three a long time. In March 2019, he was shot at a bus halt on East Northern Parkway right after operate. Not only has Mr. Jones lost two of his very best close friends to gun violence this year, but in 2013 his brother was shot and paralyzed from the waistline down at age 25. The barbershop is one particular of the number of spots in West Baltimore where Mr. Jones reported he feels protected.
Mr. Dow does his most effective to sustain that sense of safety. He attempts to ease and comfort his customers by chatting to just about every of them although slicing their hair, even the younger gentleman who had been shot in the head.
“I was conversing to him although I was slicing his hair, like I do a large amount of my deceased clientele,” Mr. Dow said. “I just mentioned, you know, ‘I hope you rest nicely.’”
This posting was generated in collaboration with Kaiser Overall health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Household Basis. The author is a reporter for Kaiser Wellbeing News. Victoria Knight contributed reporting.