Barber trims the trauma

Barber Mark Fleming is holding special haircutting days at his shop Markys in Grangemouth for autistic children
Barber Mark Fleming is holding special haircutting days at his shop Markys in Grangemouth for autistic children

A barber is using his skills and winning personality to cut down on the distress young customers feel when its time for a haircut.

Mark Fleming’s shop Marky’s, in Newlands Road, Grangemouth, became an officially registered autism friendly barbers last year and on Sunday, October 1, will be hosting a haircutting day specifically aimed at those youngsters, for whatever reason, who find a trip to the hairdressers terribly traumatic.

The shop will be closed to the general public and customers who have booked in advance can enjoy a half hour appointment in a quiet, calm environment.

Mark said: “You’ve just got to have patience and understanding that some people have sensory issues and don’t like having their hair cut. You just have to treat each child individually and cater to their needs.

“They don’t have to sit in a chair, they can stand or sit on the floor – whatever makes them feel comfortable.”

The special haircutting day is already fully booked and Mark, who was initially considering holding it once a month is now looking to hold it twice a month because of the response.

Mark’s customers certainly think he is a cut above.

One happy mum said: “My daughter had her first proper haircut today. Mark did an amazing job even though she was in tears and screaming. Her hair looks lovely.”

Another parent added: “My son just had his first proper haircut in six years and it couldn’t have been done by a nicer person.”