A Hairdresser Gives Free Hairpieces to Kids Who Lost Their Hair to Accident or Disease
A hairdresser has become a hero for many for dedicating his time to help build up the confidence of children affected by hair loss in some way. He applies hair prostheses on children entirely for free, and with the push of social media, his emotional transformations are soaring higher than ever.
He started out by changing men’s appearances.
Francisco Oliveira’s barbershop in São Paulo, Brazil, began gaining viral attention on social media after he decided to share videos of him applying hair prosthetics to men who struggle with hair loss. The clips, often posted on TikTok and Instagram, show how he manages to give any balding man the illusion of natural hair with prosthetics. In a matter of hours, they go from bald or balding to having a modern haircut.
With over five years of experience and over 3,000 hair prostheses under his belt, Francisco specialized in addressing self-esteem challenges early on in his career. Working with kids wasn’t in his plans initially, but with the transformations reaching a bigger audience online, he began receiving requests to help other people.
His kids’ project began after a mom asked him for help.
The mother of a young boy, Juliana Cerqueira, reached out to Francisco and told the story of her son, João, who had suffered serious burns in a home fire at the age of two. After 18 surgeries, nine-year-old João was left with little hair due to the injuries. Francisco was moved by his story, and he decided to use his expertise to help him. Despite the challenge, Francisco applied a hair prosthesis and created a natural look that put a huge smile on João’s face.
Unfortunately, the boy’s skin didn’t adapt to the prosthesis, and it had to be removed. However, in spite of this setback, João’s experience opened the doors of the barbershop to other children and Francisco ended up creating a project in honor of him — Projeto João Taboão. The project’s aim is to help children regain their confidence by providing free hairpieces to them.
Children fly from all over the country to get a hairpiece.
João’s story and experience with the hairdresser led another mom, Luciana Rafaela de Lima, to look for Francisco’s services. Her son, Lorenzo, was a victim of an accidental fire at three months old too. Due to the accident, he lost three fingers on his left hand and had to get reconstructive surgeries on his face and head. When Luciana found out her son had permanently lost his hair, she was heartbroken, and she wondered the impact it would have on him as he grew older.
This is when the skilled professional steps in again, as Francisco jumped at the chance to create a natural look for Lorenzo. With the support of her family and husband, Luciana and her son traveled over 3,000 km (nearly 2,000 miles) to the barbershop. And it was all worth it! The final result is nothing but heartwarming, with the mom herself describing the moment as beautiful and Lorenzo looking at himself in the mirror with a smile, as opposed to the glum expression he started the day with.
He teaches the parents how to maintain the hairpieces.
Francisco uses prostheses made of an ultra-thin silicone base with human hair strands, imported from China. The material provides a natural look to anyone who wears it. The prostheses are attached using double-sided adhesive tape, allowing for a secure and natural fit on the scalp. This innovative approach has its challenges, though.
Approximately every 15 days, clients need to do maintenance on the hair prostheses, a process that involves the removal, cleaning, and application of a new adhesive tape. For those living far from the barbershop, Francisco’s team teaches both the children and their mothers how to perform the maintenance at home and provides a kit with essential items, as well as a tutorial video.
The project, which extends its support to children from various parts of Brazil, is conducted by a team of six, including four barbers that, like Francisco, specialize in applying male hair prostheses. This approach ensures ongoing care and support for the children benefiting from the project.
He wants to keep developing the project.
Projecto João Taboão emerged as a response to the need of a broader purpose for Francisco’s growing company. Nevertheless, since its creation, it has evolved into a mission to make a positive impact on the lives of children facing hair loss due to various reasons.
Driven by a sense of gratitude for his business success, Francisco has been taking every chance he gets to give back to the community. As of January 2024, the project provides assistance to more children than it did at the beginning, covering all expenses, including airfare, for those from different states in the country.
The most rewarding aspect of the hair prosthesis project, according to Francisco, is witnessing the joy of the children who receive the hair prostheses. Above all, he values the smiles on their faces and the emotional reactions of the parents. While all the children assisted are unique and special, one particular case has left a lasting impression on Francisco’s memory. That of a boy, coincidently also named João, who suffered from the aftereffects of a Pitbull attack, but walked out of the salon dancing.
Like most of Francisco’s work, that moment was captured on camera, and it’s impossible not to smile at it.
Don’t miss a chance to check out more of Francisco’s work. In this article, we gathered some of his most impressive adult transformations. Your jaw might just drop!