Barber gets on floor to finish haircut for boy with autism

Franz Jacob has thousands of fans worldwide after a mom took a photo of him cutting her son's hair while lying on the floor. (Photo: Fauve Lafrenière)

ROUYN-NORANDA, Quebec (WTHR) - A Canadian barber is getting worldwide attention for a photo taken by the mother of a boy with autism.

Franz Jacob says Wyatt Lafrenière isn't the only customer he has with autism, but he's the youngest. He knew that cutting the six-year-old's hair would mean more than a few spins in the barber chair.

''I understood that with Wyatt I have to follow him around the salon with my tools to finish the cut,'' Jacob told CBC News.

But when he ended up sprawled out on the floor to finish Wyatt's haircut, the boy's mom snapped a picture to show to her friends on Facebook.

It took off from there, including 850,000 views on Imgur, an image-sharing platform.

''Maybe it will open people's eyes that there are other ways to approach differences," said Wyatt's mother, Fauve Lafrenière.

Even before the wave of popularity from his photo with Wyatt, Jacob has picked up a reputation for working with people with autism. He says his customers know to come at the end of the day, where he can lock the door and keep things quiet. He says the children with autism are drawn to the wide range of memorabilia that lines the walls of his old-fashioned barbershop in Rouyn-Noranda, about a seven-hour drive north from Montreal or Toronto.

In addition to the care given to children with autism, Jacob says he also gives haircuts to people who are terminally ill.

"When you shave someone who is probably going to die within 48 hours … it's indescribable,'' said Jacob. ''Everyone is crying, it's really something. I'm really proud to be doing all this.''

Filed under: