#BeAwesomeToSomebody: Mark Bustos Continues to Make a Difference, One Haircut at a Time


#BeAwesomeToSomebody. That’s the mantra Mark Bustos, 30, has adopted and made into a consistent hashtag on his Instagram. When Audrey first wrote about his cuts of kindness in August, he was someone who, on weekdays at an elite salon, charged around $150 for his haircuts and on Sundays, at a park bench on the corner of East Houston and Chrystie Streets, charged nothing.

Today, he is still a hairstylist at Three Square Studios, cutting hair for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Norah Jones and Phillip Lim while still reserving Sundays each week to wander around Union Square, the Lower East Side and Midtown.

His skills and efforts (he gives about ten haircuts a day) has since only grown bigger. The New York Times ran a story about his work, as well as his #BeAwesomeToSomebody hashtag. Both deliver a clear message to the world and to his 217k followers on Instagram.


Photo courtesy of The New York Times

What remains the same is the fact that Bustos is someone who puts his beliefs of doing good into practice. As he told The New York Times this month, the idea is simply to give back. “Whether I’m giving one at work or on the street, I think we can all relate to the haircut and how it makes us feel,” Bustos said. “We all know what it feels like to get a good haircut.”

Devin Masga, a street photographer, agrees. That’s why he has joined Bustos in this mission and takes before-and-after photos with him.



Photo courtesy of Instagram


Bustos has been turning his skill into a priceless act since he was young. He grew up in Nutley, New Jersey and used to cut his friends’ hair for free so that they could save the haircut money their parents gave them for other things.

Today, the giving is a little more elevated than pocket money. Bustos recalls a homeless man looking in the mirror after Bustos gave him a haircut, saying “Do you know anyone who is hiring? I’m ready to go get a job.”

Of course, Bustos doesn’t stop there. Friends and paying clients will often tell him about the people in their neighborhoods.

Photo courtesy of Instagram

The haricuts happen on the street while a park bench or milk crate serves as the barbershop chair. He wears gloves and disinfects tools and cleans up after each cut, all while providing inspiration to those passing by.

Whether it’s #BeAwesomeToSomebody or any other pay-it-forward hashtag, Bustos’ reply to helping anyone is the same: “My answer is just go and do it.”

This Filipino American Hair Stylist Proves You Can Make A Difference With A Simple Gesture


Let’s be real here — Sundays usually mean lying around in bed, watching a movie on Netflix (or two or three), and being in denial about the full week of work or school that is yet to come. That is the case for many, regardless of his or her profession.

However, Mark Bustos chooses not to waste his Sundays and instead does something nice for his community. Bustos, a Filipino American hairstylist who works at the upscale hair salon Three Square Studio in New York, gives free, stylish haircuts to homeless people everyday Sunday. He provides his services to as many as six people each time.

According to the Huffington Post, the 30-year-old first became inspired by a random act of kindness on a trip to the Philippines where he was visiting family members in May of 2012. During the trip, he paid a barbershop owner to rent a chair, which he then used to offer hair cutting services to impoverished children in the area.



Bustos found it so incredibly rewarding that he began expanding his services to people in Jamaica, Costa Rica and Los Angeles as well. He told Huffington Post in an interview, “The feeling was so rewarding, I decided to bring the positive energy back to NYC.” Unsurprisingly, his clients also seem to be very pleased with the outcome. One of his clients, Jamar Banks, even asked him if he knew of anyone that was hiring when he saw the result of his haircut.

Bustos has also said that he makes sure to cut the person’s hair in an open, busy street in hopes of inspiring other passersby to do random acts of kindness as well.

Upon meeting the homeless person, Bustos approaches each of them with the same phrase: “I would like to do something nice for you today.”

Check out the pictures below:






You can also follow Bustos on Instagram here.