- Associated Press - Sunday, January 24, 2016

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) - The mirror wasn’t his friend when Tykoris Shaw started his day Jan. 7 at Stephen Decatur Middle School, but by lunchtime, he was on speaking terms with the looking glass.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “I feel like a new man.”

The seventh-grader was raving about the lineup with hard part he got at Lockhart’s Barber College, one of 18 free haircuts delivered by the college’s students Thursday as the result of a generous offer by one of their regulars over the holidays.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, offered to pay for 10 haircuts for students attending Decatur public schools if the college would donate an equal number. Owner Brandon Lockhart, already the grateful recipient of two free tubs of children’s books from the school district, one for the college and one for his barbershop downtown, was happy to oblige.

“Once these young men see themselves looking better, they’re going to feel better, too,” Lockhart said.

Allie Hammel and Terrence Taylor, family support coordinators for Decatur public schools, split the haircuts among Harris and Durfee elementary schools and Thomas Jefferson and Stephen Decatur Middle Schools but the final count wound up two shy of 20.

That happened after a Harris designee turned up Thursday morning with a fresh haircut and a Durfee designee was too scared to have someone unfamiliar cut his hair.

Lockhart sent the lad off with a gift certificate to come back when he was feeling more brave.

The freshly trimmed and groomed schoolchildren Thursday ranged in age from 6-year-old Nick Knotts, a kindergartener at Durfee, to Clinton Shaw, 15, a former Thomas Jefferson student who is now a freshman at Eisenhower High School.

Clinton required the most attention, undergoing a significant haircut and beard trim that kept him in the barber chair more than an hour.

Shaun Pennington, an eighth-grader at Thomas Jefferson, decided to get his mustache shaved for the first time besides getting his hair chopped. “I hate curls,” he said.

Jerimiah Howard, a fifth-grader at Harris, chose a hi-top fade because that’s what he’s used to, while Nicholas Ellis, a third-grader at Durfee, went with a Mohawk.

“My cousin has one, and he’s 15,” Nicholas said. “I want to be like him.”

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Source: (Decatur) Herald & Review, https://bit.ly/1SDVCCS

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Information from: Herald & Review, https://www.herald-review.com

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