The
Streets
Barber

My Story

I LOVE PEOPLE AND
I LOVE CUTTING HAIR.

 

This is my passion. This is what makes me happy. The joy I see in a person after getting groomed brings me joy. I used to be a drug addict and I didn’t care about anybody else.
Now that I’m sober, serving others is the best high I’ve ever felt. Sharing the voice of the unheard is my new drug. I love being The Streets Barber.


WATCH MY STORY

Featured Story

THIS IS CLARENCE

 

This is Clarence. He is 32. The experience of cutting his hair was harder than usual, for two reasons. He had very low self-esteem, and he also couldn’t stop shaking from tremors due to his alcohol withdrawals. When I offered him a haircut, he broke down in tears and told me he was so grateful for this opportunity because he hated how he looked and felt, and all he wanted was “to feel normal again”, further expressing that he only thinks of himself as a “piece of s#*t”. That really affected me—his only wish was not money, food, or shelter. He just wanted to feel like he was a normal human being again. The power of a simple haircut…

Drag to see Transformation

THIS IS CLARENCE

 

This is Clarence. He is 32. The experience of cutting his hair was harder than usual, for two reasons.

READ FULL STORY #CLEANCUTCLEANSTART

Other Stories

OTHER STORIES

 

MEET CAM

When I first met him, he was sitting alone on a bench. I said “Hi”, he looked up and said hi back, and then invited me to sit down with him and have a chat. I learned that Cam is 62 years old and is alone. He explained that he was married for many years, and unfortunately not able to have children with his wife, despite really wanting to start a family. Although he loved his wife very much, things didn’t work out for their marriage in the end.

READ THE FULL STRORY

Discover full stories on Instagram and facebook
thestreetsbarber thestreetsbarber

MEET CAM

When I first met him, he was sitting alone on a bench. I said “Hi”, he looked up and said hi back, and then invited me to sit down with him and have a chat. I learned that Cam is 62 years old and is alone. He explained that he was married for many years, and unfortunately not able to have children with his wife, despite really wanting to start a family. Although he loved his wife very much, things didn’t work out for their marriage in the end.

READ THE FULL STRORY

MEET STEVO

Stevo is 35 years old. He has two kids, and is from the country. He had his own business as a concreter and was doing well financially—until his struggle with alcoholism made everything quickly unravel. He mentioned that initially, he was still “functioning” and was able to still get on with his responsibilities, pay for his home, and run his business. However, it also began to cause a lot of stress and pain for his wife and two kids.

READ THE FULL STORY

MEET DAN

This post is a little different. Instead of speaking about the life of Dan (the man in this photo) I’ll share the story of what led me to cut his hair. I recently headed out to a rehab centre to cut hair and hang out with the gentlemen there on a 6 month program – offering haircuts and some companionship. Having visited a week earlier, I wasn’t able to cut hair for everyone, so I had promised to return.

READ THE FULL STORY

MEET DENNIS

He’s 56 years old and has spent the last 23 years in prison. When I met him, he had only been out less than a month. I saw him sitting on a bench with his old friend Rod, who had also been in the same prison for over two decades. Now both of them are out in the “real” world and are struggling to rehabilitate into society, which is not easy!

READ THE FULL STORY

MEET STEFAN

He is a 27 year old from the eastern suburbs of Melbourne and was a very serious athlete for most of his youth. I met him at beautiful event where men from a rehab clinic get out and play sport as a vessel for release and therapy once a week. He loves basketball and was also a triathlete in his early 20’s. Everything was great until the “ice epidemic hit Melbourne” he said. Once it got a hold of him he went to jail 3 times in 18 months…

READ THE FULL STORY

MEET DOM

This is Dom. He is 27 years old, and a father of five. He is not with the mother of his children anymore, although he said they’re still on good terms. When I asked him how, he simply said: “She’s probably one of the best human beings I’ve ever met. I’m so grateful that she is the mother for our kids.”

READ THE FULL STORY

MEET UNCLE

He was homeless for over 10 years. My team and I have been cutting his hair for over 7 years. The first time we ever cut his hair when we were working alongside ‘Help for The homeless’ he had not had a haircut in over 15 years but you wouldn’t have noticed it because he kept it all under his beanie which ended up as one big dread. He doesn’t speak much about his past but remains friendly and compassionate to everyone.

READ THE FULL STORY

MEET TONY

This is Anthony. He’s in his 40s and has six kids. He’s no longer with his ex-wife, who he used to also do drugs with but is no longer in contact with. His former mother-in-law reached out to child services to have the children removed from their care since both parents were dealing with substance abuse problems.

READ THE FULL STORY

MEET SHAG

This is Shag. I asked him what makes him happy. He said the thing that makes him happiest in this world is his one year old son.
His response really resonated with me. It made me think: we sometimes tend to look at people on the street as 2nd class citizens or in some cases ignore their existence entirely.

READ THE FULL STORY

MEET PAUL

This is Paul. He’s in his 40s. Following a separation from his wife, he is now no longer in contact with his children either. This led him to the streets shortly after. The separation happened after he found out his ex-wife had been unfaithful to him, with one of his closest friends. This destroyed Paul.

READ THE FULL STORY

MEET Craig

He is 52 years old. His situation is very different to the standard perception of people who are homeless. He’s not on the streets because of a “drug addiction” or because he is “lazy”. He grew up in an abusive home environment – in which his father would constantly put Craig down telling him thing like how much he wished he didn’t have Craig. His father’s alcoholism was very toxic and the physical, emotional and verbal abuse was common for Craig and his brothers.

READ THE FULL STORY

MEET WOL

He’s 54 years old and been battling an alcohol and benzo addiction for years. Although he has been using for most of his life, he has also found periods of sobriety a few times throughout the years.— “The first time I quit for a long time was when I was going back and forth to Melbourne for work. I came home one time and found out my wife was cheating on me. I don’t blame her though, I put her through so much hardship when I would get on the drink…

READ THE FULL STORY

The Movement

THE STREETS’ BARBER MOVEMENT – AN OVERVIEW

#THESTREETSBARBERMOVEMENT  #WENOTME 

Aspiring towards love and acceptance of everyone, with no prejudice

Nasir Sobhani is The Streets Barber. He was born in 1988 and raised in Japan, of Iranian heritage, a Canadian citizen, and a member of the Baha’i Faith. He has been living in Australia since 2012. A recovering drug addict, following a 2 month stay in rehab in Vancouver, Canada, he decided to move to Melbourne, Australia, where his older brother Nima has been living since 2008.

“To create meaningful connections in order to humanise and help empower people.”

Beyond finding newfound sobriety, it was also in rehab that he decided to more seriously consider pursuing a career in cutting hair. He quickly grew to love Australia, and found himself apprenticing with an incredible mentor named Samar at her barbershop, Electric Brain, in Fitzroy North. One day, a heroin addict who used to wash car windows outside the shop came in, proudly announcing that he had been off drugs for a month, and that he wanted a haircut with money he had saved. Nas and this customer shared stories from their pasts during the entire haircut, and just before he was about to leave, the gentleman’s mother came in, with tears in her eyes. This was a life-changing moment in Nasir’s life, an epiphany closely related to his beliefs as a Baha’i, a faith that believes in the unity of all humankind, abolition of all forms of prejudice, and the importance of service to the community—especially by drawing on our unique talents, skills, and passions. In practice, this could perhaps be as simple as spending time and sharing with others the power of absolute and unconditional love, to have open hearts, and to listen.

“Living a life about using my talent in serving humanity”

This has all led to the beginning of The Streets Barber movement, and the Clean Cut Clean Start initiative. Nas believes that a clean cut can lead to a clean start for anybody going through a hard time, or coming up in a less privileged environment. In doing so, he tries to establish a meaningful connection with people; to hear their stories; and to encourage others to see the strong sense of dignity and honour that every human possesses.

Nas began hitting the streets to offer free haircuts for the less fortunate, and has since also visited different community organizations, shelters, and communities to offer haircuts as a path to building meaningful connections. The project has also become a place where people who believe in the fundamental goodness of human beings can come together to find stories, ideas, hope, community and inspiration in order to go out and serve in their own way.

“Giving them a reason to think clean by feeling and looking clean.”
Meet The Team

MEET THE TEAM

NIMA SOBHANI - MANAGER AND CREATIVE CONSULTANT
Bio

As Nasir’s brother and confidant, Nima is a key contributor to The Streets’ Barber movement. He collaborates with Nas and the rest of the team in a number of ways, including as a producer on creative projects; building and maintaining connections with like-minded people and organisations; and supporting Nas as his manager and right-hand man behind the scenes.

Nima completed his PhD in International Education in 2018, serves on the Board for the Australian charity Helping Hoops, and is also a basketball coach for the Yarra Wild Beasts of the South Sudanese Australian National Basketball Association.

EOIN MCCARTHY - BARBER
Bio

Eoin and Nasir met through their mutual passion of barbering. After a career as a professional cyclist, Eoin is a relative newcomer to the industry—however, throughout his time at Area Studio he has already participated in the HBIA Australian Hairdressing Championships where he finished second in both the Men’s Athletic & Trend categories, as well as placing first in the Victoria State Barber Konnect Battle.

Eoin assists Nas in cutting hair, providing makeovers and sharing in companionship with the people we encounter on the streets and through other TSB projects.

VIDAD NARAYAN & BRYCE MCCOY - MEDIA CREW
Bio

Vidad and Bryce are two passionate and dynamic creatives who make up our video crew,
and close friends of the Sobhani brothers for the past decade. These guys are the masters
behind the TSB Episodes as well most of our video content on and off the streets. Outside of the TSB Movement, they run Round 3, focusing on film to tell powerful stories that captivate audiences.

NURA SHEIDAEE - PHOTOGRAPHER
Bio

Nura and Nasir’s friendship traces back many years—their parents were college besties in
the Philippines, way back in the 1970s. Nura is the photographer of the TSB Movement,
capturing and documenting the projects and memories, which are essential to who we are.
Outside of TSB project, she works for a studio in the Richmond specialising in product
photography and aims to find more ways to give back to the community through images.

ADAM ABOUGHATTAS - PHOTOGRAPHER
Bio

Adam met Nasir during his regular visits at the barbershop Brother Wolf, and they have
been friends ever since. He is a photographer specialising in still documentaries and is
passionate about telling stories with his lens. This passion has now grown into AA Imagery, which Adam co-founded. Being a part of the TSB team and bringing the many special moments to life is an honour for Adam and he looks forward to it being a part of his long-term journey.

MELODY FORGHANI - PUBLIC RELATIONS
Bio

Melody and Nasir met at a small gathering of friends within the Melbourne Baha’i
community and it wasn’t long before the dynamic of brother and sister was established
within their friendship. Melody works as the official The Streets Barber publicist. Outside of
the TSB project, Melody runs TWNTY THREE, an independent artist management and
publicity company based in Sydney, Australia. TWNTY THREE manages Vallis Alps, and
handles PR for a diverse range of musicians, labels and festivals such as No Mono, Todd
Terje, Alex Cameron, Wafia, Pieater, Volumes Festival and more. Before starting TWNTY
THREE, she worked at Bossy Music handling the PR for the likes of Lorde, Chet Faker, Flume, Gotye and the national Laneway Festival.

MONIB MAHDAVI - CREATIVE CONSULTANT
Bio

A creative director and graphic designer, Monib is a close friend who has worked with Nas, and his brother Nima, to create The Streets Barber brand identity used across social
channels, the website, videos and merchandise. He is passionate about using design to
educate and inspire audiences, particularly on societal issues. Monib provides ongoing
design assistance, and acts as a sounding board to support Nas in expressing his authentic self in all his initiatives.

ROSEANNE ROFAEEL - PERSONAL ASSISTANT & EVENT ORGANISER
Bio

After following his work on social media for years, Roseanne first met Nasir on the streets of Melbourne and they instantly clicked over their shared passion for combating the issue of homelessness by using the gifts and skillset they had. What appeared to be a one-off
meeting, turned into a friendship, and Rose has supported Nas as his PA since, helping to
organize projects and assisting with communications and correspondence. Beyond the TSB movement, Rose is studying Psychology at university and runs her own not-for-profit
organisation, Christmas on the Streets (COTS), which aims to break the stigma against those experiencing homelessness and provides instant and long-term care to those in need.

SARA CHEHRENEGAR - PERSONAL ASSISTANT & PUBLIC SPEAKING LIAISON
Bio

Sara first met Nasir through their shared admiration for the Baha’i Faith, attending devotional gatherings together throughout the years. Sara has spent a few years dedicated to full-time service projects and volunteer work, including at the Baha’i World Centre and the Pacific Islands.

After moving back to Australia, Sara decided to offer a lending hand to The Streets Barber movement, and she was soon supporting Nasir across a range of areas alongside Rose, including serving as a key liaison for public speaking engagements, and helping oversee and organise his Geelong-based schedule.

Videos

SB EPSIODES

Episode 1: Chris
Episode 2: Daniel
Episode 3: Ganesh and Vic
Episode 4: Keytone
Episode 5: Aaron
Episode 6: Rob
Episode 7: Lindsay
Episode 8: Harry
Episode 9: Bruce
Episode 10: Phil
Episode 11: Lee

SB MEDIA

VICTORIA UNIVERSITY
KENNETH COLE
60 SECS DOCUMENTARY
PLGRM
GRAZIA
Press

PRESS

Meet the Melbourne barber giving the homeless a clean start at life

YAHOO! News

The Streets Barber Knows the Power of a Life Changing Haircut

Grazia

The Courageous Class Q&A: Nasir Sobhani

Kenneth Cole

Meet the Barber and Recovering Drug Addict Who Is Bringing Dignity and Hope to the Homeless With the Simple Act of a Free Haircut

Daily Mail

‘Streets barber’ changing lives with haircuts for homeless

SBS News

Haircuts for the Homeless Just the Remedy for Melbourne’s Winter Chill

The Age

Cutting Hair for the Homeless Boosts Mindsets and Images

Sydney Morning Herald

Barber Gives Homeless People Free Haircuts, Proves There Are Good People in the World

Cosmopolitan

Contact Us

HOW TO CONNECT WITH US.

WEBSITE PROUDLY DESIGNED AND DEVELOPED BY ROICOMAU