News of Payne’s charitable project quickly spread around the community via social media and word of mouth, and in just a few weeks, he racked up more than 300 clients and donated more than $3,000 to bail bonds, families affected by acts of police brutality, and various organizations and funds, including Young New Yorkers and the NAACP.
For the past month, Payne has been offering open-air, donation-based haircuts all over Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, with clients’ payments directly benefitting the Black Lives Matter movement.
A comb, pair of shears, folding chair, handwritten sign, and gold-trimmed mirror were all Anthony Payne needed to create his traveling hair salon — an outdoor space where New Yorkers can finally get their grown-out haircut while simultaneously contributing to the fight for racial justice.
After DM’ing Payne on Instagram to set up an appointment, Andersen met him under the Williamsburg Bridge and immediately fell in love with his outdoor salon, which she described as an ideal mix of clean and aesthetically pleasing.
As Payne described on his Instagram Stories, "We literally broke down the salon concept and reinvented what we felt was right in this moment for an amazing cause".
Payne initially planned on offering his donation-based haircuts for the month leading up to his birthday, which was on June 26, but after having such a positive experience with every client, he’s decided to continue doing them in the future.
A cosmetologist and freelance hairstylist, Payne provides cuts in various outdoor locations all around Williamsburg, following the CDC’s recommendation to bring indoor group activities outside amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you live in the New York area and wish to have your hair cut by Payne, send him an Instagram DM (@anthonypayne) to secure an appointment, and be sure to watch his IGS to stay in the know on his latest location choice.
Before the pandemic, Andersen got a haircut that was "growing out horribly," and Payne came to the rescue by evening things out and adding some texture and movement.