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Traveling barber giving free haircuts in all 50 states stops in Buffalo

Irvin Russell Pelton, Jr. will be at the Buffalo City Mission again next week.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — We are celebrating Western New York with a barber who is making his way across the United States in his RV giving free haircuts to anyone in need.

This week, he's done dozens of haircuts at the Buffalo City Mission.

Inspired by cutting the hair of a military member who had just returned from overseas, barber Irvin Russell Pelton, Junior started cutting hair for free about 25 years ago.

"I thought, you know, I've got to do something so these men and women know we care about them," said Pelton.

Now he's on a roll traveling across the country in his RV visiting 17 states so far since October 2020.

"Here yesterday was our first day here. We did twenty haircuts, eleven beard trims," said Irvin Russell Pelton, Jr.

We caught up with Irvin at the Buffalo City Mission.

"It's a blessing to be able to do this because of all of the wonderful people I get to meet and, you know, I say I travel around doing volunteer work helping people, but in reality, they're helping me, you know," said Irvin Russell Pelton, Jr. 

No questions asked, anyone, can get a haircut.

"Man, woman, or child, they sit here, they feel comfortable and they'll say things they won't say to their own family, you know? And again I look at that as a blessing for me and my friends and family because I got a lot of friends and family that help support this mission or adventure, whatever you want to call it," said Irvin Russell Pelton, Jr. 

Irvin has been a barber for 44 years. He started in Detroit and his mission to serve others by providing basic needs has taken him everywhere.

"Last week, I was cutting hair in a parking lot. It was hot. This week, we're in a little barbershop in Buffalo City Mission. You know? Praise the Lord. And that's America. I can do it by the dumpster. I can do it in here. It doesn't matter," said Irvin Russell Pelton, Jr. 

California was Irvin's first stop in 2020, and with 33 more states to go, Hawaii, his home state, will be his last.

Irvin will be back at the Buffalo City Mission next week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone is welcome to show up during those times for a haircut.

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