'Punishment haircuts' are being used to tame naughty kids.

Meet Russell Fredrick.

He’s a barber who will give your kids a ‘punishment haircut’ if they’re naughty. It won’t be a cut they want. It might include old-style baldness. And there won’t be anything flattering about it.

(See Exhibit A below. Yes, we’d be crying too.)

Not very happy. via Instagram

The trend kicked a year ago, when Fredrick's 12-year-old son refused to do his homework and was misbehaving at school. In a bid to embarrass his son and teach him a lesson, Fredrick shaved his hair off, giving him what is known as the 'Benjamin Button' hairstyle:

Brad Pitt playing Benjamin Button

“After I shaved him bald, I told him that if things continued I would get more creative with each cut,  but I never had to because he straightened up his act," Fredrick told US Newspaper The Register-Guard.

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Fredrick now offers the ugly cuts to any parent who wants them.

“Whenever people come in and ask for it, we do it.” he said.

Via Instagram

Fredrick's haircuts have spurred on a social movement. Parents are shaming their kids publicly by shaving their hair, filming the footage and then uploading it to YouTube in the hope that it will go viral.

The image above was uploaded to reddit with the caption: "Anyone else want me to babysit their kid? When they act up I give them old men haircuts."

But many people don't agree with the tactic, saying that it is a cruel and outdated punishment that relies too much on humiliation.

One reddit user said the trend could damage more than a child's looks: "Public shaming and bullying your kid is just going to screw them up and probably turn them into a jerk and a bully, having learned it's an acceptable way to deal with people."

A young boy who recieved a punishment haircut

Psychologist Xanthia Bianca Johnson agrees. She told the Washington Post that punishment haircuts trigger shame.


“There’s lots of research that supports the fact that when a child is blamed or shamed it triggers their nervous system, and when the nervous system is shut down, it is directly connected to the brain.

"The part of the brain that processes logic gets shut off and it can actually stunt physical and emotional growth."

Fredrick cutting a young boys hair.

Wayman Gresham, a father from Florida also thinks that hair cut punishment is cruel. In a bid to prevent more kids from getting punishment hair cuts. He created an anti viral video, where instead of shaving his son's hair, he hugged him. “I’m not against discipline" he told the Gadsden Times "But I am against humiliating and just snatching the dignity away from a child. If you’re going to discipline your child, I think it should be done out of the public eye.”

Fredrick, however disagrees.

He doesn't give hair cuts willy nilly. The youngest boy he has ever given a bad hair cut to was nine. And he refuses to give bad haircuts to girls.

Fredrick in his Barber's shop.

“I try to talk to the kids a little first, they’re usually pretty much embarrassed and feeling bad about what’s going on."

“If this is what parents want to do, I feel like you have to do whatever it takes to reach a kid,” he said. “If you take a phone away or video games away and that’s not reaching him, you have to do something.

“You can’t whoop them. If you whoop them you get in trouble with law enforcement, so you have to do something or let these kids run wild.”

And, according to Fredrick, "nobody’s come back a second time.”

After all, hair always grows back.

Take a look at Doctor Phil's approach to punishment haircuts:

Do you agree with cutting off hair as punishment?

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