SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Many people in Sacramento are being forced to cut their own hair at home after non-essential businesses, including hair salons and barbershops, were shut down in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For Stephen Meawad, haircutting began as a hobby.
“Welcome to Tips for Clips. Today, I’m going to give you all the tips you’ll need to cut your own hair perfectly. I’m going to start with the number six,” Meawad says on one of his instructional videos on YouTube.
Meawad started posting instructional videos a few years ago, mostly to give his brain a break from studying while he was finishing his doctorate in theology.
“I just needed to let out some energy,” Meawad told FOX40.
As Meawad explained over video chat from his home in Connecticut, he also wanted to make haircutting understandable in simple, everyday terms.
“I just figured, I’m sure people want to know how to cut their hair at home. I never thought it would be useful in a time like this,” said Meawad.
With salons and barbershops closing because of the new coronavirus, Meawad’s video views have skyrocketed.
“Over 200,000 views a day and still rising,” said Meawad.
One of the videos has been watched more than 6 million times.
A video about how men can cut their own hair surpassed 2 million views by the end of March.
With the advertising revenue, his YouTube channel is helping feed his family. Meawad told FOX40 that the channel brings in more money than his job as a part-time theology professor at universities.
He said he is glad and moved that people are supporting his YouTube channel and finding it helpful, but the success has also left him feeling conflicted.
“It sort of feels a little weird that I’m benefiting from the YouTube channel at a time when a lot of people are struggling,” said Meawad.
So, he’s found a way to give back.
“It’s more blessed to give than to receive. And to whom much has been given, much is expected,” said Meawad in a new video.
Meawad announced a fundraiser through his website, where he sells grooming products.
“Today I’m announcing that 100% of all profits made on tipsforclipshair.com will be donated to those affected by the coronavirus pandemic,” explains Meawad.
Women’s hair is not part of Meawad’s skillset at this time. But he told FOX40 maybe when his daughter gets a little bit older, she’ll let him practice on her.
As a theology professor, Meawad said he encourages his students to look at this time in history as an opportunity for self reflection and rejuvenation. And as for hair, now is the perfect time to experiment because by the time the stay-at-home orders are lifted, it will all grow back.