If you happened to pass the Menspire hair salon in the wee hours of Sunday morning, you may have had to do a double take.
For, despite the strange hour, award-winning barber Andy Dawson was busy cutting the hair of dozens of clients at the salon in the city’s St Andrew’s Street.
The stunt was part of an ambitious charity fundraiser to mark Andy’s 19th’s birthday – a 24-hour trimathon.
Andy encouraged friends, family and loyal customers to book appointments any time from 9am on Saturday to 9am on Sunday, with all proceeds from haircut payments and donations going to cancer-fighting charity UCAN.
And there were some funny moments along the way, as Andy explained.
“One of my clients had booked an appointment for 1.30am, so I called him a few minutes earlier, to check he was still coming,” said Andy, who is a joint director of Menspire.
He added: “The client was a bit confused – he thought he had booked the appointment for 1.30pm, and was wondering why his barber was calling him in the middle of the night to ask if he wanted his hair cutting.
“Other than that, everything went really well and I was delighted with the amount of money we raised.
“We had about 40 clients in total. A lot of people donated £25, which is the price of a cut, and the biggest donation was £75. We raised more than £1,000 in total.
“I did get quite tired around 6am, but had people in the salon to offer moral support, which helped.
“I also set up a Playstation and challenged clients to games of FIFA to make it more fun. The response was really positive.
“I’m considering making the 24-hour trimathon an annual event. If people are willing to support it and book appointments then it seems like a great idea to keep it going.”
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Andy, who won Scottish barber of the year at the Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards (SHABA) in Glasgow in September, also livestreamed the trimathon on his Instagram page.
He said: “At stages, we had 45 people tuning in, which was amazing.
“A fair few of the people who take an interest in my Instagram profile live overseas and some are on the other side of the world, so me cutting hair at 3am was actually an advantage for them.
“Some of them were asking me technical questions about being a barber, so it was great to have that level of interest.”
Explaining why he chose UCAN, Andy said: “I particularly wanted to raise funds towards combatting urological cancers in men – in particular prostate and testicular.
“Testicular cancer is the most common cancer affecting young men aged 20-44.
“Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer and one in 10 men will develop it during their lifetime.
“UCAN provide so many important services to those affected by urological cancer.
“I want to do my part in helping to reduce those numbers.”
Andy added: “This year has been a great year for me, going full-time as a stylist, winning the North East Hair and Beauty Awards barber of the year and more recently the SHABA award.
“The trimathon was the perfect way to round off a great year and celebrate the success on my 19th birthday.”
A UCAN spokesman said: “We would like to thank Andy for choosing UCAN to benefit from this event.”
Visit justgiving.com/fundraising/andydawsonmenspire for more information.