West Oak Lane barber shop tries to connect with neighborhood youths

Tucked away on the corner of 66th Avenue and Gratz Street in West Oak Lane is Zafir’s Barber Shop, a new neighborhood addition not far from the main drag.

Head barber Zafir Khalilulahh is 56 years old. He has been cutting hair for 36 of those years.

There are a lot of barber shops around West Oak Lane, but Khalilulahh spoke confidently about his, which opened last April.

A positive spin

Khalilulahh said he and the three barbers inside can make their mark by sending out a positive message to the community.

“We are different because we talk positively to the youth. We like to talk to kids about growing up the right way,” Khalilulahh said. “We always encourage them to go to school, stay in school, and some kids even come back at the end of the day to show us their grades. We also like to ask the kids that come in to tell us something that they learned from class and if they do we discount their haircut.”

When asked to describe how things are going after one year in business, Khalilulahh used the word “excellent.”

“We see ourselves excelling in the things that we do,” he said with a smile. “We want to continue to positively influence the youth and help and make a difference within the area.”

Jessie Fox and Kaila Gantt are students at Temple University. Philadelphia Neighborhoods, a NewsWorks content partner, is an initiative of the Temple Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab.

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