Ngāpuhi barber takes on the world at invitational expo

By Mare Haimona-Riki

Caleb Heke is a Ngāpuhi barber whose kindness went viral on social media after he posted videos of himself offering free haircuts to the homeless in the Auckland CBD.

He's now made his mark in the highly competitive USA barbering world.

Heke has been cutting hair since he was ten years old when he made his first attempt at giving himself a mohawk.

Fifteen years on Heke has just competed at the CT Barber Expo, one of the biggest international barbering events.

'I’m blessed to complete'

Heke places fifth in one of the events he competed in and missed placing in the other two events.

Heke is the manager of a Māori-owned and operated barbershop called Kirkwoods Barbers in Mt Wellington in Auckland.

Heke uses his craft to help others by giving free haircuts to the homeless.

“I just love to help people in the community and share their stories, it comes from a place of struggle, and they have things on their chest and their mind that they want to share with people but they can’t get it out there”.

“It's about giving other people a perspective on how they live.”