While Matt Brown is a barber in New Zealand — cutting hair is only part of what he does.
Setting up his own barbershop in his backyard not, it has become an entire movement which helps men to heal from past trauma.
Over a decade ago, Matt started to barber and while he was working in New Zealand — he realized how men come more than just a haircut.
“Men were coming in and not you know, wanting more than just the haircut, they wanted a conversation. And not many places, spaces, allow men to really open up quite like the barber chair,” Matt shared.
Matt knew exactly what he needed to do — and decided to set up his own business which grew into a massive movement called, “She Is Not Your Rehab.”
The business titled, My Father’s Barbers, created a safe space where men can open up with the issues they face despite fear of judgement.
“A lot of my friends were joining gangs, were addicted to sex and drugs, you name it, some committed suicide, some are going into prison. And I just wanted to create a space where men could come and talk,” the barber revealed.
The movement hopes to empower men to address their past traumas through honest conversations.
He shares how men talk about a multitude of topics, including sport, TV and how their weekends went — in addition to their struggles and fears and emotional traumas.
“I’ve had grown men cry; I’ve sat with some of the staunchest, most successful, ruthless men in my city in my chair crying together. This is not a very popular business plan, step one get a barbershop, step two cry with your clients!”
Matt has also faced some very intense struggles while growing up.
He revealed to the media how he grew up in a very abusive household.
“When I look back at that, I think it’s so sad no-one in our world stepped in or said anything for Mum, because Mum would go to church like that; pregnant, bruised face, but no-one said or did anything.”
Thankfully, the he was able to move out of his home when he was just 15 and says he was able to get the help he needed. In addition, he shared how his wife was his main inspiration for changing.
“The real change came when I met my wife, who was my best friend, and when you have a strong woman that can, you know, challenge the status quo and still love you and see behind the masks that I would wear and love me still, that brought a lot of change,” he shared.
Matt hopes that his movement can help create violence-free communities that have men taking responsibility when it comes to healing their trauma instead of projecting them onto their relationships.
“If men take responsibility for their own healing, that will heal the whole family and if women take responsibility for their own healing and do not rescue men, that will heal the whole family because our kids are watching.”