Caped coiffeur: Haircutting superhero patrols Toronto streets
Josh Elliott, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, July 23, 2015 8:35AM EDT
A caped crusader is keeping Toronto safe from style criminals by offering free haircuts to anyone who wants one.
He calls himself "Mazing," and he struts around his downtown neighbourhood with a barber's stool on his shoulder and a pair of scissors at his hip, ready to leap into haircutting action at the drop of a hat.
But when Mazing isn't fighting unkempt hairdos on the streets, he cuts hair for a living as mild-mannered hairstylist Matthew Genser, owner of the Matthew Genser Salon near Kensington Market.
Genser has been moonlighting as Mazing for three years now, offering free haircuts to all takers, including the homeless. He says he wears the costume and cuts people's hair for free as a way to connect with people in the city.
"We're in a town where we all sit in a subway, we sit across from each other, and we don't say anything to each other, we don't smile at each other, we avoid each other," he told CTV Toronto on Wednesday.
That all changes when Genser assumes his Mazing alter ego. He says the costume is made by one of his customers, and inspired by the comic book movie "Kick-Ass." The costume is a neon green T-shirt with a large purple "M" on the front, along with a blue cape and domino mask.
"When I put on this costume I get treated the way I should, as a regular person," he said.
That means he gets plenty of smiles as he goes about cutting hair in Toronto.
Genser says he sometimes welcomes new clients into his salon after cutting their hair for free on the street.
CTV Toronto spoke to several people who'd had their hair cut by Mazing, and they had nothing but good things to say.
"I think it's great, terrific and wonderful, and I'm glad people like this are around for the poor," one woman said.
Mazing (a.k.a. Genser) says he's just happy to help.
With files from CTV Toronto