It’s fair to say that homelessness can take a real toll on a person’s physical appearance after a while. João Coelho Guimarães could certainly attest to that, as he looked a little worse for wear going into December 2020. Yet when he arrived at Padoo Barbearia, Guimarães received a makeover that not only changed his look, but his entire life.
A resident of Goiânia, Brazil, Guimarães was 45 years old at the time of his dramatic transformation. But make no mistake – he’s far from the only person without a home in the South American country. For instance, in the city of Sao Paulo, roughly 24,000 individuals didn’t have a roof over their heads in the spring of 2020, according to the city’s own official figures from its last headcount.
That’s a staggering figure! So how long had Guimarães been on the Goiânia streets leading into the winter? Was the situation relatively new to him, or could it be traced back over a longer period? Well, the answer is more in line with the latter, which might explain his disheveled appearance.
Yes, it’d been roughly three years since Guimarães had a roof over his head at that point. As for how he found himself in that spot, the 45-year-old’s background is a little bit of a mystery. But whatever his back story might be, one thing wasn’t in doubt – his hair and beard were in need of some care!
You see, Guimarães rocked a scraggly dark mane that just rested above his shoulders. His facial hair was in a similar state too, as the graying beard stretched down to his chest. Most barbers would have their hands full dealing with that much hair, but one establishment took on the challenge ahead of Christmas.
We’re referring to Padoo, of course, which we mentioned a little earlier. Now Guimarães frequently caught sight of this barber shop while he strolled the streets, yet he hadn’t previously summoned the courage to pop his head in. Mind you, that all changed when the Goiânia resident finally dropped in on the workers in December 2020.
But this wasn’t just any old barber shop – Padoo offers so much more than a haircut. Yes, the business also operates as a stylish clothing store too, with racks of accessories dotted around the space. If you’re looking to undergo a makeover, this seems like the perfect place for it!
Indeed, you might not be surprised to learn that as befits a business with such an emphasis on personal grooming and fashion, Padoo has quite the following on social media. To give you an idea of the numbers, the versatile shop boasts more than 10,000 fans on Instagram alone. Pretty impressive right? Anyway, while it’s clearly a popular concern, Guimarães’s arrival showcased the staff’s generosity as well.
How so? Well, to explain more, the proprietor of Padoo spoke to the Universo Online website. His name is Alessandro Lobo, and he doesn’t just run the barbers. In fact, he’s a country music artist too. That’s quite a range of interests! During his chat with the site, Lobo looked back on the moment when Guimarães first walked in.
Lobo recalled, “[Guimarães] came and we asked him if he was hungry and if he wanted something to eat. But he refused and asked if we had a razor so he could trim his beard. That’s when we had the idea and everyone who was at the store decided to help him in a different way, providing him with a day of beauty.”
And what a day it proved to be in the end. But before we get into Guimarães’s jaw-dropping transformation, Lobo provided some additional thoughts in a different interview. The multi-talented entrepreneur sat down with the Bored Panda website following that memorable session, revealing that the 45-year-old hadn’t previously been a stranger to him nor to the staff.
Lobo explained, “We decided to help [Guimarães] because we saw the extreme need he had. We made friends with him over the past two months. And when he asked us for a razor, we welcomed him and gave him the full experience.” The owner’s words didn’t end there, though, as he also touched upon Padoo’s role in the community in recent times.
“We have some social aid projects, and for us, it is very gratifying to be able to help people, whoever they are,” Lobo continued. “In this time of the pandemic, many people lost loved ones and others were left with financial difficulties. A little help is always welcome in such a difficult time.”
So that brings us back to the makeover itself. What did it entail? Well, Lobo wasn’t exaggerating when he said Guimarães received the “full experience.” You see, while the Goiânia resident was only interested in trimming his beard at first, he got far more than he bargained for – or had imagined!
In a video of the transformation posted on the store’s Instagram page, the barbers get things started by focusing on Guimarães’s mop of hair – specifically, they zone in on the back. So with clippers in hand, the professionals begin to shave the scraggly locks, leaving a tangled mound at the top. It makes for quite the visual, but their work has some way to go yet.
From here, the staff comb the longer hair away from Guimarães’ face and style it, blending it with the shorter cut around the back and sides. At this stage, the new look is really coming together, yet one aspect of his appearance still requires a touch-up. Of course, we’re referring to his ungroomed beard.
To that end, Guimarães then rests his head back against the barber’s chair, as they get to work on the beard. The 45-year-old looks remarkably relaxed at this stage, sporting a smile of sorts under all that facial hair. We don’t blame him for being happy! Following a trim, the workers go on to dry his snazzy haircut.
By the end, it’s fair to say that Guimarães looks like a different man. But his makeover didn’t conclude there. You see, alongside the haircut and styled beard, he received three new shirts from the clothing store. The homeless customer got a pair of shoes, a jacket and some pants on top of that too.
Lobo told Bored Panda, “It took two hours to complete the transformation. The whole team volunteered and everyone did a little, adding up to a surprising result.” And he isn’t kidding – who could’ve predicted this outcome after just a couple of hours? You’d have thought the timeframe was much longer!
Anyway, what did Guimarães think of the changes? Was he a fan of the new look? Well, to say that he was pleased would be a bit of an understatement. While Padoo’s latest visitor kept his words brief, his emotions filled in the blanks, as he shed tears of pure joy.
Following Guimarães’s transformation, Padoos went on to share its video of the event via Instagram. The business also posted some photos on its social media page, comparing the before and after. So that should’ve been that, right? The good deed was complete. Well, not quite. Incredibly, the makeover quickly went viral online.
Yes, the Instagram images gained thousands of likes from social media users; it seemed people couldn’t get enough of Guimarães’s unbelievable makeover. And as for the video, it’s earned in excess of 66,000 views since being posted in December 2020. Alongside that, the clip’s generated more than 700 comments as well.
Here’s just one message that gives a flavor of the general tone of the comments, with a user hailing Padoo’s work. They wrote, “What a wonderful action you have done. Congratulations to everyone involved. You were awesome.” But while people on social media continued to praise the makeover, it gained traction in other places too.
For instance, U.K. newspapers such as The Sun and the Daily Mail both covered the story on their respective websites in December 2020. Plus, web pages like UNILAD and, of course, Bored Panda, also spoke of Guimarães’s transformation. How amazing is that? This heartwarming local tale was now an international sensation!
As for the reactions, Bored Panda’s coverage of the story also generated plenty of comments from online users. One said, “Those barbers are such amazing people. If only everyone could do one small act, the world would be fine.” Meanwhile, someone else echoed those sentiments in a message of their own.
The user wrote, “This is an excellent story, so never judge a book by its cover. I try to do random nice things for people when I can and it feels good. And I can forget about the rude, mean, hurtful [ways] people I’ve known have treated me. I wish [Guimarães] all the luck and the very best.”
Here’s the thing, though – as the photos on Instagram started to take social media by storm, this story developed another intriguing twist. What could it be? Well, as it turned out, some people from Guimarães’ past noticed the images when they went viral. And the individuals couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing.
So who were they? Incredibly, the people in question were Guimarães’ mom and sister. Their shock stemmed from the fact that they believed he wasn’t alive anymore prior to looking at the snaps. Yes, you’re reading that right! The pair were convinced that their family member had passed away more than a decade ago.
Can you imagine what that moment must’ve been like for Guimarães’s family? Talk about experiencing a seismic shift in your life. Anyway, you’re no doubt wondering where this twisty tale goes next. After all, what would you do if you discovered that a long-lost relative or child was still alive and well?
Unsurprisingly, Guimarães’s mom and sister quickly contacted Lobo in the hopes that he could help them out. And the entrepreneur didn’t disappoint, as he managed to organize an unexpected meeting in the lead-up to Christmas. To give a little more insight, Lobo continued his conversation with Bored Panda.
Lobo told the website, “[Guimarães’s] sister Maria Coelho came in a hurry when she saw the pictures. She lives in Brasília DF and has been waiting for ten years to hear some news about him.” From there, the Padoo chief reiterated that her family had been convinced that he was no longer alive up until then.
So after Coelho got in touch, Padoo reached out to Guimarães and documented the results. Yes, the staff snapped pictures of the 45-year-old as he returned to the barbers on a sun-kissed December day. He wasn’t quite as glammed up as the last time, wearing a T-shirt and shorts with a rucksack over his shoulder.
Mind you, that detail quickly faded into the background when Guimarães and Coelho finally reunited in the store’s doorway. Following a decade apart, the siblings shared a lovely embrace, unable to hide their happiness. And just like with the makeover, her brother was brought to tears once he entered the barbers.
We can feel a tear or two coming on ourselves! What a beautiful moment. After they came together, Padoo then shared the resulting images in another Instagram post, which generated an equally large response on social media. The montage of photos earned just under 23,000 views and more than 100 comments.
So off the back of that emotional reunion, you might believe that you’ve got the ending of this story all figured out. Guimarães could finally leave the homeless life behind right? Well, that’s not quite what happened – and we can hear your gasps from here. Lobo shared the details with Bored Panda.
Lobo revealed, “João is still on the streets. His sister wanted to welcome him and take him home, but he didn’t want to. He said that on the streets, he feels free. That’s why he didn’t want to go home.” Be honest with us – you didn’t see that coming, did you?
And it’s fair to say that a number of Bored Panda users were in the same boat too. But one person took real heart from the tale, tying it back to their own situation. In the website’s comment section, they wrote, “I’m adopted and long to find my birth family. After reading this story, [I think] that someday my greatest wish could be realized.”
The user then added, “Your kindness renewed my faith in the compassion still alive in today’s world. [Guimarães] is a very handsome man and I would so love to meet him one day. It is sad that he chose to return to the streets, but very understandable. My heart goes out to him.”
So yes, the conclusion is a little bittersweet from a certain perspective, but Guimarães was clearly happy enough to stay where he was. Plus, he’s now reconnected with his family. That’s life-changing in its own right – especially after a decade of uncertainty. What did Lobo think of it all, though?
Well, the salon owner offered some final thoughts on this subject to Universo Online. Lobo said, “It is Christmas time and the intention was to show that with little we can change someone’s life. That we have to do good without looking at who. We did not imagine that it would have this repercussion.”