Home / Be The Change / Good Samaritan Now Subject of Investigation — For Giving Free Haircuts to Homeless

Good Samaritan Now Subject of Investigation — For Giving Free Haircuts to Homeless

Juan Carlos Montesdeoca, a Tucson, Arizona cosmetology student, thought it would be a great idea to give back to the community he so dearly loves. In honor of his mother, who lost her hair during her fight against cancer, Montesdeoca decided to offer free haircuts to the homeless in his city.

Little did he know it but his decision to serve the poor and the homeless would come at the risk of losing his cosmetology career before it even begins. At issue is the fact Juan Carlos has not yet completed cosmetology school. Knowing this, an unidentified person saw something, and thus, said something, and filed a complaint with the State of Arizona’s Board of Cosmetology, alleging Juan Carlos was practicing cosmetology without a state-issued license.

Juan Carlos is now being investigated by the state’s regulatory board for “practicing without a license.” As The Free Thought Project has consistently reported, the government often takes a basic human right, licenses it, and then sells it back to the citizenry, using themes like safety, hygiene, and crime prevention as justification. For example, to build a house, fish, drive a car, fly on a plane, or even get married, one must now purchase a license from the most states. The licenses are sources of extorted revenue from citizens, leaving many feeling like they have no freedoms at all unless they pay the states’ fees first. Now, it seems, even giving a willing person a haircut has consequences if one doesn’t go to cosmetology school first, and buy a license from the state.

Even with the threat of not being able to obtain an AZ cosmetology license, Montesdeoca feels good about what he did for the homeless. He said two women who got their hair cut had gone months, even years without even so much as a trim. Montesdeoca gave dozens of free haircuts to the homeless. He did so, as he says, “Out of the kindness of my heart. Out of the memory of my mom, because she lost her hair.” Juan Carlos said he himself was homeless once but after Regency Beauty School closed down last September, forcing him to take a break from his studies, he took the extra time he had on his hands to give away free haircuts and practice what he’d learned in school.

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Juan Carlos drafted a letter to the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology in response to their investigation of the complaint against him alleging he was practicing without a license. In a Free Thought Project exclusive, we’ve obtained a copy of the letter he sent to the AZ licensing board.

After addressing the board with the proper salutations, he described the charitable actions with which he was involved.

“My name is Juan Carlos Montes De Oca. On Saturday Jan 28th 2017 at the downtown library in Tucson AZ, I assisted Ronnie Varela and Katie Burnett Licensed Cosmo[tologists] and did FREE Haircuts for the Homeless. We had donations of barbicide wipes and EPA registered disinfectant for our combs many which were all disposable from community donations and practiced proper sanitition procedures, disposable combs. Gloves etc.,” he wrote.


He then described his motivations for doing so. “As a community we came together to uplift, encourage, offer LOVE and remind our homeless that they are not forgotten,” he stated. Reflecting on the knowledge he’d acquired at the now defunct Regency Beauty School, he wrote, “When i was studying cosmetology I heard there it was ok to offer free haircuts to the homeless as long as there [sic] was a licensed stylist present. When Regency Beauty Institute shut its doors, I had to wait to go back to school which I am in the process of doing so now.”


Juan Carlos mentioned one of his cosmetology heroes, “I thought about Mark Bustos and his mission that has inspired many across our nation to Uplift and Inspire those down on their luck,” he wrote. Bustos is a high-profile cosmetologist whose clients include Norah Jones, Marc Jacobs and Phillip Lim.


Bustos was recently profiled in The New York Times for spending his Sundays giving free haircuts to the homeless. Throwing himself at the mercy of the licensing board Juan Carlos continued, “I have great LOVE for my community and now understand that i need to be licensed in order to provide any Hair services for the homeless. Now I am fully aware of the risks involved and plan, if given the chance, I want to become an educator of barbering and cosmetology someday. Thank you. Juan Carlos Montes De Oca,” he concluded.

We attempted to reach out to the authorities for an update on Juan Carlos’ investigation. We spoke with Kim Scoplitte, Deputy Director of the AZ Board of Cosmetology who had no comment to make about Montesdeoca’s case. She did say the AZ Executive Director of Cosmetology, Donna Aune, would be in touch with us but to date, we have not spoken with Ms. Aune.

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In the meantime, Montesdeoca isn’t waiting around for Arizona to decide if he’ll be the next brightest recipient of their state license. He’s set up his own GoFundMe account asking supporters to help him finish his cosmetology studies. If you’d like to help out Juan Carlos, you can do so by clicking here where you’ll be directed to his fundraising page. So far, he’s raised $185 of his modest $8000 goal needed to complete his studies.


    The Authoritarians offer only subjugation and intensive micro-management by all forms of government. They all demand extortion level tribute in the form of excessive over taxation and all demand immediate and blind obedience.Their downfall comes when they began to use fear to control and intimidate their subjects.

  • The Cat’s Vagina

    The reason so many licensing fees are so extortionate is that people don’t want to fucking pay taxes. Society has to be funded SOMEHOW, and tax rates have to climb alongside prices. Ideally, income is supposed to keep up with the pace, but NOBODY gets a job without the proper infrastructure in place, so we can’t exactly give up and stop funding it just because the top dogs “can’t afford” to pay anyone a living wage. When people insist that their tax rates stay the same just because their income has and prices hasn’t, the difference has to be made up somewhere, which is precisely how all those “licensing fees” went from a few bucks for the clerk’s time to several hundred dollars. We bring it on ourselves every time we vote for a politician who promises to “lower taxes by cutting out waste.” THIS is how they do it… by deciding that unextorted money is wasted money.

    That being said, this particular story is a fucking OUTRAGE. Someone should not be considered legally and officially “practicing” an occupation unless they’re getting paid. Liability is not an issue, as most courts are happy to rule that if you wanted safety and quality, you shouldn’t have let some unlicensed yahoo do the job for free.

    • IceTrey

      You mean government has to be funded.

      • The Cat’s Vagina

        The people in charge of running our society are called government, yes. They need money if you want them to do their jobs.

        • IceTrey

          Seeing as how they want to stop this guy from giving free haircuts it seems they don’t want society to run. If I don’t want them to do their jobs can I stop paying taxes?

          • The Cat’s Vagina

            You’ve got me there, man! As I said in my original comments, this particular situation is a bunch of uncalled-for assclownery.

  • Bob Btme

    fishing license? c’mon now, without fishing licensing we’d fish out most rivers & lakes within a few years, there’s too many of us.

  • Phil Freeman

    This is utter nonsense! And unenforceable, since Juan isn’t licensed, there is no agreement with the governing agency, and therefore, nothing to enforce. It is the license which grants consent to be regulated by said agency. The reason for licenses of any kind are to allow this holder to be paid in federal reserve notes. It I not used as a measure of competency. A Harvard trained surgeon doesn’t become less competent because the Dr is unlicensed. It all turns on the federal reserve note as payment for services rendered . Again, no agreement/license, nothing to enforce and no case.

  • FiuToYou

    And the hits just keep on coming!!

  • mgresist

    He did not accept pay for his services, therefore he was not practicing without a license. Tons of people cut each others’ hair at home and they are not required to be licensed. Further, most licensing schemes allow for people who are not licensed to work alongside licensed practitioners–this is the whole principle behind cosmetology schools holding low cost hair cutting clinics that allow their students to practice.

    I hope an attorney will step up to assist Mr. Montes De Oca because these licensing agencies can be very technical and obscenely brutal in enforcing their legal mandate.

  • Guy

    Having a required licenses in most cases, as in Contractors, of which I am one. Just sets the minimum standard of compliance that a person will need, to do a safe and reasonable quality job for the public and get payed for the goods and services provided. Period and that’s it ! Beyond that it’s so much fluff and smoke an mirrors !

    If I was going to build a house, I would at the least make sure that whoever did the work, would have a State Issued Contractors License,and consider myself foolish if I did not. Would you hire a Electrician or Plumber to do work for you, that was not ?

    Fishing Licences money supports the many programs that the State uses to assure that our sport continues in a reasonable way, as in Captive Breeding Programs and Busting Poachers, just like hunting license money supports thouse programs as well.

    I would think that a licance to cut hair would follow in the same vein as the others do, so I can be reasonably assured that the person who dose, follows a minimum set of standards, so I know that at least I am not going to get Head Lice as the result of they not following thouse minimums !

    If you want to build a house with no set standards or needing a contractor to do it. Move to Alaska, there outside of the City’s you can build anything you want, and the State dosen care if it falls on your head or you freeze in the winter, if you do, it’s your problem, not there’s !

  • David Daisy May Boldock

    What a mockery and rather ironic that Albert DeSalvo was a barber in jail.

  • Sillywilly

    No good deed goes unpunished