“I was terrified, but laughter is the best medicine”: Special haircut helps North Florida man prepare for brain surgery

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 5:15 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A recent design by Livin in the Cut Barbershop in Tallahassee is proving a haircut can be uplifting in more ways than one.

When James Smith sat down in his chair one month ago, barbershop owner Greg Picinic realized this was no ordinary haircut.

“He says, well, I want you to write ‘cut here’ with an arrow in my head,” Picinic says. “I said okay... he says yeah, I’m having brain surgery.”

Smith has been having seizures for nearly eight years. Doctors never determined a cause, but after countless treatments, Smith said surgery was his last option.

“A lot of people go in there scared, and I was,” Smith said. “I was terrified, but laughter is the best medicine.”

Smith called Picinic for a special request. The design read ‘cut here’ with an arrow pointing to wear surgeons would make an incision for his upcoming surgery.

The design, he says, was to make everyone laugh, including his medical team. But it was also to help himself stay positive.

“You look in the mirror and I see that,” Smith said. “It reminds me that I can do this.”

Picinic has been cutting hair for two decades. He says every person that sits in his chair gives him an opportunity to hear their story and help them feel empowered when they walk out the door.

But hearing Smith’s story and his perseverance, the tables turned.

“It actually made my day amazing,” Picinic said. “To come in, do that haircut and just see the way he approaches his life is absolutely amazing. It’s inspiring.”

Almost one month after a successful surgery, Smith is still healing but with a new mission.

“If I can inspire someone to find the humor in that bad situation, no matter what they’re going through,” Smith said. “You got to be positive. There’s sunshine after the rain.”

Smith said he’s now living every day without fear of another seizure.

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