Patrick Lomantini, owner of Lomantini the Salon in Wichita, Kansas, has been fascinated by world records ever since he was a kid. Last year, he set one himself for cutting hair at his salon for 72 hours straight. The haircuts were free, and donations collected benefited the local humane society. "It was way more than I ever imagined it to be," Lomantini says. "It opened my eyes to what shelters and the humane society do for our communities."
When friends asked Lomantini how he was going to outdo himself this year, someone suggested that he attempt to do 50 haircuts in 50 states in 50 days.
[jump] "I started playing with the idea. I thought that if I had that much success and excitement with the first project, why not do it again?" he says. "It took about eight months to plan. It's been a tough journey, but it's also been exciting."
Currently, Lomantini has visited 27 states, and has completed 964 haircuts. On Tuesday, August 30, he will be cutting hair at the Jungle Red Salon in Minneapolis. So far Lomantini says that the hardest part about his trip has been stamina. After cutting hair for 12 to 14 hours straight, he then has to drive for several hours to the next city. Cutting hair for 72 hours last year taught Lomantini that he had to take care of himself while working.
"I was fortunate enough to be a personal trainer before I was a hair stylist. I work out a lot and eat well and try to do the best I can in terms of fitness. I think the one thing that I've learned is to take care of myself," he says. "When I did 72 hours, I learned what your body does to you on sleep deprivation. Your mind plays tricks on you. Had I not had a tremendous amount of support, I would not have succeeded last year."
The support that Lomantini has received this year on this trip in each state has been tremendous. He says that in return for the free haircuts, he hopes to inform people about the shelters in their neighborhoods.
"Yes, I'm trying to set a world record, but really that's secondary to me," he says. "I'm trying to bring communities together to raise awareness about what these shelters and humane societies and rescue groups do for our societies. I might raise $2,000 dollars in some cities -- and that's great -- but raising community awareness? That's the priceless part of it."
As he prepares to finish his national tour, Lomantini hopes that he will complete 2,500 haircuts, raise over $50,000 dollars, and set a new world record. So far, his project has been both fun and challenging, and he is thankful for the support and relationships that he is establishing along the way.
"If you think about the dynamics of this tour, I've been able to connect with 50 different shelters, 50 different salons, over 2,500 people getting their hair cut, animals, and media," he says. "I've met some amazing people that I hope to stay in touch with for a very long time."
IF YOU GO:
50 Haircuts in 50 States in 50 Days
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, August 30
Free; $20 minimum suggested donation
Call to reserve a time: 612.870.0653