A hair salon in Spain gave a homeless man a free makeover, and he didn’t recognize himself afterwards.
Heartwarming video shows Jose Antonio, 55, welling up after the La Salvajeria salon in Palma de Mallorca chopped off his unkempt hair, trimmed his straggly beard and gave him a new outfit to wear, the BBC reports.
“This is incredible!” said the former electrician on seeing his reflection in a mirror for the first time. “How different, no one’s going to recognize me!”
Before undergoing his makeover, Jose Antonio recounted in the video posted this week how he became homeless 25 years earlier after he experienced a period of depression.
He said he was working as an unlicensed parking lot attendant and was saving money so he could rent a room. Jose Antonio hoped to eventually secure full-time employment — but he understood his appearance was “very important” to realizing his dream.
The impact of his radical transformation was so remarkable, even his friends struggled to identify him.
The salon’s owner, Salva Garcia, said he regularly joked with Jose Antonio about cutting off his long hair as he parked his car. “At first, he didn’t want to, but one day he changed his mind,” he told La Vanguardia newspaper.
Almost two years have passed since then, and Jose Antonio is now living in a shared apartment which is partly being paid for by an anonymous donor. He’s also actively searching for a full-time job.
Filmmaker Santi Oliva, of Dr. Filmgood Audiovisual Studio, shot the footage in June 2015, but posted it online Wednesday to mark the salon’s third anniversary.
“Before filming we interviewed him and we saw he really wanted to change his life,” Oliva told La Vanguardia. “He wasn’t an alcoholic or drug addict, only a person with bad luck.”
Check out the video above to see Jose Antonio’s transformation.