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U.S. Army Sgt. Cameron Carter gives free, full service haircuts on the fly in Iraq. This is the second tour in Iraq in which the 30 year-old New Orleans native brought his clippers. He cut Lt. Carlos Alvarez’s hair on Friday at Camp Blue Diamond in al Anbar province.
U.S. Army Sgt. Cameron Carter gives free, full service haircuts on the fly in Iraq. This is the second tour in Iraq in which the 30 year-old New Orleans native brought his clippers. He cut Lt. Carlos Alvarez’s hair on Friday at Camp Blue Diamond in al Anbar province. (Allison Batdorff / S&S)

CAMP BLUE DIAMOND, Iraq — Those who hate moldy showers pack rubber sandals to Iraq.

Sgt. Cameron Carter hates bad hair, so he goes downrange with clippers and a barber’s cape.

“I hate seeing people jacked up,” Carter said. Just because you’re in a war zone doesn’t mean you don’t take care of yourself.

And if you won’t keep your hair neat, Carter will do it for you.

The 30-year-old New Orleans native from the Fire Support Element, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment gives free, full-service haircuts on the fly at this base in Ramadi.

Carter started keeping his peers looking good during his last deployment in Iraq in 2003, he said.

“We were moving too fast for barber visits and I had clippers,” Carter said. “People would want to use them to shave their heads because it was so hot … so I started saying, ‘Before you do that, let me try cutting it.’”

Now he cuts at least one person’s hair a week. Most people ask for a “fade” and some ask for an “all even” or an “edge up,” he said.

It’s all training for cutting his son’s hair, which grows like a weed, he said. But he won’t discriminate against any type of hair, and he’s a perfectionist for all his “clients,” he said.

Clients he is utterly unwilling to charge.

“If I charge, they can complain,” he said.

And don’t ask for a haircut that won’t make Carter’s cut, either.

“Within the regs — that’s the only way I work,” he said.

Carter brought his mobile barbershop essentials — eight guards, clippers, a whisk to dust off people’s necks, and a stylist’s cape to keep out the hair — to the office Friday to give to co-workers a trim.

“Oh, he’ll let you know when you need a haircut,” said Lt. Carlos Alvarez, 24, of Miami. “He won’t keep quiet.”

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