A customer stole £50 in coins from a barber shop after confessing he did not have enough to pay for his haircut.
Britton Mabrouk was mid trim when he told barber Gary Scott he could not settle the bill at the shop in Green Lane, South Shields, in July.
Newcastle Crown Court heard during the argument that followed, the 22-year-old demanded his haircut was finished despite his lack of cash.
Paul Currer, prosecuting, told the court: "There was an argument. The defendant was aggressive and angry with Mr Scott.
"He said he would get the money and demanded he finish the haircut. Mr Scott refused to do so.
"The defendant went to the back of the shop, opened a cash box and removed a bag of pound coins, around £50 worth.
"He then made off."
The court heard Mabrouk was arrested later that day after he was seen disposing of a kitchen knife in bushes at the West Park.
At the time of the theft, Mabrouk was on bail after having a violent street confrontation with pal Stephen Wynne, 30, on June 30.
The court heard Wynne, who was armed with a rusty piece of metal, had turned up at a house where Mabrouk was staying and hurled abuse outside over a £30 debt.
CCTV footage showed Mabrouk come outside armed with a metal pipe before being passed a knife, which he carried during the confrontation.
Neither of them used the weapons during the stand off.
Mabrouk, of Gainsborough Avene, South Shields, admitted theft, affray and having a bladed article.
Wynne, of Halstead Place, South Shields, admitted threatening with an offensive weapon and a separate charge of having a bladed article on a later date.
Judge John Milford QC said Mabrouk was prompted to come out for "battle" by Wynne's behaviour in June.
The judge said it was accepted Mabrouk was not carrying a knife when he went to the barber shop.
Both men were jailed for a total of 15 months each.
The court heard both men have been "close, long term friends" who both have troubled backgrounds.
Defence barristers said both men are making efforts to stay away from trouble in future and turn their lives around.