Thursday, June 16, 2011

old-fashioned hair cut

when i was young, my father took me to his regular barber shop in town for our hair-cuts. all the workers were indians & that's how i came to view barbers - that they all are indians. nothing racally-biased, just a profiling anomaly. it was when i was in my teens that i realised people other than indians can cut hair as well. they were called hairdressers or the more fashionable name hairstylists.

but i've always gone back to the traditional indian barbers. besides the resulting nice clean look, some of them provide a shoulder rub/massage as well.

but when i got older, i realised they were generally more expensive than some others, because they were members of a barbers' association where the prices were fixed. currently a simple cut costs rm9.

because of that, i've stopped patronising them as other non-members charge cheaper. no, i'm not too much into the classy cut-wash-and-blow type, operating in the malls with a fancy shop-name. no, i just want a clean cut.

and i'll shave myself, thank you!

my son goes to the same shop where the wife gets her hair done. his cut costs rm5. so when my regular guy told me he's hiked his price from rm6 to rm8, after all these years of loyal patronage, i decided to jump ship.
except now it doesn't matter who snips, as long as it's a clean cut & cheap reasonably priced.

just like how my father taught me; a legacy i'm passing on to the boy.


Unknown said...

I also jumped ship already from my regular Indian barber, from RM6 to RM8,,,now i try to keep my hair a little longer before i go for my hair cut...................

Yan said...

Ooops! I go to the most expensive hair dresser in my home town, Sibu. I have tried going to other reasonably priced one, or even those just a little cheaper, but I still have to go back to "super-cut".

With my thinning hair, natural curl.. it seems she is the only one who can manage my hair well and make it look with more volume. Not only that, I can manage it very well too. with my daily gym activities, it's just blow dry - and it's befitting for a executive meeting, or a dine-out!

I also do not need to go back to her very often for a trim or what.

She boasts about it - I just have to let her!

My one-time cut (just cut, wash and blow)is a hefty 52! Ok, it's ringgit. The consolation is I need to open my purse for her only two times a year.

doc said...


i only go to the barber when the hair is long & untidy, so the wife often chides me that if his customers were all like me, he would be starving!!

doc said...


being a jounalist, it's only proper that you portray a professional outlook. the wives of some of my colleagues also go for the expensive, even though they are just tai-tai's.

with my hair thinning as well, i foresee visiting the current hairdresser with less frequency.

but i'll certainly enjoy bringing the boy for his haircut & as i wait for him, reminisce the days i had with my father!!

Reanaclaire said...

hi DOC, those days, in the 1990s, my hubby told me that it was only few ringgit.. but now 8rm.. i think it is quite justified.. so much things have gone up since...

doc said...


it was 50sen when i was old enough to know anything.

i agree that costs has gone up, but my last barber operates alone from a shack in a kampong. i don't know if he even has a business licence/permit. besides, if this lady hairdresser can charge rm5, i'm sure he'll understand why i also need to cut cost.

ilene said...

Were you scared when they twisted your neck till you hear the "krick krack" sound?

Yvonne Foong said...

My cheapest hairstylist was my mom, and I hated her cut. Eeeeee... I looked like Lego Girl.

doc said...


it was a nice feeling when the guy did that to loosen the neck....until i went to med school, & discovered to my horror that he could have injured my neck & paralyse me for life!!

ah, ignorance is indeed bliss!

doc said...


my cheapest barber was me!

when i was in UK, i've only been to the hairdresser once & that was before going for a job interview. the cheapest cut i could find was 12 pounds!

so, at other times, i literally "sheared" myself & the wife did the trimming.

Jo said...

Wow! My kids' haircuts cost RM15, and that's at one of those express haircut chains. I thought it was cheap, but your RM5 is.... unbelievable!! Where do I even find such a hair salon in KL?

Anonymous said...

MYR5? Really? The Husband makes me drive him 8km to the next suburb to get his fortnightly haircut at the Indian Barber saloon and that costs him MYR12. My guess is that if I were to let him know that MYR5 haircuts still exist, he would badger me to get the location of the shop from you. *LOL*

doc said...


i inherited my father's austere trait & i married a penang girl. so you can understand why we're confortable with rm5 hair-cuts & rm30 perms, which incidentally, you are not likely to find either in klang valley.

yes, we live in the backwaters. seriously.

doc said...

Oh dear Cara,

that will not do for a high-flying corporate guy! besides, the expense incurred in driving his 2.5lit 6-cylinder turbo-charged european marque would more than offset any savings from the rm5 hairdresser.

he goes to the saloon every 2 weeks? what does the guy eat for breakfast, i'd like to know?

Anonymous said...

Doc: He is VAIN. I told him that he is overpaying the barber for that "neck creak" at the end of every session which I suspect he is addicted to.

doc said...


men, just like women, are vain to a certain extent, but in his case, i'd like to think that he has to keep up with chick.

having had the "neck creak" myself before, i can tell you it's very, almost like the whole world's burden has been lifted off your shoulders.

but seriously, there are worse things he could be addicted to.