It's a Monday, the first working day of the new year for most. For students, and those on 5-day week, it's tomorrow. I went to the barber's thinking that it would be a quiet day. It was noon when I reached one of my regular barbershop. Oh, there was a queue. Not too bad, just half an hour's wait.
As I sat and read my book, with the occasional check on the movement within the barbershop, and being distracted by activities around me, I could not help thinking. Hmm ...in the old days, barbershop was for the men and boys. Hairdressers were for the ladies and girls. It was relatively cheap to have a haircut compared to a lady's cut, wash or perm. Ah, the Hokkien ladies would say, I want to go and "dian tao mern" (electrify the hair, meaning making permanent waves on their hair).
It seemed to be the custom that for the guys, they must go and have a hair cut before the Chinese New Year! For many busy guys, they would be trying their luck at the last minute, desperate for a haircut before the reunion dinner. Probably so for the ladies too. For them, a new perm would probably be the norm. These days, there's so much choices.
The men's haircut probably hovers at S$10 with some shops offering as low as S$6 in Chinatown (competition?) on weekdays. And it is unisex these days with many ladies going for the haircut. I saw one lady bringing her elderly mother to the barbershop for her haircut. Nothing fanciful, but functional. Haircut in Singapore has also joined in the "fast delivery" chain. 10 minutes and it is done.
So, have you gone for your haircut yet? Before the price increase starts. Or would they? Perhaps, the traditional ones.