Traditional Skills and Heartfelt Interactions


2018 / July

Cathy Teng /photos courtesy of Jimmy Lin /tr. by Scott Williams

I am sure many men still vividly recall going to a tradi­tional barbershop with their father. Not yet tall enough for the seats in those all-male spaces, they might have found themselves seated on a washboard booster stretched across the barber’s chair, while their father had his hair trimmed and his face shaved by the auntie working there. After the cutting and brushing, the barber would work in a little pomade to make the new ’do look as slick as Tony ­Leung’s in Days of Being Wild.

But then the younger generation stopped going to male-only shops, cutting Taiwan’s traditional barbering culture off at the root. Fortunately, some people are now trying to bring it back.


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