Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Chris McGrath | Hanoi's Street Barbers

Photo © Chris McGrath/GettyImages-All Rights Reserved

NBC's PhotoBlog featured the work of Chris McGrath documenting Hanoi's street barbers. It seems that having one's hair cut in the street is a tradition that goes back to the 18th century. Many of the barbers are ex-military, have retired from the army and cutting hair is a way to augment their army pensions, or just to keep busy and socialize.

While I was in Hanoi, I saw a one or two of these street barbers but I read that few work in the city's Old Quarter as there's no space to accommodate their chairs and paraphernalia on its sidewalks. The cost of a haircut ranges from the equivalent of $1 to $4, depending on the barber's abilities and whether the client is a regular or not.

This series remind me of my own The Street Barbers of Manali, which I photographed while teaching at the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop in that northern Himalayan town.