(View it in HD here)
Window: is a photo feature where we take a peek into the working lives of ordinary Singaporeans. Singaporeans whom we have often overlooked but yet truly deserve recognition for what they have done and have been doing. So every other week, we will go behind the scenes to capture the magical moments of them and the tools of their trade! This week, on our maiden feature, we will bring you into Window: The Red Panther Barber Shop!
Miss the nostalgic feeling of cutting your hair in a Malay Barber shop, where the barber still uses the shaving blade to shape your side burns and the big fat brush filled with powder to remove hair from your face? Well, you can now reminisce that feeling again at this Barber shop which has been in business for over 30 years.
The Red Panther Barber Shop, despite situated in the often overlooked Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre, is actually hard to miss. Located at #03–13, you will be greeted by its wildly decorated walls when you first stepped into the shop. The walls are filled with American car number plates, traffic signs, movie posters and not to forget the pictures of “trendy” men’s hairstyles in the 70s and 80s!
Over the years, the shop has been able to establish a strong customer base and business was good when we visited the shop in a weekday afternoon! It even took awhile before its owner, Mr Ali Bin Yusof, was able to share with us his humble and yet interesting beginning.
Do not be fooled by his stern appearance, Mr Ali is actually a really friendly and mild mannered man. He had first picked up the trade when he enrolled himself into a hairdresser school which specialized in ladies’ hairstyles. He had no idea then on how to cut men’s hairstyles and it was only when his brother began teaching him the ropes that led to what he is today.
The rates, like the tools of his trade, have changed little in fact they are still much cheaper than the hair salons we have in our neighbourhoods. However, the lower prices are probably not the main reason why the shop gets so many customers. Instead, we guess it is the friendliness which exudes from Mr Ali which makes his customers return. So why not, relive the experience again and when you do, please say “hi” to him on our behalf.