The hớt tóc, or barber shop, is an institution in Vietnam. Wherever you go in Vietnam, guys seem to love getting their hair cut. It's one of those "guy" things to do it's recreational, it's good company, and they seem to eat up all the attention that they get. More often than not, they fall asleep in the chair.
The hớt tóc is a bit more than a barber shop it's a full-service institution. At no extra charge, the barber takes a close look to make sure that the rest of your head is as it should be. He has the eyes of a surgeon and the tools to match. And in a pinch, he can administer some traditional medicine, if no one else on the street can do it for you.
In the city, the barber shop is outdoors, against a building wall. The mirror hangs by a nail, and everything is done in the open. In the towns, the shop is a small shack. Guys hang around there, usually shirtless, spending the entire afternoon exchanging news and views. It's the hot tóc of the town.
|In Hanoi's old quarter
I thought to enhance the picture by having the light come out the other ear.
|In the country
Interesting, the sign offers "Ép" or a permanent. "Ép" means "to press", and is also used to describe printing. The Chinese character for "press" looks like "Ép", though of course, it's not a spelling. Maybe someone saw it and assumed it was a word. Or, alternately, it's an incredible coincidence. They've been known to happen.
|A wall of barbers in Chợ Lớn, Saigon's Chinatown|
|Definitely more than a haircut
It's a happening.
|A natural rinse?|