Barber thrives on hot hairstyling

Central Station | 12 May 2021

Proving a cut above rivals, Pakistani barber Ali Abbas relies on blowtorches, meat cleavers and even broken glass.

And his fringe style is a hit, with customers flocking to his salon in the eastern city of Lahore.

A typical trim sees Abbas taking a bit off the top with a blowtorch, adding layers with a cleaver and butcher's block, and occasionally thinning out a mane with broken glass.

"I thought I should do something different to attract more clients," Abbas says. "I tried it on artificial hair, and then I used it on a client. He liked it a lot."

Since unveiling his new style in 2016 and after brushing away customer fears, he says his popularity has grown, though "clients were quite scared in the beginning."

Abbas, whose unkempt locks give him the look of a mad scientist, charges 2,000 rupees (HK$105) for the full works and 1,000 rupees for a trim with scissors.

"I'm quite relaxed and comfortable," says client Ali Saqlain as Abbas takes a blowtorch to his head.

Abbas has women customers, who he charges 500 rupees more for extra styling.

"I prefer it done with a cleaver as my hair grows fast after that," says Arooj Bhatti.


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