Time for cut and shave


  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 13 Jun 2020

Barbers at work at a barbershop in Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, Johor Baru. — ZAZALI MUSA/The Star

JOHOR BARU: The days of struggling with unruly hair are finally over as barbershops and hair salons have restarted operations after being closed for 84 days due to the movement control order (MCO).

Factory supervisor Hairy Rahman, 40, said it had been three months since he last had his hair cut in the middle of March before the implementation of the MCO on March 18.

“I went to Sri Stulang area on Wednesday looking for a barbershop but many people were waiting outside the shop for their turn to have a haircut, ’’ he said when met at Kedai Gunting Rambut Bros in Bandar Baru Permas Jaya here.

Hairy said he decided to head to an outlet in the neighbouring housing estate because he did not want to waste time waiting in a queue as he had to report for work in the afternoon.

“The shop that I went to had put up a notice at the entrance informing about the extra charges. I have no problems paying a little more, ’’ said Hairy.

Another customer, security guard S. Vijay, 24, said he turned up about 15 minutes before the shop opened as he had anticipated a crowd.

“Nobody was waiting outside the shop yet. Probably because it was still too early in the day to have a haircut and it was also a working day, ’’ he said.

Vijay said apart from a haircut, he also had his beard and moustache shaved, adding nothing beat using a proper straight razor for a close cut.

Legal staff Mohd Fahmi Jamali, 46, said he used to pay only RM6 to have his beard and moustache trimmed at his regular barbershop in Taman Sri Stulang before the MCO.

“Now it costs me RM10, but I have no complaints as the operator has to spend extra buying disposable aprons, gloves and wet tissues for their customers, ’’ he said.

Mohd Fahmi said he felt uncomfortable having to wear the apron and gloves to get his facial hair trimmed, but added that it was the new normal that customers would have to get used to because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Student S. Gunasegaran, 16, said he decided to leave after having waited about 20 minutes outside a barbershop at Jalan Maju in Taman Maju Jaya here.

“I will probably come back in a few days or go to other barbershops in nearby Taman Pelangi or Taman Tebrau, ’’ he said.

Kedai Gunting Rambut Bros proprietor P. Elango, 62, said he had already spent RM2,000 on five infrared thermometers to scan customers at his five barbershops, all located in Bandar Baru Permas Jaya.

“On top of that, I have to spend another RM1,500 for face shields for my seven workers, as well as face masks, disposable gloves and aprons for them and our customers, ’’ he said.

Elango said he had no choice but to increase the charges from RM10 to RM13 to cover the extra operating costs.

He said despite temporarily closing his shops since the start of the MCO, he had continued to pay his workers 50% of their salary and also 50% in rentals for the five shops.

“Starting this month, I have to start paying full rental to the landlords, ’’ said Elango.

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barbershop , Johor , MCO

   

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