best-old-style-men-hair-salon-jaipur-india

Old World Hair Salon

A lot has changed in Jaipur during the last few years. And so has men’s salon in Jaipur.

best-old-style-men-hair-salon-jaipur-india
Old style men’s salon in Jaipur

These hair salons were popular until a few years ago. The new swanky ones have popped up across the city fast replacing them. With a wide variety of new-age salons to choose from home-grown chains to international ones like Tony & Guy, F-salon, and Truefitt & Hill, these are dying shops with little future. Probably, we won’t see them around in a decade or so. While the old generation of barbers continues to service customers at an affordable price in these salons, the young barbers prefer to work in swanky places & generate more money. It is not that these salons are a century old but in the current context, they have fallen out of flavor and therefore considered old-fashioned! The above picture was photographed at Jaipur heritage walk route in the old Jaipur city.

What’s your opinion?

Posted for Wordless Wednesday

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73 thoughts on “Old World Hair Salon

    1. I guess it is inevitable, Sunita. Do you remember the barber on side pavement? I’m sure Mumbai is devoid of those barbers now. We still have them in many places because they provide services at a very low rate. Well, Walmart, Ikea….will cause a big disruption. What do you think?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow Arvind, thank you so much for bringing to fore this picture replete with a range of nostalgia.

    I guess times have changed and people are more used to luxury and swank, therefore opt for the high-end salons, though that means they may have to pay through their nose, but then spending power had also increased proportionally.

    Personally I myself won’t go to a salon like that anymore. No biases, more to do with hygiene.

    You will be surprised to know that my father still goes to a modest salon in Lucknow for years now, despite growing in life.
    It’s could also be a lot to do with ones comfort zone and also the fact that some things never go out of fashion and some things will always be entwined in our lives.

    So happy to have you link up with #WW

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Natasha, I think I too have graduated to something so called “better” but i still avoid a very swanky place. At some point of time these were the only choices we had and therefore we miss that connect in swanky places. I understand the concern for hygiene which is important but when I analyze this now I wonder how we all grew up traveling in coal powered trains eating what was availble on platforms and train canteen. Today, we hardly travel by train and we won’t eat from the platform vendors. May be our perceptions have changed or we have done a logical progression. It is also about our outlook. I think the reason why your dad still prefers old barber shop is because of connect and also because of value. Probably, he will be lost in a swanky salon! What do you think?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear you. I don’t go to a swanky salon either. A simple clean one, not the big branded types. For women, salons/spas hygiene plays a big role these days as it’s not just restricted to a hair cut only.
        I agree.
        It’s weird if I tell you that I have no qualms eating from a thela Walas or at the station. I recently did all of that on my trip by train to Haridwar.
        But it’s unfortunate how my body reacted to all the outside food I ate for three days and now I’m laid up in bed with a severe infection and fever.
        Maybe I’m getting old. As this has happened in two of my recent travels and never before. Sigh!

        I agree with you, even I feel kind of lost in salons like the ones you mentioned. Happy with my 450 buck hair cut and I don’t see any point in shelling 2 k on a haircut either.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hope you are better now, Natasha. At times, some freak events do happen. I’m sure you will be back to normal self soon.

        I do feel hygiene is very important. What I meant with my previous statement is probably earlier we were exposed to certain elements since we had different lifestyle so it was all normal for our body. May be with time we haven’t exposed ourselves to those elements and therefore it has all changed.

        wishing you a speedy recovery. Take care and thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Always happy to be a part of WW. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you for your prompt responses. I’m learning from Esha, Parul, you and some evolved bloggers and tried my hand finally at portrait photography. I’m a new to this so please give me your inputs – both good and not so good; on where and how I can improve, in my #WordlessWednesday post.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. These old barber shops had something which the chains lack. Customer connect. Quite like the old mom-pop store vs supermarkets where the employees keep chaning and the only reason why one visits them is just for transactions. Mom-pop stores something do extend credit and are also a great source for local information. I guess you must be having few such stores in your area.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am on the same page as Peter. I prefer the old fashioned style. We have the same sorts of divisions here with a few different levels. Neighbourhood barber shops are still common but there are now getting to be some trendy ones. There are also budget hair cutting places that can give a reasonably good cut for a low price but with no frills. Then there are the swanky places here where you can find services at nearly any price point from $40 for a hair cut up to several hundred dollars. I guess there’s one more classification if you go to Chinatown in Toronto where you can still get a haircut for $4-5. I tried that once. It looked like a $4 haircut. *laughing*

    I think the neighbourhood barber is fading out as well here. The one I’ve gone to for about ten years now is in his late 60’s. I suspect he’ll be retiring soon. Another 10-15 years from now and who knows how many like him will be left?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. well, times are changing for sure. Thanks for sharing information from your part of the world, Todd. I assumed that neighbourhood barber would be difficult to find in Canada but I guess there is still some time. Who knows if tomorrow Amazon also starts offering these services?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We see that in NYC, too, where the old barber shops are slowly being closed as the barbers in them age out and retire. That said, there is a bit of a nostalgic resurgence in the neighborhood places, and I hope that this means people are returning to the personal-touch of someone who knows you and your preferences, rather than to the chain-salons where oftentimes the workers are interchangeable and you don’t quite ever know who you’d get OR the high-cost fancy places where you pay for the privilege of entering. So … I hope the small places survive, even if not exactly as they were, at least in a form that maintains their charm. There are a few such places near me, and I am heartened to see men and boys of all ages go in to get their hair cut there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Na’ama for sharing with developments from your part of the world. I do feel that these shops have a strong “character” and connect with society. These salons were affordable. I hope that these are still around as it is an integral part of our culture. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      When you mentioned resurgence does it mean that new generation is taking them over? or some other form?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have seen some younger barbers in ‘older’ salons, and I have seen some old-style (but not really that old) salons. There aren’t that many of them, all told, compared to what I’m sure used to be, but it seems that more people are looking back to times when there was a personal connection and an affordable haircut/shave without the bells and whistles but with all the human connection.

        Like

  4. The difficultly with globalism. I prefer Uber’s to a rickshaw but I love how a rickshaw looks..it will be a kind thing to give those amazing barbers a couple of prints if your work to remind them what a great service they provide nd how integral they are to the needs of local people.
    I’m doing a shoot for a barber that’s doing a refit at the moment. Can I show her your image? Have you any more? It might be cool to have a few up on the wall.
    Your monochrome stuff is great. Keep the street scenes coming. Much more fun tan sunrises.
    And you’re right-Jaipur is the most amazing place for street photography.
    Can we link this blog to my website? I run photography workshops to India, especially Jaipur .. best, Ali xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ali, Happy to hear that you enjoyed this picture. Yes, you are right that there is a bit of dichtomy. we like convenience because it makes life easier but we want want something else to talk about and show around. You have caught it right. Human nature!

      You have a fantastic idea of handing a print to the barber. For this I need to click lots more with a different perspective. Thanks for the idea.

      You want to use this picture? Sure you can! Will share more pictures. Let me know if you need anything else.

      Well, I have mentioned previously too that I had restrained myself from shooting people on the street. But I made a shift last year and I have fine tuned my approaches by experimenting. Now I have good undertsanding of how and when to approach a subject. That’s an important aspect in street photography. Sunrises? well, that’s something else. I have taken a break from posting sunrises lately. If you are regular to my blog, you would have noticed this.

      Surely, you can link my blog to your site. I remember having read your message last year during your workshop in Jaipur. If you are conducting workshop in Jaipur, we definitely should meet. I’m happy that you reached out to me.

      Feel free to connect, anytime! 🙂

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      1. Thanks! Now I’ve just got to work out how to link you to my website! I’d love to put up a couple of your street shots either in a blog referencing you or think about something on Instagram.
        This barbershop topic is a theme people like. We could do a global barbershop post and call for monochrome. Africa has great roadside barbers. What do you think?!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ali, I have reverted to you on Instagram. If you say it is a topic people like, I’ll take your words. Have you posted pictures of barber from Africa? There are roadside barbers here in Jaipur and of India, as well. Ever saw during your visit?

        Like

  5. Oh yes….these are called ‘saloons’ 🙂
    Some of them probably do better jobs than the salons!
    I remember as a kid, my father would take us to these ‘saloons’ for haircuts.
    There was also a barber who would visit our home with his toolbox, which was a rectangular tin box. He was responsible for helping my grandfather shave, cut his nails, his hair, etc.
    Such home visits have disappeared only to be reborn in a new form – the beauticians visiting homes from Urban Clap, Housejoy etc 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m just wondering if the word salon was Indianised to saloon! House visit by barber was very common in a different era. There are some freelance barber who still engage in home visit. People like this service because it saves them hassle and time. As for these startups, who knows if they will survive once the funding will dry up?
      I was wondering if the situation is any different in your home state?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Saloon probably is an indianised version. There are a couple of these ordinary salons in Shillong and most men, including the young ones still visit them. However, women don’t. The fashion-conscious women and girls of the town prefer the fancy ones.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Possibly, yes! Thanks for sharing information from your home-town, Neel. My impression is that females in NE India love fashion and dressing smart. You have to correct me if I’m mistaken. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Absolutely agree. The young barbers prefer working in parlours. Similarly generation at home do not want to go to these swanky saloons. Even if they can afford to pay they prefer old barber shops., sometimes home visit. Old style chumpi. Ha ha ha. But its good for the youth. They are no more called called by their proffession, they are respectfully addressed as hair styler. Its gud its gud. Natural progress of the society.

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    1. So true, Reena. I think we all should have choices. Since each generation has experienced this world differently they have their own preference and choices. Chumpi? well, popular only with the roadside barbers otherwise it is called “massage”…lol! Where are you based?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I normally look out for your Wordless Wednesday post from the linky options. Since I haven’t yet added mine this week, I found it from this group. Strangely my Dad and father in law still prefer this old salons and seasoned barbers as compared to the swanky branded salons. Love the way you capture each frame every time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I mentioned above, each generation has experienced this world differently which explains why all of us have different choices. The reason why your dad loves to go to his barber is that he is happy with his services and sees no point in a switch.

      I’m glad you like the pictures that I share here. So what has kept you busy this week? I normally don’t participate every week. I share only when a picture clicks with me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow Arvind! It’s absolutely incredible how much discussion a barber shop can generate! I can’t say I’ve every stepped in one. Now I have to make it a point to visit one and learn the story of the owner.
    I particularly interested because last weekend I met a young man who works in Silicon Valley. His story started with helping his dad in their tiny barber shop. These places are so inexpensive that they didn’t always generate enough money to get a square meal. But he had the drive, the talent and his family’s support. They got scholarships to go to college. Now both brothers have awesome jobs in US.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jyoti, I’m sure you can ignite even more conversation because you travel so much, see so much….and can share so many stories.

      Most such shops are quite affordable and cater to a large population. Yes, it is likely that it’s difficult to survive on income from such shop. That story of a young man is inspiring. Thanks for sharing this story and your views. Do you look for the odd places when you travel to unravel stories, Jyoti?

      Like

    1. Thailand and India have many similarities. I’m sure that barbers in small soi will survive because they offer excellent value. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Carol

      Like

  9. I avoid these chain and branded barber shops for they provide the same service as that of a small regular shop at an exorbitant rate. Once in a while, for some occasion, it is fine. Having said that, globalisation has taken away many such small shops in almost every nook and corner.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Globalization eats into uniqueness which then creates a biger market for the multinational chains. It is difficult to reverse the process though. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rohan 🙂

      Like

  10. A thoughtful shot. Lovely BW composition and it reflects the timelessness surrounding haircuts – we all get them. It is interesting to note that those hole-in-the-wall barbershops in India are still around…there will always be a market for cheap and fast. Though that crowd may be dwindling, hopefully these kind of salons still exist. Like many people my age, I go to higher end salons. I usually visit the hairdresser that I like to get my hair styled a certain way – only she can do it lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mabel, it is these hair-dresser or salon that serves a large population. Not everyone can afford high-end salons. It is true that our young generation prefers swanky salons here as well.

      I’m sure it will continue to serve for some more years. A place like this becomes part of culture and gets entwined with the community. You are right that there is certain beauty in monochrome. have you tried you hands on it?

      Like

      1. True, not everyone can afford high-end salons and some just want convenience and a simple hair-cut or trim will do. I generally prefer coloured photography as colours make me feel alive and I want to reflect this sentiment in my shots. But maybe one day I will warm towards monochrome.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are right, Mabel. Certainly, colored pictures are more realistic and not everyone likes monochrome. I like some monochrome pictures because they convey the mood or sentiments better. So it is situational. By removing colors, the whole scenario has a different feel to it. 🙂

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  11. The old school saloons are nowhere to be seen. I guess those clan of barbers were more skilled, considering the lack of mechanised tools to chop off the hair. Now people are so paranoid about hair styling that they probably would kill them selves if something went radically wrong with their hair-cut.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Roy, it is not just about skills but yes, it is true that the old barbers were not dependent on the mechanized tools as you rightly mentioned. What is more striking is the connect they had with their customers. If you have ever noticed these barbers would talk like a friend and share all the gossips of the neighbourhood. “The local newspaper” you can say! These days it is difficult for the barber to commit such mistakes because these mistakes have led to many new innovations in hair styling. I hope you get what I mean. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Lovely post, Arvind. Catching up late with last week’s posts today. I can totally relate to what you say here. The shift from the old style barber shops (ranging from a chair under a tree with a big dangling mirror in front of them to small shops like the ones you’ve posted here) to swanky upmarket salons has been quite a big jump everywhere, and probably in most cities all over the world. I know a lot of people from my Dad’s generation who still prefer the old style barber shops. I like this series in B&W! Thanks for linking up with us for #WW.
    P.S. Our linky for this week is also up in today’s #WW post: https://theskygirl.com/2018/10/09/when-the-sea-beckoned-wordlesswednesday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Esha, I’m sure you are caught up with something important. In any case, I’m not the one to participate every week but I do try to whenever I can. That is whenever I feel I have something to share. I did mention last year that I will come up some way to participate with you since what I started didn’t work with me and the readers. Anyways, you are right with what you just wrote. In my opinion, these barbers provide a large section of society with affordable services and that is what matters. And in many cases, people visit these places for reasons other than money like familiarity and trust or maybe the bond formed over the years. Right? 🙂

      Like

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