Have you ever seen a barber working just by the roadside? Are you kidding? Of course a barber works in a barber shop. That’s what barber shops are for. But in the old days in China, especially in the countryside, there were few permanent barber shops. So you could see rural barbers carrying a shoulder pole with their paraphernalia, wandering about the streets, stopping by the side of a road or under some shade tree, even in a market, anywhere with high traffic.

Today, barber shops are often noisy, smelly affairs with dyed hair youth wielding power tools and chemicals. Roadside barbers are old school.

In the past, a traditional barber had to master many skills: combing, braiding, razoring, shaving, massage, ear-picking, cutting, dyeing, joining, patching, relaxing the muscles and stimulating the blood circulation. Such unique techniques are really rarely seen now. Only a few barbers from back in the day may be able to pull off all of these moves. To my surprise, I found (which runs between Qingdao University and Grand Regency Hotel). He works under an aged tree nearly every afternoon. But sadly, he can just cut hair, which I guess is good enough for a roadside barber.

Roadside Barber Qingdao, China Mirror

Roadside Barber Qingdao Boy

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